Combat sports promotion Arena recently introduced a new event that fits right in with the other wild and outlandish fight sport offerings that have come out of Russia in the last few years.
A cursory look through Arena’s social media shows that the Russian organization does put on standard MMA events, but it’s been videos of “arm boxing” that have generated clicks for the promotion in recent weeks.
One viral clip provides a brief taste of what curious combat sports fans can expect if they’ve grown bored of watching traditional boxing.
Connected to a table via their waists and with their left hands apparently taped together, two men in MMA gloves desperately take swings at one another across the table while a referee looks on from the middle.
Arena Appear All-In On “Arm Boxing”
While that particular clip does little to shed any light on specific details of “arm boxing”, Arena’s YouTube channel already features several events that appear to exclusively offer the new format.
The first bout from what was apparently the competition’s inaugural event in July features the expected scene of two fighters connected to a table. The camera briefly focuses on a ring girl holding a sign for Round 1 while the referee presumably applies a copious amount of tape to secure the left hands of the combatants.
Once the bells sounds, both men begin hurling right hands at each other. The punching techniques used very wildly, but only having one hand available seems to force the fighters to fully focus on either offense or defense at any given moment.
The referee remains close to the action throughout the bout, and at one point he readjusts the table due to it having shifted from the fighter’s efforts. As with MMA, it appears entirely up to the referee’s discretion whether or not to get involved based on either fouls or things getting too one-sided.
Following a pair of frenetic 1-minute rounds that saw some big punches and even an attempted headbutt, things changed for the third and final round. The fighters remained strapped to the table but had their left hands freed, which allowed for more standard boxing technique and likely increased the chances of a finish.
The combatants were finally freed from the table following the end of the third round, and the fighter from the red “corner” was declared the winner via decision. While the announcement of the result looked fairly standard, it’s unclear what specific criteria was being used or how many judges were overseeing the bout.
What kind of a future do you think “arm boxing” has in the wild world of alternative combat sports offerings?