Cage Fighting to Return to Woodward Park

September 23, 2008 12:35:23 AM PDT
The first "Rumble in the Park" took place in late August. The mixed martial arts, or cage fighting contest attracted big crowds. A handful of local citizens questioned the use of a city park as a site for such an activity, but Fresno City Officials said there was no reason to stop the event from happening.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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It was held in the Rotary Amphitheatre, and Fresno's Mayor and Police Chief had front row seats. The next Rumble is scheduled for November first in the Rotary Amphitheatre.

The last event may have been a hit with the crowd, but, one city council member still thinks it's a bad fit. Brian Calhoun says;" It's a violent sport; it's a dangerous sport it's a sport that results in injuries or possibly death. Do we want that in a public park?

Calhoun maintains it would be better to hold such events in Selland Arena, or some other location. But City Council Member Jerry Duncan supports these matches in Woodward Park. He says: "It's a good event for the park, it's been there we had no incidents, fans loved it and it's allowable."

Duncan says the city doesn't really have any right to control what goes on in the park, so long as it's legal. Calhoun disagrees. He's concerned someone will be hurt or killed. But, he knows he's in the minority. He notes Mayor Alan Autry, Police Chief Jerry Dyer, and local religious leader H. Spees was in the front row of the last event.

He said; "To have those individuals, and that's their choice, cheering on something like that, I'm just shocked."

But event promoter Rick Migirian says he's giving the public what it wants.

He says;" It was just a great place great atmosphere and a lot of pleased people. In our society I think the majority rules and I think a few thousand people left happy and maybe ten were upset."

After the match Calhoun pressed the council to approve a plan to require the city to come up with a list of acceptable activities in the park. He fears that if cage fighting is okay, what's to stop motorcycle racing, or mud wrestling.

The list has yet to be compiled.

"Rumble in the Park Two" is scheduled for November 1st. Another match is also being planned.

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