Props to fellow jackal Gaston for tipping the Fightlinker forums off to the next big thing in combative sports: Japanese Bug Fights!
These mixed martial arthropods give the fans what they really want: exoskeleton-crushing appendage locks and the occasional spinning-back-sting.
Though I’ve become a big fan of Stag Beetle (those underhooks are vicious), Round the 10th with Praying Mantis vs. Wasp (above) was by far the fight of the night. Praying Mantis has a phenomenal clinch game, and one of the stiffest jabs I’ve seen in years, but when Wasp gets side control it’s all over. Even with his superior height and reach, Mantis’s lack of a ground game becomes his downfall. Basically, he’s the Tim Sylvia of bugfighters.*
It turns out the commentary is actually Mauro Ranallo speaking Japanese. I’ve translated it below:
Let’s hope our contenders don’t have any butterflies in their stomachs tonight as we get ready for our main event! I feel like a fly on the wall at this epic battle between Praying Mantis and Wasp. Oh, and it really looks like Mantis has stirred up a hornets’ nest in this; round the 1th of our main event. And though the young Wasp is barely knee-high to a grasshopper, he manages to drop Mantis like a fly. Whoa Nelly, like a moth to a flame, Wasp makes a bee-line to the downed Mantis and jumps into side control! Looks like lay-and-pray might not have been Mantis’ best gameplan! Wasp told us backstage that he wouldn’t hurt a fly, but it looks like he has nothing wrong with hurting one’s relative. Oh no, and it’s lights out for Mantis as Wasp tells him “don’t let the bed bugs bite!”
(*) Tim “The Praying Maine-tis” Sylvia?
EDITS: Embedding Round the 10th instead (even though saying “the 3th” sounds way awesomer). And added a hidden picture.