The Chess-Boxing grudge match between Gary Kasparov and Deep Blue is set to take place this summer at Madison Square Garden. After sustaining two broken hands in the first boxing round of their last clash, Kasparov was forced to play a tight defensive game until a powercut left ringside officials debating whether the bout should be ruled a TKO in favour of Kasparov, or a no-contest.
In related news, veiwers anticipating the april 14th clash between Jed Kampferweil [12-0-0] and Steve Cottle [9-0-0] are going to have to wait to see the climax of the ‘Strictly MMA’ reality show. Both fighters have expressed their desire for 2 month delay to the bout, citing creative differences.
Record numbers of fans tuned in to watch the new franchise which sees 32 contestants competing in the hybrid sport of ‘Ballroom MMA’ to gain entry into the house, and ultimately a four figure contract at series end.
The contest that alternates rounds of unified rules MMA with rounds of ballroom dancing has been called the ultimate in adversarial and co-operative competition. Competitors divide their time between training MMA separately and ballroom dancing with their opponant / dancing partner. We spoke to Dan Galant [12-0-0] about the unique challenges posed by living, training, fighting and dancing with the other participants in the house.
‘A typical day starts with breakfast and an inter-team discussion about matching costume – it’s so f***ing important that regardless of our fighting styles, we don’t neglect the points game when it comes to the dancing element of the match up. At the end of the day, I’m bringing a solid MMA game to the table, with an equally accomplished spray tan, hand-tailored sequin shorts, and the passion to express myself through the medium of dance.’
Dan found his performing arts backgound transferred well to Ballroom MMA, being a two time olympic sychronised swimming alternate. ‘When the cage door closes, it doesnt matter if it’s a gumshield or a rose between my teeth, I’m bringing it’.
Switching between the two mindsets proved the downfall of two notable contestants in the semi-final of the show, provoking one of the many flare-ups and inevitable disciplinary procedings that the series has become famous for. At the start of the second MMA round, both Jared Imboletzi [8-0-0] and Hugo Tremblelton [14-0-0] refused to re-engage in combat after a particularly well executed waltz, and the bout was ruled a no contest. ‘I just felt…. in that moment… he understood me so well’ Trembleton later raged. ‘I mean, come on man, how do you train for that kind of opponant?’
Next weekend, ‘XFC-4 – Who’s got the Ballroom?’ airs on FEX network. While not showcasing the same level of talent, this will come as some comfort to those awaiting the series conclusion – watch out for the passionate argentian tango and guard game of Guy ‘Mantrap’ Yettings [12-4-2] and the devastating, all-or-nothing foxtrot and muay thai of Javier ‘The Shimmy’ Velasquez [10-10-11].
In other news, the creators of Scrabble-Judo, or ‘Scrudo’, are hoping to boost the sport’s profile after citing it as the most pedantic sport humanly possible. ‘It’s all in the marketing. We’re hoping the potential for a new level of pedantry will attract athletes used to testing their mettle by finding gramatical errors on MMA forums.’ Phil Tamberleutz told Human Cockfighter. ‘We’re also adding a few rules of our own – the sudden death rule for example, the outright winner being the athlete who performs or spells Ippon first.’