The biggest battle over the past week might have been Barack Obama vs. John McCain, but another slightly less publicized set of fights occurred over the weekend.
We headed to the UIC Pavilion to see a law school friend of mine, Chris Martins, in a cage fight in the Ironheart Crown XII. Yes, he is a law student, and yes, he is a cage fighter. (We've all got to work out our stress somehow! I have knitting, Chris has "beating people senseless.")
We saw a little less than ten fights last night, and we were at a table just next to the cage. We saw most fights pretty up-close.
I thought almost all of the fights were pretty interesting in their own ways. Some fights were over in less than 30 seconds, if a fighter made a silly slip-up. For example, the much-talked-of "main event" fight, the last of the evening, was over in about thirteen seconds. (The up-and-comer knocked his veteran opponent to the ground in a single lucky punch.)
Others dragged on and on in a grappling battle. Those could be a little less interesting, including one that went on in the same hold for so long that the crowd actually booed.
However, the match we were there to see was Chris's. His was the last fight of the first batch of fights.
Here's Chris coming through the gates (in the black hoodie), and below is a photo of him ringside. (He's obviously the one sans shirt.)
Chris and his opponent fought for three rounds - they were pretty evenly matched. They also did a fair mix of stand-up boxing and grappling.
And here's Chris, in the red and white shorts below, kicking his opponent in the gut. Nice. Bet he's feeling that one today.
Ultimately, the fight continued without a tap-out or knock-out. After three rounds, the judges declared Chris's opponent the victor.
Despite the fact that he didn't win, we were so proud not only that Chris trained so hard for this fight, but also the fact that he stuck it out for three long rounds when plenty of other fighters couldn't handle it.
We saw him ringside after the fight and checked on him, and he was doing just fine. (Not like some other dudes who'd been knocked out, cut, and bloodied.)
It was a little shocking to see real-life fighting up close and personal.
Besides the few really hard and fast fights, the most shocking one involved a fighter getting cut on the face, I'm assuming by a glove. He bled everywhere - all over himself, his opponent, and the ring mat.
Besides our concern about the fighter himself, I voiced concern that the staff mop up the blood before the next fight (which happened to be Chris's), else someone might slip in the bloody carnage. Ultimately the fighter was fine, but it took him a while to get up and leave the ring, and, as Chris noted in the locker room, he walked out with "a real pizzaface."
So, as you can clearly see, it was an interesting night. I would go again, even if Chris wasn't fighting, because it was really a different kind of entertainment. Very primal, but exhilarating.
However, the best part was cheering for our friend, who did an awesome job. Congratulations, Chris, and we can't wait to see your next one!
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