Extreme combat sport Ice Wars to make US debut

It's no hockey, and all the fighting!

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
While Hockey season has come to an end, fans will soon get to experience one of their favorite components of the game, fighting, when Ice Wars debuts in a few short weeks.

Ice Wars, which is an extreme combat sport introduced into the world in 2022, is essentially MMA fighting on ice. The game consists of two men that physically beat each other on the ice rink, while wearing skates, until a fighter is deemed the winner of the match. It's no hockey, and all fighting.

The battle is set to make its United States debut in Cheyenne, Wyoming on July 15 at the Outlaw Saloon, according to Cowboy State Daily.

Charlie Nama, president of Ice Wars, chose the Cowboy State because of his close personal friendship to former MMA fighter and state legislator, Bryan Pedersen, who founded Wyoming Combat Sports Commission. Pedersen kept the state of Wyoming open during the Covid pandemic, and according to the outlet, hosted 13 successful combat sport events in Cheyenne with zero incidents.

"I promised Bryan the first US event would be in Cheyenne. I know he’s hoping the city, the state, will be the home base for this growing sport," Nama told the publication.

Florida is the only other state to have sanctioned Ice Wars.

What can fans expect attending Ice Wars for the first time? The rules of the rink are as follows:

All fights consist of two 1-minute rounds on ice. Contestants will compete in a 900-square-foot mobile synthetic ice arena, known as the "Ice Box," which is slightly larger than an MMA boxing ring.

The two fighters must end the match with a knockout, but if judge's cannot determine a winner, fighters will partake in a third and final "ice-breaker" round.

All contestants are required to wear a hockey helmet with special straps and 4-ounce MMA-style gloves. There is no head-butting, kicking, biting, pulling hair, kneeing, or tripping, allowed during the fight. Opponents are also not allowed to hold each others gloves. 

The contestants, which consist of former NHL players and professional and semi-professional MMA fighters, are selectively chosen after being screened and ranked by a committee.

Nama told the publication that executives screen for past experience in any combat sport or martial arts, as well as former hockey enforcers who are designated fighters during games.

"PIMs are usually good indication we have a guy who will give us a good show," Nama said, referring to the amount of minutes a player received for penalties. "We are also looking for the right personalities for this sport."

The winner of Ice Wars will be crowned "King of the Rink" and will take home $15,000. If not able to attend the event in-person, Ice Wars 3 will be livestreamed and available on pay-per-view worldwide.

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