MMA promotion featured something peculiar recently. They opted to stage medieval matches with athletes in full chain link armor and armed with swords and shields.
The match was initially billed as exhibition in-between actual professional mixed martial arts bouts but the fans enjoyed it regardless
Some mixed martial arts promotions showcase a unique and ridiculous scenarios in order to gain attention and sell more PPV buys. The stunts range from staging bouts inside a phone booth to wearing a formal suit.
Russia-based MMA promotion EFC went as far to feature a 2 on 1 bout and mix it up. These types of mismatches are typically referred to as ‘Pop MMA’ because they feature people who don’t actually train combat sports professionally.
Major Russian MMA promotion M-1 Global also holds a one of a kind of competition. In this one, the athletes duke it out in full medieval gear complete with chain and plate armor. They also provide them with a blunt sword and a shield each to strike at each other.
M-1 Global first launched this exhibition match in 2015. But due to popular demand they’ve kept at it.
“I liked the fans’ reaction when we did it for the first time in St. Petersburg at M-1 Challenge 50. They seemed to really like it. They were impressed and supported the knights. So, I thought it was worth continuing.” M-1 President Vadim Finkelchtein said in an interview a while back.
With fans yearning for more action with swords and shields, Finkelchtein then decided to make this MMA medieval a regular competition and launched M1-Medieval. In M1-Medieval, the athletes compete in a hexagonal ring and cage hybrid. The rules are kind of similar to MMA in general with additional prohibition to hit the opponent’s feet and ankles. They also allow the knights to wrestle on the ground if they feel like it.
Finkelchtein is hoping for this type of competition to become popular especially in Europe.