Guy Mezger

HE’S BEEN A WORLD-CLASS practitioner of the martial arts and a champion of the famously brutal “ultimate fighting,” but these days Dallasite Guy Mezger gets his kicks from a sport that is somewhere in between the two. In pancration fighting, combatants can draw on any martial arts technique, and only a few moves, such as head butting and strikes to the groin, are barred. Even so, thirty-year-old Mezger has had his nose broken eleven times. “It’s extremely rough,” he says. “We make no apologies.” The onetime college wrestler ranks second in the world in pancration, but few seem to know it, since there’s a decided lack of interest in the sport back home. But all that may be changing. Last year Mezger finally found investors to sponsor a ten-fight card at Dallas’ Bronco Bowl, marking the sport’s U.S. debut. As he prepares for his next match, on January 16 (also at the Bronco Bowl), he’s telling anyone who’ll listen that pancration is just what disillusioned American fight fans are looking for. “Mike Tyson,” he notes, “isn’t doing a lot for boxing.”

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