If mixed martial arts has a few too many rules for your tastes, perhaps it is time to cast a glance towards the new Polish fight league Wotore – a bizarre, violent hybrid of MMA, bareknuckle boxing and, yes, sumo wrestling.
Wotore bouts couldn’t be much more different when compared to its MMA cousin.
For one, there are no time limits. There aren’t even any rounds. There are no weight classes. Fights will proceed until there is a winner.
Fortunately, given the arsenal that each fighter is allowed to use within the sport’s ruleset the fights don’t often proceed for very long indeed.
Wotore fights take place inside a circular ring which has no barrier, such as a cage, to keep fighters enclosed – you can even headbutt your opponent.
Basically, Wotore does what mixed martial arts doesn’t – and it seems that fight fans are eating it up.
Overall, #Wotore2 was a huge success. The format worked out better than their first show. Action packed card from top to bottom. Not having rounds means they can’t take a break. Looking forward to the next one. @wotore
— Seán Denny (@DennyRants) May 23, 2020
The organization held its second-ever tournament on Saturday in Katowice, with Polish MMA veteran Michael Pasternak triumphing against three opponents in one night to claim the championship crown.
The fight card also featured the first ever women’s bout in Wotore history as Klaudia Sygula triumphed against Karolina Sobek by heel hook submission two and a half minutes into the fight.
Tournament winner Pasternak also wracked off some submission wins, beating Kacper Miklasz by Brabo Choke in the tournament final.
By far the most popular means of victory, though, was good old-fashioned ground n’ pound with the freer ruleset (which allows headbutts, along with knee and elbow strikes) affording fighters a range of new options from top control position.
It remains to be seen whether the upstart fight league can find its footing in the already jam-packed combat sports calendar. 2019 saw a surge in popularity for bare-knuckle boxing (something which Wotore includes within its ruleset) but perhaps the truer comparison would be to the old Vale Tudo days of bare-knuckle combat which proved to be the precursor to mixed martial arts as we know it today.
The promotion is expected to announce details of their third event before long. Judging by the reaction to their second, it seems like it will have more than a few new eyeballs fixed to it.