Fight hub? Ice Rink to host MMA brawl

news-mma-battleWhen Mark Brown purchased the Charlottesville Ice Park this past summer, he said the key to its success would lie in turning it from a single-purpose to a multi-use facility. Brown will put that plan into action–- full contact action–- on Friday, October 29 with a Mixed Martial Arts tournament.

Dubbed "Battle at the Arena," the event is put on by a Fredericksburg MMA gym called Barbarian Fight Club and will feature 22 match-ups, according to the Fight Card, ranging from Super Heavy Weight (over 265 pounds) down to Bantamweight (125.1-135 pounds). Two of the fights are between women.

MMA fighters utilize moves from a variety of different martial arts styles, and although the matches are tightly regulated and refereed, they can get rough–- as anyone reading the rules might imagine. Among legal moves: strikes using hands, knees, shins and feet, and all judo, jiu jitsu, and wrestling takedowns and throws. The lengthy list of fouls, however, suggests just how wrong things could go if a fighter went rogue. Included on that forbidden list: eye-gouging, clawing, pinching, or twisting of flesh, throat strikes, one or two-handed chokes applied directly to the throat/windpipe, "fish hooks" to eyes, nose, ear, or mouth, and putting a finger into any open orifice including cuts or lacerations.

The sport was deemed so dangerous by a group of Canadian doctors that they called for an outright ban, but other sources claim that it's no worse than any other contact sport, including Football.

"MMA is the fastest growing sport in the country," says Brown, who notes that Charlottesville didn't have an appropriate sized venue before he transformed the Ice Park with a hardcover floor over the ice, and that he expects to host other MMA events in the future. But he also offers reassurance to anyone concerned that the Ice Park is becoming fight central.

"We're going to be headquarters for VA Film Festival," notes Brown, also mentioning an art show the weekend after Thanksgiving and a potential New Year's Eve party.


anyone remember when this was a cool place to live?

Lets not judge anyone or anything until we actually attend. We feed the other crowds with the bars and the music. I myself would enjoy something different in Charlotesville that isnt based around


This type of venue is great for Charlottesville and for anyone ignorat person who says that "that type of crowd" clearly has never seen a MMA fight. It is not about the fight it is about technique and disipline. Before people speak on issues they should learn about them.

Why not bring in ladies roller derby!! I'd show up to watch!

I hope Mark Brown hopes enough security guards to deal with the type of crowd this event will attract.

Yes we would rather watch people sling mud and yell political rhetoric...then get elected and not do anything....or have another festival that no one cares about..OH wait there are more catastrophic injuries in Football, well at least good football not UVA football.

This is TERRIBLE. I am completely opposed to this garbage being staged in Charlottesville.

I am not a MMA fan but if this is done correctly and brings jobs and tax revenue to the area then go for it. You people condemning it don't have to support it. Of course this is a free country and you are free to voice your opinion just like anyone else.

Unfortunately for real, this attracts the same type of crowd boxing would attract, and they will play loud music, and people will drink.

Bread and Circuses. America has finally reached imperial Rome, where most all in the political spectrum come from an elite class completely detached from the population. Demagogues like Palin are allowed to participate as long as theya re capable of distracting the population from elsewhere.

Geez, Caesonia, what society hasn't had wrestling/boxing/martial arts? Ancient Greece? Nope. They were huge fans of wrestling and grappling. Victorian England? Nope. That's where the rules of modern boxing originated. Imperial China or Japan? Nope. Where do you think that martial arts came from?

Wrestling is an Olympic sport. Judo is an Olympic sport. Tae Kwon Do is an Olympic sport. Those Olympic crowds sure are notorious for fighting, getting drunk, rioting and bringing absolutely nothing good to the host city, right? Wrong. Why would anyone assume that a sport combining all three would be any different?

I can't believe some of the replies in this thread. The matches are much better regulated than the current muggings that place out on Charlottesville streets nowadays.

Gasser, in a way that's my point.

Yes and Me - I never said anything about being against Judo, Martial Arts, or Wrestling, or even Boxing, perse, so I don't get where you are coming from. I have always participated in team and individual sports, and I continue to do so.

I am saying that when commercialized, these events will often play loud music, and people drink, so one cannot always assume peace and plenty.

Horse racing was around in Ancient Rome as well, but how much of Foxfield is about that, and how much is it about getting plastered and socializing? It's disgusting.

Olympic venues are far better moderated.

Again, Caesonia, what societies haven't had their versions of commercialized sports? And do you really think that chariot racing in ancient Rome was a decorous affair? "Ben-Hur" comes to mind. I think that we came safely assume that gambling and alcohol consumption were integral to the appeal.

Oh, and by the way Yes, Ben Hur is a good Hollywood version of Chariot racing, but the reality is the racing chariots were very small, and very light. They were not the heavy units used in the movie. The tying of the reins about the waist and knives to cut oneself free were not.

Sadly, the death of chariot driver was all too real for what did happen to drivers in similar circumstances.

Yes -

"Again, Caesonia, what societies haven’t had their versions of commercialized sports? And do you really think that chariot racing in ancient Rome was a decorous affair?"

Why no, I didn't. Hence my reference to Bread and Circuses. Which you seemed to have a problem with, based on your comment. So what's your real problem then.

so 12 bars on the corner and another 20 downtown are ok, but a MMA fight will ruin the city?

makes no sense.

"fascination of the abomination..." look it up.

Wouldn't this even be better suited for the R2 Knife & Gun Club?

Average IQ at the event hovering in the warm October day temp range. Predict more fights between fans than "competitors".

Amazing....(most) everyone wanted this guy to "save the ice park"! Well, he did and now there are complaints about what he is doing with it....hmmmm.....guess you couldn't have your cake and eat it too! Don't like the venue? Don't go.

Rumor has it that this is the real reason the Big O is coming to town.

Lets see, article states events planned are "Virginia Film Festival", art show and MMA. That sounds a lot like diversity...isn't that what the arrogant, elitest crowd in this town promote? I guess this is a case of diversity is good as long as it meets their approval.(eyeroll)

I've only been to one "local" MMA event, but I have to say the crowd wasn't particularly rowdy, and I saw more drinking at Fridays after 5. Trax back in the day was far, far worse for bad behaviour. If well run, it could be OK.

Club R2 has a knife & gun club? SWEET!


I don't think anyone is saying the fights will ruin the city. I think they are saying that having fights is not going to cut back on the rowdiness versus music venues, that's all.

"Meanwhile"- so, I buy a place and it comes without restrictions and you are going to tell me what I can do with my purchase?

Perhaps you should have bought the place and opened a flea market.

So, we have an escalating problem with violence on the Downtown Mall and we're going to host a brawl?
A few weeks ago we needed a beefed up Police presence on that end of the Mall due to the increase in atacks.
Can't imagine a worse location for this. "No different than football..." wow.
I guess Oct. 29th isn't family night at DT Mall

Cock fighting, dog fighting -- outlawed. People fighting? Go at it! Make mush out of your brains. Hope you have good health care with no huge deductibles, no lifetime limits, unlimited prescriptions, physical therapy on demand and, of course, psychiatric care.

HarryD, so all that matters is that the guy that was dumb enough to buy the ice rink makes his money? Why should I care whether or not he turns a profit?

An empty ice rink would be better than this trash any day of the week. I'll be avoiding the entire DTM on that night and I'm sure I'm not the only one. If the other businesses on the DTM like Escafe or the Downtown Grill really want to cater to the MMA crowd, they better change their menus.

Finally some real entertainment in the area. LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!