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Fight Archives: Streetbeefs and the evolution of matchmaking

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When UFC 1 and new-fashioned prizefighting meets Kimbo Slice’s backyard brawls.

If you haven’t heard about Street Beefs yet, now’s the time to orient yourself.
If you haven’t heard about Street Beefs yet, now’s the time to orient yourself.

I was actually supposed to write up a throwback piece on Darren Elkins’ epic UFC 209 comeback against Mirsad Bektic. But as you can see, my YouTube homepage had other plans for me.

So what the hell are you watching, exactly? For the uninformed, Streetbeefs is a brainchild of Chris “Scarface” Wilmore, a known undesirable from Harrisonburg, VA who turned his life around after spending a few years in and out of jail. He came up with the idea in 2008 as part of his “Guns Down, Gloves Up” crusade after a friend of his was shot to death in a dispute over a woman.

Streetbeefs began as an open platform for people to settle their disputes through a form of non-deadly violence. These days, any average Joe or Jane with a burning desire to trade fists and kicks can partake.

What they get in return are nothing but bragging rights and the chance to be immortalized on the Internet. You surely won’t hear any fighter pay complaints in these parts.

Streetbeefs does not discriminate with its matchmaking. As for the rules, they straddle between the No Holds Barred fighting era of the early 90s and Kimbo Slice’s backyard brawls, with some elements of today’s regulations.

Now, you’re probably expecting to see the same tired formula of beefy, out-of-shape folks swinging until something lands. Yes, there will always be those favorites. But not all participants are slouches, as you’ll see below.

Gash vs. Illuminate the State @ Sasquatch’s Backyard

I suggest holding off any preconceived judgments you have for this pairing. It’s a short contest with an ending you probably won’t expect.

Ghost vs. Zach @ Satan’s Backyard

Not all backyard fisticuffs are created equal. Some of them involve a little bit of technique and fundamentals, such as this one.

True Grit vs. Arman Hammer @ Satan’s Backyard

If we were handing out performance bonuses, this likely warrants one. And yes, you’re seeing a new trend of cup wearing.

If you happen to have a few hours to burn, I suggest going down this rabbit hole. There’s no shortage of gritty, muddy, hay-laden entertainment here.

Oh, by the way, T.J. Dillashaw is returning from a two-year absence this Saturday against Cory Sandhagen. Rachael Ostovich is also making her BKFC debut against Paige VanZant the day before. You can watch those, too.