Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Steel Cage Fights

Michael Wilson finds something to write about in the New York Times besides Karl Rove and Valerie Plame. This report is about no-holds-barred fights in steel cages which is, horrifyingly, becoming very popular in the Great Plains states. Also known variously as extreme fighting, no-holds-barred fighting, cage fighting - fighters can use boxing, kickboxing, martial arts or wrestling moves, or any combination thereof.

Opponents call it "human cockfighting."

The fights take place in places like Sioux Falls, SD, Fargo, ND, Rochester, MN, Marshfield, WI, Sioux City and Des Moines, IA - cage fighting draws hundreds, even thousands of spectators to fairgrounds, small arenas and, most disturbingly to city officials, the parking lots of bars.

You'll have to help me decide who is more deranged, the promoter, trainer, contestants, spectator or municipal official.
The contestants:
Nate Hawn, 20, "My goal that night was to beat up the biggest tourist I could find."
Jarod Stevens, 25, "It's proving something to yourself, that you're man enough to be a part of it and do well...hopefully."
Dog, 40, (alarmed by a question on the forms) "This being wanted by any law enforcement agencies, what does that mean?"
Mr. Stevens, "I'm not one of those guys who's going to back down from a fight. I've had six ribs broken. I've been knocked out cold at a concert."
David Adamyan, 22, (after regaining consciousness) "I don't know what happened. "It was just boom, I was gone."

The Promotor:
Damien Alexander, 30, "You know what we got? We got a bunch of bars and a state park. This is good."

The trainer:
Aaron Hullinger, 33, "The purpose of learning jiu-jitsu is not to get into the cage, but if that's something you want to do, you better know jiu-jitsu."

The spectator:
Anna Anderson, 21, (wearing black clothes and matching black nail polish) "There's really not much in Sioux Falls to do. No one seems to get seriously hurt, but if they do, shucks for them."

The responsible city official:
Vernon Brown, 37, Sioux Falls City Council, "I always say, 'Where's the rule book?' They keep giving me a sheet printed off the Internet that says no eye-gouging, no fishhooks, no fingers in bodily orifices."

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