The sign said: ‘$1000 for three minutes.
Are you brave enough to go in the cage?’
My mate Carson looked at the sign then at me and said: “You should give that a go. Think what we could do with $1000.”
After that, there was a whole lot of jostling, bravado and after a few drinks a promise to give it a go.
We arrived at the Warehouse, there was a crowd outside all lining up to go in and to one side was a window where you could sign up.
Carson took my arm and led me over to the window, he gave my name, and the lady behind the counter looked at both of us and shook her head. I think in hindsight she could see well in advance what was going to happen.
“I wonder who I have to go up against?” I asked.
Just then there was a roar, and the lights lit up on the far side of the building, and a shrouded figure emerged and made its way to the ring.
The figure entered the ring and let out a gigantic roar. It was at this stage that I questioned the wisdom of what we thought was a good idea. Did we really need that $1000?
I’m not sure the thing in the ring was human or not.
No doubt at one stage of its life it had been a baby and one I hoped a mother had loved. It certainly wasn’t showing any love at that moment.
They introduced the creature as Igor, from the mountains of Siberia. The first encounter resulted in Igor throwing his opponent into the fourth row of the crowd. It was clear as the afternoon went on that none of us were going to be any sort of match to him. The guy was too big and too strong.
My memory of entering the ring is clouded nowadays. I remember Carson pushing me forward, I remember climbing into the ring, I remember looking up into Igor’s eyes and for a fleeting second seeing a touch of humanity, but after that nothing.
Carson said I put up a fair fight, I dodged, I weaved, I stepped back and forward and then I like everyone else flew through the air. Carson said he was impressed that I landed in the tenth row. All this he recounted later took all of ten seconds.
The bruises have all but healed now, but I have to say I shudder every time I see an add on the TV for cage fighting. There’s something in the back of my mind that wants to stay there come what may.