A Russian fight promoter is betting that the country's next big sport revolves around armored knights sword fighting each other in an octagon. So far, it's going well.
Mixed martial art promoter M-1 Global has launched a new fighting division that will focus on what the group bills as "knight fights." The new division is called M-1 Medieval. Its inaugural fight, held between veteran "knight-fighters" Evgeniy Bedenko and Ivan Vasilevincluded, was held on Apr. 10 in Moscow.
That event went on for three rounds of three minutes each and resembled a dystopian version of Medieval Times:
M-1 Global's president Vadim Finkelchtein decided to give knight fights their own division after noticing the popularity of sword fighting during earlier events. "Knight fighting" has rules similar to MMA, where certain blows and holds are deemed illegal. It also, wisely, uses blunt swords so as to prevent injury.
The fights are emblematic of a subculture of full-contact historical battles, which hold events like the Battle of Nations where teams from around the world come together to fight each other in medieval garb.