It's all fun and games when someone gets hurt

There's a scene toward the end of "Patton" where the legendary Nazi-killer, played brilliantly by George C. Scott, launches into a soliloquy defining his relationship with war and bloodshed amid the ruins of a battlefield.

"I love it," Patton confesses, his hand resting on the hull of a bombed-out tank, "God help me, I love it so."

I have a similar connection with cage fighting.

Like war, cage fighting celebrates the worst aspects of humanity. It values cruelty over compassion, toughness over sensitivity and ruthlessness over mercy.

You, the grounded, upstanding pillar of society, may not have the guts to strap on a pair of 4-oz. gloves and climb into the octagon, but don't deny that it satisfies that reptilian part of your brain that is tickled by horror, violence and seeing others reduce their faces to hamburger for your amusement.

And let's not forget that, like war, cage fighting celebrates a few of the best aspects of our nature: competition, endurance and self-sacrifice.

God help me, I love it so.

On Saturday I rounded up three of my friends, all women, one obscenely pregnant, and headed to the Jackson County Expo for the "Battle at the Border" for an evening of mixed-martial arts action.

The card featured 21 full-contact throwdowns, including one girl-on-girl brawl. The bleacher tickets ran $20, which meant I spent around $1 per fight. If you can think of a cheaper way to sate your bloodlust on a Saturday night, then you're more resourceful than I, my friend.

After enduring the metal band Glutton from Coos Bay (one song included the lyrics "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down" repeated ad nauseam) it was gladiator time.

The opening fights went down quickly, with the first ending in a choke-out and the second in an armbar. These were smaller guys, so the energy stayed high throughout the battles.

The crowd, decked out in baggy cargo shorts, mohawks, black hoodies, low-cut tops, lower-cut jeans with the waistbands rolled down and obviously uncomfortable stripper heels, took some time to warm up, but once the $3 Bud Light started to take hold, various obscenities and catcalls thrown at the ring girls — Karisma, Kris, Ashlie and Tia — filled the evening air.

The night's early star was Clint Redding, a 225-pounder fighting for Team Samurai in Medford, who slapped a devastating guillotine choke onto some poor lug from Yreka. You could see the victim's slack, purple face from the bleachers as he toppled to the mat as if he'd been shot in the head with an AK-47.

Seeing the look of terror and disgust on my friend's face was worth the $20 ticket.

After each fight, an announcer took to the octagon for a little post-rumble interview. Most of the fighters barely manage a victory grunt when the microphone is stuck in their faces.

Redding, though, proved in his interview he is ready for primetime.

In a little more than two minutes, he threatened to kick the ass of every man at the venue and insulted some guy's girlfriend. Much trash talk ensued before Redding was corralled.

"I feel like the superstar I f——— am!" he roared while leaving the octagon.

This was the perfect lead-in to what we were waiting for: The chick fight.

When the bruisers took to their corners, I immediately rechecked the facts listed on my fight card.

Jessica Martinez, of Yreka, was listed as 180 pounds, but I gotta say, the old girl may have had a few steaks since the weigh-in, because she looked to be pushing 200 big ones.

Conversely, her opponent Lisa Rameriz (this was the spelling listed on the fight card, so please don't hunt me down if it's wrong, Lisa), was listed as 170 pounds, but looked smaller.

"Oh my god, we are going to see that girl die tonight," I said to my friend.

Rameriz had other plans. After being slapped around and sat on in the first round, Rameriz gathered herself off the mat and managed to grapple with the bigger girl and force her to tap out.

At that moment, the crowd lost its mind and I my enthusiasm for cage fighting. I had seen enough sweat, blood and bad fashion for one night And there were still 12 matches left to go.

As we left I picked up a promotional flier for coming matches.

I hope to see you at the "Redneck Throwdown" at the Josephine County Fairgrounds this Friday, May 25.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471 or

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