by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

Life and Death (1 of 4)
Series: Fight Club
Jeff Strite
1 Timothy 1:3-1:19

How many of you know the meaning of these letters used to describe a sporting event:
MMA? (Mix Martial Arts).
It's kind of like boxing where the contestants not only hit each other with their fists, but also with their feet and knees and elbows. It's also called ''Cage fighting'' because the contenders are literally inside a cage. They can't fall over the edge of the mat like in standard boxing and wrestling.
Another definition of this type of contest is that it is ''Unarmed Combat'' because when a blow is struck enthusiasts say ''it may reasonably be expected to inflict injury.''

As you can imagine, Cage fighting is a particularly rough sport. Contestants often are knocked out, tear ligaments, break bones, and even - in very rare cases - die. They punch, kick and beat on each other as they fight to the finish.

Top champions may earn millions, lower level pros may only earn a few hundred dollars per fight, and amateurs (the majority of those who participate in this grueling challenge) earn nothing. And yet 100s of young men and women engage in this kind of contest in order to prove their skills in the ring.

And they aren't the first to engage in this kind of Sport.
One source I read said that ''The art of boxing, whereby two men enter a contest to see who can withstand the most punches from the other, dates back at least as far as the earliest civilisations and is probably one of the oldest sports of its kind in the history of fighting.''

By the day of Paul and Timothy, such fighting contests would have made our present day cage fighting contests seem tame by comparison. They wrapped the hands of the fighters in leather straps, and THEN had metal inserted into them.
You might ask why would they do this? Well, this kind of leather wrapping with the metal insert was called the ''caestus'' and was more like a knife than a boxing glove it could actually stab and rupture ...

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