ST. MARYS – Somebody had an idea. If people liked watching two mixed martial arts fighters going at each other, how about putting 10 of them in the ring to pound on each other at the same time?
It’s called Team Fighting Championships and a team named Peak Submission, made up of several fighters from the area, traveled to Latvia in December to participate in a tournament. Their match against a Latvian team for the championship of that event will be available on pay-per-view on In Demand tonight.
“It’s a new concept to the mixed martial arts world. It’s five guys against five guys at one time. You just keep eliminating. The team that has a guy standing at the end is the winner,” said MMA veteran Jody Poff, of St. Marys, who fights and trains the team.
Matches can end up with five people dealing blows to one or two remaining fighters from the opposing team.
Peak Submission team members are Ryan Wells and Don Stemen, both of Delphos; Sean Barnett, Bronson Koenig, Neil Perry and Poff, of St. Marys; Curtis Doner, of Celina; and Allan Weickert, of Tiffin.
This was the team’s second trip to Europe for a tournament. Team fighting is not yet sanctioned in the United States.
“Right now it’s just overseas. Do I ever think it will come to the States? We hope. But that’s a long way down the road,” Poff said.
“Everybody is going to have their opinions about it. Some people are going to think it’s awesome, some people might think it’s brutal. Just like UFC, it’s going to take time to get people educated about this sport that there is technique involved, there is strategy involved,” he said.