ENDICOTT (WBNG) — One Southern Tier business has defied New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s shutdown orders.
Xtreme Ambition MMA on Washington Avenue in the village is officially back open for business as of Monday.
The mixed martial arts facility believed it would be allowed to open as part of phase three, and then again as part of phase four.
When that didn’t happen, and the governor excluded the facility from reopening, the owner said he had no choice but to open.
“This is what I use to feed my family, this is what I use to stay in shape,” said Marcos Ithier, a three-time world champion in jiu-jitsu who has practiced martial arts since he was 5. “There’s people here, I have students that suffer from social disorders, anxiety and stuff; they can’t come in.”
He says the gym will use social distancing such as having each student use a designated space, no physical contact and a temperature screening before students enter.
As far as potential consequences go, the gym could be fined, or even have its license to operate removed. Ithier said this doesn’t bother him because if he doesn’t open within the month, he will lose everything he has worked to build anyway.