Lingerie fighting & freak shows: The weirdest combat sports in the world (VIDEO)
Combats sports have never been shy in pushing the boundaries of the type of fights they ask the public to pay to see, be it women fighting in lingerie or bare-knuckle brawls around haystacks. Here are some of the strangest.
Last weekend saw the latest combat curiosity to grace the airwaves: Triad Combat, a fresh offering from promotional group Triller's box of tricks which has already given us a range of ageing prizefighters attempting to turn back the clock for our collective entertainment, as well as Jake Paul's fighting apprenticeship – before his own promotional clout saw him graduate to the Showtime platform when his growing profile demanded it.
But Triad Combat, with its unique triangular ring and its 'boxer vs. MMA fighter' concept was, well, relatively tame when it comes to some of the other offerings that the combat sports world has dug up from behind the sofa over the years, several of which you'll see below.
LINGERIE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS
If you were to hear the phrase "the world's most controversial MMA league", what exactly would that bring to mind? If the first thing you thought of is women fighting one another while wearing skimpy lingerie, give yourself a gold star.
The Lingerie Fighting Championships (LFC), a Las Vegas-based entity, has already fallen foul of at least one athletic commission in the United States after Kansas deemed their fighters as being "dressed too provocatively" during an event. Sure, punch each other in the face but don't wear that while you're doing it.
Its detractors have said that the promotion is little more than an aggressive male fantasy, and something that could only be dreamed up in Sin City, a place where fighters and adult entertainers are a dime-a-dozen.
Lingerie Fighting Championship probably hasn't quite taken off in the manner that its organizers would have hoped for seven years ago – but we suppose they deserve some credit for boldly stepping into that middle section of Las Vegas' fighting and stripping venn diagram.
MAHATCH FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP
It probably says something that the standard fare of bare-knuckle boxing isn't enough of a novelty anymore that it needs a few more gimmicks attached to it to make it stand out from the crowd - so how about some hay bales instead of ring ropes surrounding the ring? And it being surrounded by a group of fist-pumping men, each of whom look like they might leap into the 'ring' at a moment's notice?
Welcome to the world of Mahatch FC. The upstart group recently staged the final fight of Artem Lobov's extensive combat sports career, pairing the Russian-born fighter (and Conor McGregor training partner) with Ukraine's Denys Berinchyk, a holder of the WBO International lightweight title and 2012 Olympic silver medalist.
Lobov, who had previously defeated another former world champion, Paulie Malignaggi, in bare-knuckle boxing couldn't quite repeat his feat this time around after 'The Russian Hammer' retired from both the fight – and indeed his fighting career – at the end of the fourth round, prompting wild celebrations and, by our eyes at least, one person celebrating in the 'ring' by parading a firearm.
You can just imagine that first brainstorm meeting. "People are sick of one-on-one competition," we imagine some bright spark announcing. "But how about five-on-five fighting?"
This was a concept wholeheartedly embraced by Polish outfit The War, who went viral online for a recent event which featured the aforementioned 'Team MMA' idea – prompting double-takes from practically the entire MMA community after the concept's blind spots became immediately apparent when one fighter was viciously and repeatedly pummeled on the ground before one of the three referees (not enough officials for a ten man fight, by the way) had to spring across the ring to put a stop to it.
The same event also saw a female fighter reportedly collapse in her corner between rounds, as well as a few other similar types of hijinks. Stay classy, Polish MMA.
Regular MMA, you know, the type governed by rules and weight divisions and general common sense usually sticks to a commonly-accepted set of guidelines: there are weight classes, and men don't fight women.
But, when it comes to the bizarrely-named 'Our Business' fight promotion, rules are meant to be broken. And they certainly don't do things by half either, as evidenced by their pairing of female MMA fighter Darina Mazdyuk and male blogger Grigory Chistyakov – a man who weighs in excess of 500lbs.
Unsurprisingly, it was Mazdyuk and her fight training which came out on top in the 'Beauty & the Beast' battle, toppling the behemoth blogger to the mat and ending the fight with a series of punches on the ground in a bout which captured the imagination of literally dozens and dozens of fans.
On the back of her viral fame, Mazdyuk went on to sign a contract with the somewhat more respectable Bellator MMA, making her debut in Moscow in October.
The bout ended in defeat for the Russian, but she was unashamed in saying that her gender-bending mismatch with Chistyakov had done the trick in landing her a deal in the first place.
The fight game has given us several unanswered questions over the years. What would have happened if a prime Mike Tyson fought Muhammad Ali? How would Fedor Emelianenko have fared in the UFC after running riot through the PRIDE heavyweight division all those years ago?
These were the types of questions that a UK league called Hardest Men would attempt to address but instead of booking some well-known but shopworn names to events, they instead wanted to see what would happen if Batman & Robin traded blows with Spiderman.
And in this particular instance, it was Spiderman who came out on top against the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder. Robin, quite frankly didn't put up much of a fight, but Batman fared a bit better but also came off second best – even receiving a 'Superman punch' from Spiderman in something which blurred the lines of the DC Comics vs. Marvel divide.
And this was all before The Riddler, who was watching from ringside, jumped in to get his own piece of the action. We're not quite sure if there are any future fights planned between this ensemble but if there are, our money's on The Incredible Hulk.