Rage in a Cage

Amateurs have a go at extreme fighting

SAT 5/22

Boxing is the "sweet science," studied by tough guys whose Bunsen burners are jabs and hooks. But it's not the only form of combat that distills the chaos of fighting into an ordered, practical art. Tae kwon do, wrestling, jiujitsu, kickboxing and aikido are other violent "sciences," and let's face it: In a good old-fashioned brawl, it helps to know more than one. Hence the sport of extreme fighting: head-to-head combat that combines the disciplines of fisticuffs, grappling and martial arts -- all to find out who's the best at kicking ass. This weekend, Renegades Extreme Cage Fighting is pitting pairs of amateur fighters in a chain-link ring until, well, until someone loses. It simulates, in the test tube of a cage, a street fight. Says Saul Solis, an organizer of the event, "This is the most reality-based combat, and nobody goes to jail." The competition will bring in fighters big and small to vie for trophies, belts and perhaps a shot at the Ultimate Fighting Championships -- the state science fair of extreme combat. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 22. Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas. For information, call 713-230-1600 or visit www.verizonwirelesstheater.com. $20 to $50. -- Eric Norvell

The Hoopla 3on3 Streetball Tour is your best chance to catch a glimpse of the NBA stars of tomorrow, when all they care about is the love of the game. You know, before it's all about the bling-bling, that shiny black Escalade, the groupies and those bothersome courtroom appearances. Played on a schoolyard-size asphalt court, the three-on-three games in various divisions last 30 minutes or until a team scores 20 points (one point per bucket, two from downtown). There are also slam-dunk, free-throw and three-point shot competitions. And hey, if you check out the competition in G-town and think you got game, Houston hosts its Hoopla qualifying event August 14 and 15 at Rice University. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23. Wal-Mart parking lot at 6702 Seawall in Galveston. For information, call 800-507-4667 or visit www.hoopla3on3.com. Free. -- Greg Barr

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