Circus comes to town: 'Cops vs. Cons'

July, 1, 2009
7/01/09
8:18
PM ET
Rossen By Jake Rossen
ESPN.com
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Though the ink is barely dry on Pennsylvania's sanctioning of mixed martial arts, promoters are already dissatisfied with the humdrum premise of plain old prizefighting. Organizers for Xtreme Caged Combat in Reading, Pa., have emerged from their think tank to produce a theme night of "Cops vs. Cons" for Oct. 3.

For a sport that has hosted semi-shoot dwarf fighting, egregious mismatches and Jose Canseco -- the Japanese gift that keeps on giving -- this shouldn't come as too great a shock. But as Fanhouse's Mike Chiappetta points out, it's a bush-league move in a state that may still be making up its mind about hosting sanctioned assault.

Possible antidote: The UFC, which will host a show in Philadelphia on Aug. 8 -- and presumably leave a better impression among locals and lawmakers. Pennsylvania recently joined Indiana among the 39 states that now sanction MMA. If shows like "Cops vs. Cons" had been part of proposed schedules before bills were passed, it's possible that number would be substantially lower.

Jake Rossen is a contributor to ESPN.com. His byline has appeared in the New York Times, Wired.com, and numerous other outlets. He began covering mixed martial arts in 1998.

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