When Medieval Combat Meets UFC

Let’s say you’re cool with the violence of mixed martial arts, but feel like it’s missing something. The kind of thing you can only really get from two medieval dudes covered in armour beating the shit out of each other with swords.

If you’ve suddenly realised that’s you, Russia has you covered.

The country’s M-1 series of MMA events has recently started a new class of fight called M-1 Medieval, where two men enter the ring dressed entirely in chainmail and/or plate, complete with helmets and shields. And they’re not there to dance around like some LARP, either; they’re there to beat their opponent into a pulp.

Having first been trialled last month in Moscow, The Washington Post reports the first official M-1 Medieval match went down a couple of weeks ago, and went the full three rounds. You can watch the whole thing below.

The fights are already a big hit, so the organisers are looking to stage more of them, even mulling over the idea of having a medieval-only event.

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If you think this all looks very messy and un-movie-like, there’s a reason for that: actual swordfights never looked very slick, because when you’re lumbering around in heavy armour trying to kill a man, you’re not there to dance, you’re there to whack him to death.