Fight hub? Ice Rink to host MMA brawl
When 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.
"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.