This Ain’t Your Daddy’s MMA

Remember the good ol’ days of the early ’90s when patrons flocked to mixed martial arts for the honest spectacle of the brutality and pain being dished out, like in some Jean-Claude Van Damme film? Truth is, MMA has been with us a lot longer than that. Historians point to bouts between boxers and wrestlers taking place in Europe before the 1900s, and the first boxer-wrestler match on American soil took place in the 1890s. Contests were famous throughout the Pacific Rim in the early 1900s for what was then called Merikan style, Japanese slang for American, and the Gracie family popularized Vale Tudo tournaments in their native Brazil in the 1920s. That’s the family history for Bellator 34, which will be at Seminole Hard Rock (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 954-797-5531) Thursday boasting a card featuring three main matches and an undercard with several local fighters in bouts. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with matches planned for 7 p.m. Tickets range from $24 to $129 and are available at the Hard Rock or at ticketmaster.com. Call 800-745-3000.
Thu., Oct. 28, 7 p.m., 2010
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RICHARD BIEBRICH