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We’ve told you before of the Knight Fighting Leagues, wherein people dress as knights and play-fight as if they’ve been called a scoundrel and a cur by the parking attendant at Medieval Times. But when Russia, which has been suffering a critical fuck shortage for decades, saw what was going on, they quickly stripped away the pomp and circumstance of medieval lore and started an MMA league with swords.

Medieval MMA is not like typical medieval combat circles, which prefer to focus on the “arts” part of martial arts. Russia’s M-1 Medieval fighting is all about taking fully armored bruisers, giving them swords, putting them in a brightly lit ring, and letting them beat the absolute hell out of each other. M-1 Global, Russia’s biggest MMA league, stumbled upon this incredible formula when they decided to introduce a “Medieval league” in 2015. Starting off as a novelty act, armored knights would tussle to fill the time in between official MMA matches. But the crowd loved the halftime entertainment so much that the organization moved on to full “knight fight nights.” Now, armored warriors fight in a real league with their own categories, title fights, and, of course, champions – whom we imagine get a +1 to their armor bonus or something.

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