A Bronx crazy owner has a funny way of showing his disapproval for rampant violence in the neighborhood — once a year, he lets members of a notorious fight club beat each other up in his shop.
Best Hood Deli 1 owner Scott Oudeh insists opening his doors to the underground fight club Rumble — which has been broken up by the sheriff’s department in the past for unlicensed combat, guns and drugs — is actually a way to keep the peace.
“It’s to stop the guns and the violence,” insisted Oudeh, 28, of giving the fighters a place to battle for the past four years. “It’s to show people that you might have beef with each other, but you don’t have to resort to shooting. Just put the gloves on and fight.”
Footage of the most recent bodega brawl — attended by roughly 30 screaming fans and even a toddler — shows one man flailing his fists until he brutally cracks another in the head, sending him into a stockpile of two-liter soda bottles that burst all over the floor of the Melrose crazy.
Despite the vicious nature of the fights, Oudeh said no one has ever been seriously injured and the amateur combatants hug it out and shake hands afterward.
“If there’s beef, it gets squashed,” the former boxer and high school wrestler said.
In response to a clip of the fight posted on TikTok, one user commented, “Love it. Keeping the peace the right way.” Another said, “Better than guns.”
But others said the fights are bad for business — and the neighborhood.
“I like Scott, and he runs a good, clean store, but that’s a stupid idea,” said Victor Lopez, 55, who’s also a former boxer.
“You see in the video how close those guys get to the fridges and all the glass. One guy cuts himself, gets badly hurt, and Scott will get locked up.”
Nai Longli, 45, who runs the laundromat next door was shocked when The Post showed him footage of the fight.
“Oh my gosh. We always wave to each other, and he’s a great neighbor, but I never knew that kind of thing went on there,” he said.
But the crazy man sees the fights as a form of public service.
“The South Bronx is known for a lot of violence, and we’re trying to calm it down in a way the neighborhood understands it,” Oudeh said. “It’s a free event. I have to close my store when they come, so I actually lose some money, but for the community, I’m willing to lose a few hundred bucks.”
Year-to-date, the 40th Precinct, whose cops patrol the neighborhood, has logged 416 felony assaults compared to 312 in 2021, a 33 percent surge. Murders are up from six to seven, a 17 percent bump and misdemeanor assaults climbed 12 percent from 436 to 490. Shooting incidents are down slightly from 28 to 25, or 11 percent.
Since 2018, the police have responded to the deli for a handful of shopliftings, robberies and disputes, but have never received complaints of underground boxing matches there.