One of the most innovative ideas in combat history will become a reality this summer. According to ESPN, a hybrid event featuring competitors from MMA, boxing, kickboxing, and bare-knuckle fighting will take place on June 6. Forbes Field in Topeka, Kansas will house the event hosted by John Carden’s Carden Combat Sports.
Carden stated that the event will be live on PPV for those craving sports during the coronavirus pandemic. He also gave an idea of how the venue would look, with a ring and a cage side-by-side from one another. It was not stated, however, if fans will be allowed to attend or not. There are also no updates on coronavirus testing before and after the event.
“We’re going to go with the local government and the state government, and what our senior ringside physician says,” Adam Roorbach, Executive Director of the Kansas Athletic Commission stated. “As far as exact coronavirus testing, I’m not sure, but I’m confident we’ll be doing temperature testing and obviously the questionnaire that everybody is doing.”
Kansas’ stay-at-home order due to the virus ran through May 3. There are still restrictions, however, when it comes to gatherings of more than ten people. While even more restrictions could take place, several states are beginning the process of opening up.
“We can maybe put a limited number [of people] in there, but right now that’s not the plan,” Carden stated regarding fans.
“Us as an agency are not going rogue on this,” Roorbach went on to say. “We have been in constant communication with our superiors. We are following the governor’s plans. If the governor comes back with ‘We’re going back to phase 1 [which disallows gatherings of more than 10 people] — the shows are off. We are going by what the highest level of medical professionals are saying is OK, and the highest levels of government is saying is OK.”
As far as who will be competing on the show, no bouts have been announced yet. Carden is currently communicating with promotions and managers from all over to bring talent aboard. One promotion that he is looking to work with is Top Rank, currently being promoted by Bob Arum.
Rules have also not been put into place regarding the cleaning of mats, who will fight when and how many athletes from each sport will be involved. Stay tuned as more information is expected to be released regarding this hybrid event.