Fully armored, Medieval knight-style sword fighting is a sport in Russia now. And it's freaking incredible.
M-1 Global is a Russian mixed martial arts company that has a Medieval "Knight Fight" circuit. The fighting began with jousting, but proved so popular, one-on-one fighting was a natural next step.
"I liked the fans' reaction when we did it for the first time in St. Petersburg at M-1 Challenge 50," M-1 Founder Vadim Finkelchtein told Marc Raimondi from MMAFighting.com. "At that time, the knight fight was to fill the pause between the undercard and main card fights. If we find enough fighters to make enough fights, we will have a separate medieval show with its own weight categories, title fights and champions."
That was 2015, and it's taken off since then. In August 2016, M-1 Medieval featured some hardcore head-to-head combat. Just watch one of these knights make the other one eat his shield until he passes out.
The modern-day knights use blunted swords, and cannot use submission holds or strikes to the back of the neck, spine, feet or ankles.
And even though these are fully-armored knight fights, as you can see from the video above, knockouts are still a distinct possibility.