Friday, March 30, 2007

Helena Havoc II - Tonight

After 1,350 fans showed up for the Helena Havoc no-holds-barred fight last September, organizer Brett Hamlin figured there was enough interest for a second event.

So here comes Helena Havoc 2.

“This is our fourth or fifth fight statewide,” Hamlin said on Thursday. “We just got a phenomenal response after last time; when we were done, I don’t know how many calls we got from people saying they missed it and wanted to come to the next one.”

Ultimate fighting is a mix of boxing, wrestling and martial arts — pretty much a bare-knuckle street fight in a ring with three judges giving points for style and substance. Fighters go two rounds for four minutes, with the potential of a two-minute overtime if a tie ensues.

Hamlin theorizes that part of its attraction is that by combining a variety of fighting skills, a boxer can go up against a wrestler who can go up against a street fighter to decide not what is the dominant sport, but who’s tougher overall.

“Boxing is a tough sport, but it doesn’t answer the question of who is tougher — a boxer, a wrestler or a guy doing karate,” Hamlin said. “This sport brings it all together.”

They can win in a couple of ways, including by points, by knock-out or by giving up. The referee can also stop a fight, and a fighter’s corner can throw in the towel to protect him.

“By boxing or kick-boxing you can hit someone in the face until they’re knocked out. In this sport, you can attempt that or take the guy down on the ground and put them in a submission hold until they quit — maybe they don’t want their arm broke or don’t want to be put in a choke hold until they pass out,” Hamlin said.

Local fighters include Casey Kelly, Ramon Ramos and Brad Smith. Hamlin said other fighters will come to Helena from Washington, Wyoming, elsewhere in Montana and the Dakotas.

The doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the show starting an hour later, tonight at the Helena Ice Arena. Tickets are $10 and $20 for general admission, $30 for reserved seating and $500 for a ringside table that seats ten.

Tickets are available at, 1-888-tvForce or the Helena Ice Arena.

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