Those crazy ancient Romans with their gladiators and their thing for feeding Christians to lions! Is it any wonder their glorious civilization crumbled? What can you say about a society's values when its citizens delight in watching horrendous physical violence? As you ponder this socioanthropological question, we'd like to remind you that it's time again for Renegades Extreme Fighting at the Verizon. For the uninitiated, it's a mixed martial-arts show, featuring ten four-man tourneys and one heavyweight Superfight. And lest you think this extreme fighting is just a ring full of guys beating the crap out of each other never mind actually, it is. But you'll see some real skill, as participants utilize tae kwon do, muay thai, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing and other fighting techniques. The action is fast-paced -- some of the matches last only a few minutes -- as guys unleash acrobatic high kicks and "take-downs" in a 20-foot by 20-foot steel cage.
At this weekend's event, fans will see undefeated extreme fighter Houstonian Lance Ramoth take on Angel Espino (also undefeated). Saul Solis of Renegades points out that for the price of admission, you couldn't get two guys drunk enough to beat the crap out of each other. "But here," he says, "you've got 20 of 'em willing to do it." 8 p.m. Friday, November 5. 520 Texas. For information, call 713-794-0054 or visit www.verizonwirelesstheater.com. $20-$50. -- Steven Devadanam
The answer to post-baseball-season blues? No, not beer -- lots and lots of beer, and football. Keep your sports intake high by hitting Robertson Stadium this weekend, where the University of Houston Cougars will take on the East Carolina Pirates. Houston has lost five out of its first six games, which is slightly disappointing, since last year's explosive offense (ranked 12th in the nation) led the Coogs to a 5-1 start. But East Carolina has been lackluster itself, especially in their running game, which mustered a whopping negative-three yards in a recent game against Southern Mississippi. The Coogs get home-field advantage at 4 p.m. Saturday, November 6. John O'Quinn Field, 3800 Holman. For information, call 713-743-9444 or visit www.uhcougars.collegesports.com. $5 to $20. -- Julia Ramey