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Reality fighting

A fashionable name among its supporters in the USA for what used to be called bare-knuckle fighting, so called apparently because such fights closely resemble anything-goes “real” street fights — the fighters are not only bare-fisted, but are permitted to kick, head-butt and choke (though eye-gouging and biting are prohibited). Matches take place in a 27-foot diameter circular ring separated from spectators by fencing. Other names for it are extreme fighting and ultimate fighting. Whatever it is called, it has been widely condemned as a brutal and savage activity, New York state senator Roy Goodman calling it “human cockfighting”; it is banned in many US states. It is reported that interest in Britain is growing, with sales of videos of US fights being brisk and their organisers negotiating with cable companies for pay-per-view rights.

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 17 Aug. 1996

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-rea1.htm
Last modified: 17 August 1996.