Your eyes are swollen shut, their broken vessels leaking fluid, turning black and blue from the beating your opponent just gave you. But your nostrils are pumping victory, a pungent mix of hard-fought blood and sweat that’s rising off the mat like steam into your pounding champion’s heart and back out through your burning lungs to the roaring crowd. They loved every left hook, sweep, and uppercut you threw. The other guy is a heaping pile of unconscious mush crying on the canvas. It was close, though. Had his leg crashed into the side of your head at full force like he’d planned, you’d have been a knocked-out loser. And tomorrow, he’ll go back to kicking palm trees till his shins open, gush, then heal harder and stronger than they were tonight. This is the American Battle Championships 2013 season kickoff. There are 25 mixed martial-arts fights on the card, and every third Monday, the Venue (2345 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors) hosts the toughest local male and female fighters in face-offs starting at 7 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 21, 7 p.m., 2013