- "VIOLENCE HELPS SELL EXTREME FIGHTING"

September 30, 2005
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By Mark Rountree – Enid News.com
By Mark Rountree Sports Editor

“Everybody has a beast within and wants to see violence.”‘

— Jamie Levine

Violence is just what Enid fans witnessed Saturday night in the World Extreme Fighting Championships.

Twenty men from across the country squared off in 10 bouts inside an octagon cage to punch, kick, knee and choke each other before about 1,000 fans at Chisholm Trail Expo Coliseum.

“You pass by a car wreck and everybody looks,” said Jamie Levine, the event producer. “You may cover your face but you are looking through your fingers.

“Why do people go to NASCAR races? It’s not to watch the cars go around in a circle. It’s to see the crashes.

“Hockey is the same thing, fights. You don’t go to a rodeo to watch a guy stay on a bull for eight seconds. You want to see that guy get thrown off and stomped. … Our sport is the only true sport, man versus man.

“This is for real. This is as real as it gets. People are trying to inflict some pain on their opponent.”‘

Pain certainly was inflicted during most of the 10 bouts. No fighter appeared to leave the ring with major damage, but nearly all of them left with various welts, nose bleeds and pop knots on their head.

Levine would not disclose purses, but he said, in general, main-event fighters compete for a $10,000 purse.

Each fighter earns a base amount, with a bonus for a win. Under-card fighters make as little as $200 a fight.

Levine said there is camaraderie among the fighters, but they aren’t close. In fact, he doesn’t want them to be friends.

“They are getting paid to fight and put on a performance,” he said. “I don’t want boring fighters.”‘

Levine, 38, was the reigning WEF middleweight champion who vacated his title Saturday night to take over ownership and production responsibilities for WEF.

Levine, who was 30-0 in his career, is believed to be the only WEF fighter to retire undefeated.

Levine said 2.2 million viewers have watched mixed martial arts on pay-per-view. Enid’s card will be televised in about a month on the Star Key Network.

“It’s more (viewers) than NFL Sunday,” said Levine.

Saturday’s action, the first of its kind in Enid, featured 10 bouts, each consisting of three rounds.

The main event included Marvin “The Beastman” Eastman of Las Vegas, Nev., against Alan “The Talent” Belcher of Gulfport, Miss.

Eastman won the bout on a five-round, unanimous decision over Belcher.

The other featured bout was Scott “The Body” Johnson of Fort Myers, Fla., against Demacio Page of Albuquerque, N.M. Page needed just 30 seconds to get a submission victory for the interim flyweight title.

The night started with rookie Dane Janssen, an 18-year-old from Orlando, Fla., who was making his professional debut.

Before he entered the ring, Janssen said he wasn’t scared.

“I’m anxious,” he said.

After less than three minutes, Janssen was beat. He lost on a technical knockout (or what’s called a tap out) to Ira Boyd of Windemere, Fla.

For people who want to see less hand-to-hand combat, the Expo Center’s next event is the Sooner State Kennel Club Dog Show Oct. 14-16.

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