WILLOW STREET, PA – Out of sight and rarely talked about, Underground Amish Mixed Martial Arts is thriving in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
“People see us as simple people, farmers. But we are very strong and competitive” said an Amish mixed martial artist who declined to provide his name.
It is true that the Amish live simple, almost Hobbit-like, lives away from the modern conveniences most Americans enjoy. But that does not mean they are not familiar with contemporary sports and culture.
According to Amish Elder Alvin Stoltzfus, “We enjoy many of the things you English do. Especially sports. My son is a mixed martial artist.”
Despite the absence of weight classes and a formal octagon they follow many of the traditional rules of mixed martial arts.
“We fight over in Yoder’s barn the last Friday night of each month. We fight for three rounds and it doesn’t matter if you are big or small.” explained Stoltzus’s son, “Merlin the Marauder”.
The fights are not open to the public but fight results can be learned by asking local Amish men.
“If I win my next fight I will fight for the Championship in New Holland this September”, Merlin Stoltzfus said proudly.