CARTHAGE, Mo. – Ultimate fighting was once the sole domain of burly men who beat each other bloody in anything-goes brawls on pay-per-view TV.
But the sport often derided as “human cockfighting” is branching out.
The bare-knuckle fights are now attracting competitors as young as 6 whose parents treat the sport as casually as wrestling, Little League or soccer.
The trend alarms medical experts and sports officials who worry that young bodies can’t withstand the pounding. Tommy Bloomer, father of two of the “Garage Boys,” doesn’t understand the fuss.
“We’re not training them for dog fighting,” said Bloomer, a 34-year-old construction contractor. “As a parent, I’d much rather have my kids here learning how to defend themselves and getting positive reinforcement than out on the streets.”
Bloomer said the sport has evolved since the no-holds-barred days by adding weight classes to better match opponents and banning moves such as strikes to the back of the neck and head, groin kicking and head butting.
Obviously, I support this whole-heartedly. All children should have to learn how to rear naked choke their friends into submission after devastating their faces with an unstoppable succession of roundhouse elbows. But I’m not sure I can agree with Mr. Bloomer’s enthusiasm for some of the sport’s recent pussifications. What, is your son too good to get punched in the back of the neck, Mr. Bloomer? Can’t take a back leg snapping kick to the groin? What is he, five? Oh, he is five? Never mind. I thought he was six and I was going to say, What is he, a homo? HAHAHAHAHAH right? RIGHT MR. BLOOMER? HAHAHAHAHA. Seriously, though, tell your kid to man up.
My child, of course, Jerusalem Supreme, has already retired from the sport and is happily running a little Steaks and Chops joint just outside of Atlantic City.
Just kidding. He died in the cage, the one true death.
Here are a couple of discussion questions for your book club:
1. How many weight classes can six-year-olds really be divided into?
2. Is it actually possible to train your children for dog fighting?