There’s nowhere to run once you enter the cage.
There’s nowhere to run once you enter the cage. SUBMITTED

Cage fighting coming to Coffs

IS this the kind of sport that should be promoted on the Coffs Coast?

The Underground Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Cage Fighting Series is coming to town with the ‘Hexagon of Death’ taking centre stage at C.ex Coffs on Saturday, May 29.

A total of 12 fights have been set at this stage but promoter Shane Balmer refuses to admit that pitting two men in a cage together is nothing more than good old-fashioned brutal barbarianism.

“There’s seven pages of rules, we’ve got three judges, an independent doctor and a referee,” Balmer said.

Balmer added that the people who criticise the mixed martial arts format are generally those who know very little about the sport.

“I think the big thing is the fact that it is in a cage and people think ‘two men enter, one man leaves and the loser is dead’,” he said.

“Yes, the cage is visually spectacular but it serves a purpose because there are so many wrestling throws and so much grappling.

“If it was held in a boxing ring both the competitors could go through or over the ropes.

“I’m not going to lie, from a promoters perspective a cage is great but it also serves a practical purpose with this type of combat.”

When told that there’s a section of the community who aren’t happy that his promotions company is bringing a cage fighting event to town, Balmer was quick to point out that there is nothiong illegal about it.

“There’s still knockers or critics with the sport but what people don’t realise even though it’s very in your face, it’s very much an extreme sport but all of these sports on their own are legal,” the promoter said.

“Boxing is legal, kickboxing is legal, Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling are legal and judo is legal.

“It’s just all of these sports combined.”

He also added that there’s more than one way for a fight to stop and it doesn’t have to involve horrible injuries.

“The way the fights can be won are by points decision, referee stoppage, doctor’s stoppage, knockout, technical knockout and of course tapout either verbal or physical.”

The only true way to gauge public opinion on the issue of whether an underground cage fighting series is acceptable or not is to see how many people vote with their feet C.ex Coffs next Saturday.

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