The area’s continually expanding Mixed Martial Arts show returns Saturday.
Central Illinois Throwdown XIV will begin with preliminary bouts at 5:30 p.m. and the main card to follow at about 7 p.m. at the East Peoria Event Center.
“It’s a sport that requires that you have exposure to a lot of different skill sets,” event co-promoter Megan Condis said of MMA.
Although Condis will not be fighting this time, she still will participate, likely as a judge or cage announcer.
General admission tickets are $20 apiece in advance and $25 at the door.
VIP seating, with up-close views and table service, costs $40 per ticket.
Besides at select area businesses, tickets also can be purchased online at www.localmmatickets.com/fighter/Megan-Condis-1650/1387.html.
Prior to the 14-series Throwdown, the first one in 1999 was called the Central Illinois Silverbacks Show.
In the early 2000s, the show expanded to include contestants from other local gyms.
East Peoria has hosted the most Throwdowns, but other sites have been utilized.
“We’ve very recently looked at rotating venues,” said Condis.
Having traveled in the past, organizers are looking to bring the show into more towns in the region.
An attraction for spectators is that people from the system who compete in the Throwdown are starting to turn professional.
Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor Chris Tickle and well-traveled MMA fighter Dan Hornbuckle both typically send their proteges to the Throwdowns.
This show also is one of the few promotions around that gets women on the card.
Eighteen fights were lined up as of Feb. 14, with more expected.
MMA rules at the Throwdown allow for full grappling, striking and wrestling-style submissions.
Moves that are prohibited include: groin strikes, eye gouging, hair pulling and attacking small joints, such as fingers.
Bouts are three rounds lasting three minutes, with a minute of rest in between.
Title fights are five three-minute rounds.
Fighting goes until the referee stops the match. If it goes all the way through, judges will determine the winner.