The economy may be falling faster than mixed martial arts fighter Kimbo Slice after a right-hand jab by Seth Petruzelli, but the stock of the sport continues to grow and appeal to an ever-expanding mainstream audience. A new list by BusinessWeek ranks Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White, who's only 39, as the 61st most-influential person in all of sports, above hockey great Wayne Gretzky and Under Armour founder Kevin Plank. Like savvy investors recognizing a booming opportunity, Karen Santaniello, 58, and husband James, 61, partnered with Brazilian jiu jitsu instructor Juliano Prado and MMA instructor Colin Oyama, both 35, to open No Limits, a 15,000-square-foot mixed martial arts gym and workout facility in 2004. By 2006, No Limits was busting at the seams and moved to a 26,000-square-foot building in Irvine, Calif., becoming the largest MMA facility in North America. But that was when the economy was good. Now, with the country in a financial crisis, a gym membership offering Muay Thai classes and jiu jitsu instruction is probably a luxury most can't afford, right? Wrong. No Limits has had membership growth of about 3% each month this year and currently counts over 1,500 members. "The reason why most people don't consider this a luxury is that it's almost a necessity," says James. "They need some place to clear their minds and this will help you in so many ways." "If you take a cross section of our gym, we have professional fighters, we have average everyday working-class people, we have professional people, but all of them have been touched in their life by the economics of our times," says Karen. "They come here and they get that release of tension or built up stress that they have."