If you love mixed martial arts but could do without the punching and the blood, Tony Condello believes he has the perfect event for you.
The longtime promoter, who runs Ultimate Cage Wars, is conducting a grappling card next Friday night at the Marlborough Hotel in downtown Winnipeg.
"It's something different," Condello said this week. "It's the beginning, the start, to become a professional mixed martial artist. It's what you gotta know."
Adding a little spice to the event is former UFC and Pride fighter Gary (Big Daddy) Goodridge, who is bringing three of his students from Barrie, Ont., to take on some of the best from Curtis Brigham's Winnipeg Academy of Mixed Martial Arts gym.
"It's the best mixed martial arts and jiu-jitsu school in the city," Condello said of WAMMA.
Some of the local athletes scheduled to be on the nine-match card are Jason Geiger, Andrija Pavlic, Mick Enns, Alex Popov, Brad Katona and Roland Delorme.
Several competitors from Scheer's Martial Arts in Saskatoon will also take part.
The event could also be called submission wrestling, where the competitors will attempt to force their opponent to tap out using a variation of holds. A point system will not be in effect.
Goodridge, who has seven career UFC fights under his belt, will sign autographs before the show and then conduct a seminar for MMA students the following day, Saturday, Oct. 24, at Gojo Gym on Sherbrook Street.
In addition to conducting its inaugural grappling show, Ultimate Cage Wars is for the first time also offering dinner prior to the event. Patrons can buy a ticket for dinner and the grappling or for the grappling event only.
Condello said proceeds will go to breast cancer research.
For tickets, call Condello at 229-9173 or Gabriel Santos at 295-7003. They can also be purchased at the door.
Dinner is at 6:30 p.m., and the competition starts at 8 o'clock.