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So maybe they are technically not “bare-knuckle” fights because the fighters tape up their hands, but there is no padding beneath the tape.

It is as close to a street fight as you can get without actually being in the street.

The fights take place in a backyard down in Perrine, the Miami-Dade suburb where Kimbo Slice rose to notoriety a few years ago before joining the mixed martial arts pro circuit.

As far as ghettos go, Perrine is unique in the fact that it is quite suburban compared to Miami’s inner-city neighborhoods where housing is crammed and yards are cramped. Therefore, many of the houses have large yards, which are perfect for hosting these fights.

The fights are illegal but I’m told police allow them to go on because they prefer people to fight it out in an organized, rules-enforced one-on-one bout instead of shooting it out on the streets. Everybody is patted down before they are allowed in.

On Saturday, I drove down there to join the Rakontur crew, the Miami filmmakers who are working on a documentary called “Dawg Fight.”

Rakontur is also the same crew working on the upcoming film on the Miami Hurricanes titled “The U.”

The sun was harsh and there was not a cloud in the sky, making it challenging for photography. Also, the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L lens is defective in that the lens hood doesn’t stay on, so I never carry it in my camera bag. But it might have helped on Saturday to reduce the glare that you will see in some of the photos.

My friend Bulldog eventually joined me; the guy who almost got arrested for taking photos in a Dunkin Donuts. Amazingly, neither one of us got arrested. Check out his photos here.

And check out Rakontur’s trailer on the upcoming movie, which will be released in the spring of 2010.