Monday, April 30, 2007

An Evening at the Fights

Last Saturday I went to the fights, an event held approximately every three months here in Madison. It was the first time I had attended a mixed martial arts type event live. I paid $25 for a general admission ticket. I and a few friends got there early and got seats about forty feet from the ring. Good sight lines.

Attendance was, I would guess, somewhere between 1500 and 2000 people at the event. The crowd was an odd lot - lots of bikers and just about everybody had tattoos or something pierced somewhere. Everybody was well behaved. There were no incidents that I could see.

There were 11 fights that took about 2.5 hours to complete. All except 2 or 3 were ended in the first round. Most of the fights were stopped because of submission holds.

When you entered the building, you were greeted with some tables selling wares. There were a couple of tattoo parlors, some fight gear vendors and a table selling the services of ladies. This company provided the ring girls for the night.

On the table in front of them are piles of condoms, free for the taking. Also note the sky high heels the standing woman has on. There were two ladies walking around with the round cards. By the third fight one had on a pair of flip flops and the other was walking around barefoot in the ring. This is gross as she was trying to sidestep blood, sweat and tears laying on the mat later on in the evening.

Speaking of tears, imagine my disgust when I went to get a beer and all they had was this beer truck with the following choices: Bud and Bud Light. I bought one and choked it down - pisswater! I honestly don't know how anyone can drink that stuff. Here is a photo of me with the beer - that weird light is coming from outside - it was right by the smokers "lounge" which was a dock door opened to the parking lot.

Like I mentioned, most of the fights were done by the first round but there were a couple of hum dingers. One fight in particular almost went the distance and was a gruesome bloodbath. The winner was from my hometown of Rockford, IL. Most of the fighters were from around Madison, but there was one from Minneapolis, two from Milwaukee, two from Rockford and one from Chicago. The guy from Chicago was a serious badass and literally kicked the snot out of his competitor - he should definitely step up a skill level in the future.

All in all, very much worth $25. Thank god no kids were there, most certainly not a kid friendly environment.

Here is a YouTube of a complete fight. It is hard to tell, but here is a short synopsis. A bit of sparring, then the guy in the black shorts makes the mistake of getting himself into a front choke hold. He fights for about a minute, then passes out. Typically fighters submit or "tap out" when placed in these types of holds, but I have seen this happen before where he fights until the bitter end. You can see him slump into a pile at the end and the ring guys and ref coming over to revive him. The video is a bit disturbing if you have never seen this type of thing, so keep that in mind before you click play. He hopped right back up in about 10 seconds.

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