In media, Long Island is often painted out to be a New York City suburb. While technically true, Long Island has also been at the epicenter of many cultural movements over the past century. It was an important to the development of aviation during the early 20th Century, as Charles Lindbergh lifted off from Roosevelt Field in 1927. It was the place of origin for countless winners of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. Hip-hop, punk rock, classic literature, and stand-up comedy all have roots in Nassau and Suffolk County. The Great GatsbyThe Godfather and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind are just a few of the influential works that use Long Island as a setting. 

Our website was launched in April 2016 with the mission of celebrating both the history of Long Island and what's ahead for it. Its main focus is on entertainment, from providing content that is entertaining, to featuring Island-related events and personalities. While written by Long Islanders -- past and present -- the content is intended for readers all over the world. We leave the politics and hard news to the other publications...unless they happen to be entertaining.

Simply put, there is No Place Like Long Island.

KTFO Live MMA To Feature Undefeated Fighter Austin Wolfson At The Space At Westbury On Sept. 9

KTFO Live MMA To Feature Undefeated Fighter Austin Wolfson At The Space At Westbury On Sept. 9

Since debuting in September 2014, Long Beach resident Austin Wolfson has maintained an undefeated record as an Mixed Martial Arts fighter. The welterweight trains at Bellmore Kickboxing Academy, a kickboxing and MMA gym that has also trained boxing champion Chris Algieri, kickboxing champion Bobby Campbell, and UFC fighters including Andre Harrison, Gregor Gillespe, Nick Fiore, and Terrance Hill. As of this article's posting, Austin is ranked at #37 of 439 active amateur welterweights in the Northeastern U.S. and #20 of 175 amateur welterweights in New York State.

Austin's next fight will be at KTFO 15, a live MMA event at The Space At Westbury taking place on Friday, Sept. 9. The card will feature 12 matches, including a title defense by Welterweight Champion Clubber Creed. The main program, on which Austin is fighting, kicks off at 8:00 PM while preliminary matches are set to start around 6:00 PM. Tickets for KTFO 15 are available through KTFO.com, while those unable to attend in Westbury can stream the event via FloCombat.

In advance of his Sept. 9 match Austin spoke to No Place Like Long Island about life in MMA and beyond.

Is there a particular movie that you feel sums up the experience of competitive fighting well?

AW: Cinderella Man. In my experience, fighting has its ups and downs like anything. It's important to stay positive and remember why and what you're doing it for. Cinderella Man is a movie based on a professional boxer who comes across hard times during the Great Depression. I believe that competitive fighting isn't simply trying to go out there and take each other's heads off, but to deal with adversity. 

How did the idea to get into MMA come to you? Were you a fan? Did someone tell you that you'd be great at it?

AW: MMA was never really the big picture to me. My father got into amateur kickboxing at Bellmore Kickboxing Academy when I was younger. I always used to go and watch him train. Later, he got into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and would always drill the moves he was learning on me, which at times was pretty painful. When I started training at Bellmore, I first started simply to lose weight and it just snowballed from there. 

MMA fighter Austin Wolfson of Long Beach

MMA fighter Austin Wolfson of Long Beach

It takes a lot of time and effort to go from a practice facility to actually fighting at a live event. Do you have a team behind you? Or do you yourself have to handle most of your logistics?

AW: Everything is done through the team at Bellmore. There are tons of people in that gym that are great all-around fighters, as well as people who specialize in specific styles of fighting, which makes it great going into fight camps.

What is the hardest part of what you do? Is it the training schedule? The need to keep with a diet?

AW: Training camp is the difficult part, pushing yourself to be limit each day and trying your best to stay motivated on those very frustrating days. Once it comes to fight night, it's just another day at the gym, all the hard work has already been done.

But I don't really think there is a difficult part to this. I enjoy it very much and as of right now it's more of a hobby. I don't make a living in any way from fighting. I train when I have time or I make time during the day no matter what. It can be difficult for those close to me; I understand it, too, I'm just trying to be the best I can be at everything I'm doing in life, not just MMA. 

As someone who fights often but does it on the side from a career, do you have a goal for your MMA career? Are you hoping to go full-time?

AW: I have no illusions of what it takes to make it in this sport. The guys that get to the UFC train for hours two or three times a day. They are always on-call for a fight, and it's a sport with a very short shelf life. Since MMA takes a toll on the body, it's difficult to compete at the top levels for a long period of time. I admire those people and I try and do my best to work as hard as them with my schedule. However, I think it'd be really awesome to one day turn pro, but I'm in no rush. I have so much to work on and improve on in each aspect of the sport before I'm there. 

Do you have an accomplishment that you're most proud of within your fighting career?

AW: Not yet. It might come as a surprise, but those that know me know that I'm extremely frustrated after each one of my fights so far. I just think I can do a lot better than I've performed. 

 

When not busy with MMA, how do you like to spend your free time?

AW: Well, I have a puppy that has kind of taken over my life. (laughs) When I'm not working or training, I'm walking the dog or heading to the dog park. Other than that, I love just hanging out and watching football or a sporting event on TV. 

When not watching what you eat, do you have a favorite restaurant on Long Island?

AW: I must admit I do love some late-night Domino's. (laughs)

Are you able to dine out easily if you are watching what you eat?

AW: I'm never really on a diet. Most of the time I'm basically just trying to watch what I eat in general, not because of fighting just for life in general.  

Finally, what do you wish more people knew about Long Island?

AW: How to drive better so I could get places faster. (laughs)

Gilbert Gottfried To Return To Governor's Comedy Club on Oct. 15, Carolines On Broadway on Dec. 23 & 24

Gilbert Gottfried To Return To Governor's Comedy Club on Oct. 15, Carolines On Broadway on Dec. 23 & 24

Dream Theater's John Myung on Jul. 26 show at B.B. King's, new music with The Jelly Jam, and more

Dream Theater's John Myung on Jul. 26 show at B.B. King's, new music with The Jelly Jam, and more