http://www.dailygate.com/articles/2008/08/26/sports/03.txt#blogcomments Fort Madison to host UFC competition Saturday By Chris Faulkner/MVM News Network Published: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 1:22 PM CDT FORT MADISON - To the uninitiated and the uninformed, the sport known as UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships) sounds like a mother's worst nightmare. It involves wrestling, boxing and various forms of martial arts, and in its early stages as an event featured essentially no holds barred fighting. It could bring to mind the old joke: Adult son: Guess what, Mom? I've joined an Ultimate Fighting team, and we have our first event this weekend. Mother: No way! You take part in something that dangerous and I'll kill you! But after closer inspection and looking at the “modern” (post-1990s) version of the sport, it's clear that this isn't just “human cockfighting” as it was brandished as in the early days. In one sense, think of the triple jump in track, which takes three elements - hop, skip and jump - and puts them in one event; maybe the all-around gymnastics event, combining the four events - albeit separately - for one overall score. Ultimate Championship Fighting combines the skills of boxing, wrestling, jujitsu and kickboxing into one fight. It also comes under the heading of mixed martial arts. Instead of using just one type of move, a UFC competitor must be prepared to attack with, or defend, several types of offensive elements. Fighters win by a knockout, submission (the opponent gives up), the referee stops the bout or a panel of judges declares a winner. But the best way to appreciate UFC, according to promoter Charles Craft of Fort Madison, is to attend the first ever UFC competition at Fort Madison High School. It starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at Fort Madison High School's gym. Nine bouts are on the card, with several of them five-round, three-minute title bouts for various weight class belts. Non-championship events are three rounds of three minutes each. Craft, the CEO of American Combat Sports and a recruiter for the Iowa National Guard, said Pat Millitich of Davenport founded the improved version of the sport. “It takes the best pieces of everything (wrestling, jujitsu, etc.) and puts it into one fighting system,” Craft said. For the record, Iowa does not sanction or regulate the sport. “For the promoters, it's up to their own consciences,” Craft said. But he's not about to risk more negative publicity with sloppy procedures. In addition to the number of restrictions that have been added since the sport began, “I've taken elbows out,” Craft said. “More injuries come from elbow strikes.” The Lee County Ambulance will be at the meet, along with a ringside physician. Each fighter gets a full physical during the weigh-ins. Not only are there no deaths associated with ultimate fighting, Craft has yet to see any serious injuries during his promoted bouts. Unlike other sports where once you start, you can't bail out, many UFC fights end in “tap-outs.” If a fighter is in a choke hold or is losing badly, he can tap on the mat or his opponent, and the fight is over. Fighters cannot be paid, but they do get reimbursed for travel expenses, and they also can arrange for sponsorship money from a business for advertising purposes. Keokuk will be sending two teams to the bout: Dog Pound and Team Disciples, a Christian group coached by a minister. Dan McGlasson of the Dog Pound fight team has been training for a year-and-a-half. He's the interim Middleweight champion, and he'll be going for a belt at the Fort Madison event. At 29, he's not considered too old for competition, but he had to improve his lifestyle to get into shape. “Honestly, I got in the sport to calm down my outside habits,” McGlasson said. “I was getting into too many street fights. I didn't want to end up going to jail.” He wrestled in high school, but “my strong point is my jujitsu.” McGlasson said he's self-taught in that martial art. Since taking up ultimate fighting, “I'm in the best shape of my life. It's a little hard juggling being a single parent, training and working, but I manage.” As for the alleged barbaric image of the sport, McGlasson said, “Don't judge it until you watch it.” He said people he knows who have a watched a bout have come away with a better view of the sport.