Animal Fighting & Human Fighting

Two men face one another, alone. They are trained in the art of inflicting damage on the human body and to neutralize damage incoming ~ or not so much trained as bred, conditioned for years to put iron in their hearts and to rejoice in sweat and pain and blood, anything, any price, for victory.

They are surrounded, encircled by a screaming and bloodthirsty crowd, an almost mindless mass of humanity pressing forward hungrily. Tension pulses, straining, barely restrained — Then restraints are lifted in an instant with a single word–FIGHT!–and two men surge forward, all their might and courage focused on reducing the other man to bloody submission.

Forgive the poetics. But I’m becoming preoccupied with a question. In a televised stadium this encounter is legal, and in a warehouse on the city’s edge it is not; and I want to ask, in all sincerity, what makes the difference?

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