Ready to Rumble

Remember the good ole days of mixed martial arts? When patrons flocked to shows for the honest spectacle, brutality, and pain dished out as in some Jean-Claude Van Damme film? Truth is, MMA has been around a lot longer than the early ’90s. In fact, there were bouts between boxers and wrestlers in 19th-century Europe, contests called merikan (Japanese slang for “American fighting”) in the Pacific Rim, and vale tudo (Portuguese for “no rules”) tournaments in Brazil in the ’20s. Here in the U.S., the first boxer-wrestler match took place in the 1890s. That’s the über-abbreviated genealogy leading up to this Thursday’s Bellator XXVI at Seminole Hard Rock. Titleholder Hector Lombard will face challenger Alexander Shlemenko in the middleweight division, while Mike Bernard (who has won five fights in a row with first-round stoppages) will go up against undefeated Dragan “Gagi” Tesanovic in the Serbian’s U.S. debut. The ladies will also do some pummeling as Zoila Frausto faces Megumi Fujii in the 115-pound tourney finale. Call 954-327-7625 or visit
Thu., Oct. 28, 7 p.m., 2010


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