The adrenaline-pulsing, mano-o-mano world of mixed martial arts will descend on the Forum in Granville Saturday as Full Force Fitness hosts Outside Outrage.
The all-day event will feature a two-hour seminar with retired professional mixed martial arts middleweight fighter Jason “Mayhem” Miller, several amateur fights, vehicle displays, vendors, live music, contests, and giveaways.
“This will be our third show. The first two events were low-key; we’ve tried to take our time and generate some interest in the area,” said Jon Spoor, co-owner of Full Force Fitness.
Mixed marital arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and its popularity matches or even exceeds that of professional wrestling and boxing.
But the sport has its detractors. Some politicians have characterized it as human cockfighting and there have been several notable incidents where people involved in fights have been seriously hurt.
Just last month a 35-year-old Canadian man was killed during a non-regulated fight in Michigan and in 2011 a 16-year-old was knocked unconscious by a man more twice his age in an unsanctioned event in Lake George, spurring officials to file criminal charges against the promoter.
Those involved in the sport, however, contend it is no more dangerous than other contact sports, such as boxing, football or hockey and there have been studies that back up those claims.
But despite those findings, New York continues to ban professional fights, making it one of the few states in the country to do so.
Jason Ingleston, a trainer at Full Force Fitness and an MMA competitor has traveled to Albany to lobby lawmakers to make the sport legal on a professional level.
“There is no sanctioning body in New York. It’s kind of a double-edged sword because we can have amateur fights but we’re under a very close eye,” said Ingleston.
Spoor and Ingleston have been planning the latest event for months. Spoor said the sport continues to gain a following in the area.
“It’s getting very competitive in terms of promotion,” he said.
“We had our first fight back in 2000 and back then there was nowhere to fight,” Ingleston said. “Now you have fights in Saratoga, Albany, the Poughkeepsie-Hudson area, and northern Vermont.”
On Saturday, Miller who has fought in the UFC, Strikeforce and other professional MMA bodies, and was host of MTV’s “Bully Beatdown,” will lead a training seminar open to interested participants. The cost of registration is $65 ($55 before Saturday) and spectators will be charged $10.
Outdoors the event will include music by G.T. Entertainment, bounce houses, a hot dog eating competition, strongman competition and ring card girls competition. There will also be a number of vendors, including Nyce Designs, Young Living Essentials Oils and Supplements, and Murray’s Family Martial Arts Center.
Action sports apparel company Headrush will also be at the event and are bringing a $300,000 custom chopper made by Orange County Choppers and have promised a big surprise. The Air Force is also tentatively scheduled to bring its Project Supercar X-1, a Ford Mustang whose interior is meant to resemble the cockpit of a helicopter.
The event will conclude with up to 10 amateur fights, the first of which will begin at 6 p.m.
Saturday’s event will kick off with Miller’s Seminar at 9 a.m. The outdoor events are set to begin at 11:30 and there is $5 cover charge.
The cost to watch the fights Saturday night is $30 ($25 in advance).
For more information, visit fullforcefitness.org see visit them on Facebook.