Want a fight?
You find a big one this Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Claude Parish arena in Houston.
Fighters from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) league will duke it out on the drop-screen inside the arena.
Broadcast from New Orleans and billed as the “Battle of the Bayou,” the fight night starts at 6:00 p.m. and features a dozen match ups between mixed-martial arts fighters.
The event will be put on as a trial by the Houston Leisure Facility. Admission is $3.50 per person.
The idea is to give UFC fans a place to watch the fight without having to go to a pub or a bar, said Curtis McPhee, director of leisure services for Houston.
At a recent council meeting, McPhee said that several young couples and high school students have told him they like the idea.
Asked if young families would really be keen on a UF C fight, McPhee said that in his experience, he has met many young couples who would like to watch UFC fights if they didn’t have to find a babysitter.
UFC fights are usually broadcast on a pay-per-view basis, but the Sept. 17 fight is a free broadcast. That offers a good chance to try out the event, McPhee added, and see whether the leisure facility might host similar sports nights in the future.
“That would be sweet,” said Darin Fuller, a UFC fan and Grade 12 student at Houston Secondary. Fuller, who did taekwondo when he was younger, said he likes UFC because of the skills fighters use to stay on top.
Several of his friends would be into watching the fight, Fuller said, and so would his step-dad—Fuller said he is a hard-core fan who subscribes to all the UFC matches on pay-per-view.
The headline bout on Sept. 17 is between two American welterweights—Jake Shields and Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger.
Since it began in 1993, UFC has become famous for open,mixed-martial arts fighting with minimal rules.
UFC fighters can grapple, hold, kick or strike their opponents in any style, though attacks like biting or head-butting are not allowed.
UFC tournaments have been held in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. In May of last year, a UFC fight in Toronto drew 55,724 fans—a record turnout for the league.