Drive-in MMA: Fans to watch fights from their cars at Contenders MMA’s double-header

An English MMA promotion has taken a novel approach to hosting events during these socially-distanced times with the announcement of a pair of special drive-in fight night shows.

“Contenders 30: Drive-In” will take place on August 10 at the East of England Showground in Peterborough, with “Contenders 31” following in Norwich one week later.

Both events are scheduled to take place outdoors with fans able to drive their cars into the showground area and watch the action. The fights themselves will take place in a raised cage and the action will be shown on a big screen, with commentary provided via an FM radio frequency so fans can listen to play-by-play via their car radios.

The Contenders promotion decided to get creative after their planned U.S. debut, “Contenders Florida,” was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The promotion hopes to stage that event later this year once lockdown measures ease but, in the meantime, they are focusing on their local market with two drive-in fight night shows.

Speaking to the East Anglian Daily Times, the promotion’s director Nik Aspden explained the thinking behind their approach.

“We want to do things that have never been done before,” he said. “Putting on drive-in shows allows the fighters to have their fans at our events in a safe and controlled way, and we can give our fighters the chance to be part of history.

“The competitors need to be able to perform in the sport they love and the fans deserve to get out of the house rather than watching more television after all this time confined to their homes.

“Fans can have food and drink delivered to their cars, watch the action on a huge screen and tune into the commentary too. It’s going to be a unique experience and we’re really excited about bringing MMA and fight sports back to a live audience.”

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