There's a reason it carries the nickname "Torture Town."
Long before Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Women's bantamweight contender Miesha Tate had her arm twined by bitter rival Ronda Rousey under the Strikeforce banner, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans got a glimpse of what can happen to fighters who choose not to tap.
Just ask Razak Al-Hassan.
On Dec. 10, 2008, "Razor" was hospitalized following a grisly armbar loss to Steve Cantwell inside the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina. "The Robot" had yanked and cranked while his opponent struggled to squirm free, before one final jerk of the limb dislocated it on live television.
And that wasn't even the worst injury on the card.
To complicate matters, the promotion was holding a charity event designed to benefit injured veterans. UFC Fight Night 16 -- dubbed "UFC Fight for the Troops" -- aired on Spike TV not far from the Ft. Bragg military base to help raise money for Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
When all was said and done, UFC was able to generate about $4,000,000 for men and women of the armed forces.
Ironically, UFC had to fight fire with fire, watching several of its combatants fall victim to debilitating injuries to help those with debilitating injuries. Chief among them was Corey Hill, the lanky-but-likable Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 contestant who was somehow able to make the 155-pound limit, despite standing six-feet, four inches tall.
And you thought Jon Jones had skinny legs.
The "Real Deal" attempted an outside leg kick during the second round of his lightweight fight against Dale Hartt. As bone met bone, Hill's tibia snapped completely in two (pic), leaving him writhing in pain with a broken leg and a technical knockout loss, to boot.
Miraculously, Hill returned to fighting just over a year later and won a three-round unanimous decision against Jason Trzewieczynski.
Elsewhere on the inaugural "Troops" card, Nate Loughran suffered a broken rib and cartilage damage during his technical knockout loss to Tim Credeur, Brandon Wolff needed multiple stitches to close the ax wound on his face after several knees from Ben Saunders and Jonathan Goulet required an immediate brain scan after getting pasted by Mike Swick.
Then there's Yoshiyuki Yoshida, who was carried out on a stretcher.
"Zenko" was knocked out twice in the main event. The first punch from opponent Josh Koscheck froze him like a wax dummy, while the follow-up blow sent him to the canvas with a sickening thud. His demise capped off one of the goriest fight cards in the history of the promotion.
All in the name of charity.
Following the event (results here), promotion president Dana White (half) jokingly remarked that had a card this gruesome taken place before he signed the Spike TV deal, UFC may have never made it to cable television. Since then, there have been two additional "Fight for the Troops" events, the third of which will air via FOX Sports 1 on Nov. 6, 2013.
And UFC is bringing in a familiar face.
Taking center stage at UFC Fight Night 31 is Army Ranger and Iraq war veteran Tim Kennedy, who welcomes late replacement Rafael Natal to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, as part of a six-fight main card which also features Liz Carmouche (Marines) and Colton Smith (Army).
See the entire fight card and line up here.
Whether or not the latest "Fight for the Troops" offering will replicate the violent spectacle that started this series remains to be seen, but it should still be considered a privilege to get your ass whooped in front of a crowd of men and women who risk their lives for the freedom to watch you get your ass whooped.
For more on UFC Fight Night 31 click here.