Battle Royale

“The Awakening,” a night of pain from World Combat Sports Challenge, is being billed as California's first five-rope mixed martial arts and Muay Thai fight night. What’s the significance of the extra ropes? Well, it appears that when a fighter is backed up against five ropes, in contrast to three ropes, it’s like he’s being backed up against a '70s van instead of a '90s sedan, which provides the stability and lumbar support necessary for his opponent to remove all the blood from his face. So, five ropes. Tonight’s event is totally ridiculous in that there are 23 bouts, some including women, and one including local boy Rick Cheek, who’s up for the Muay Thai Super Heavyweight World Title. Go do your thing, Rick. Also of note is Michael Espinoza, a former champ who’s coming out of retirement to do his thing to some other guy. Make no mistake, he’ll do it -- his record is 32-0. A lot of bones will have to snap before Espinoza gives that up.
Sat., May 30, 5 p.m., 2009

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