Monday, July 16, 2018
Modern Gladiatorial League
Photo courtesy of Valhalla MGL.

Modern Gladiatorial League Combines Game of Thrones and MMA

Modern Gladiatorial League is the first-of-its-kind professional Armored Martial Arts (AMA) promotion in the United States, officially launched operations with a sports mashup that blends the best of both world,  armored gladiators cage fighting in televised armed combat tournaments.

Jeff Waters, Valhalla MGL founder and president states, “Valhalla Modern Gladiatorial League allows fans the vicarious spectacle of organized violence to escape the struggles and banality of everyday life while embracing the romantic fantasy of knighthood. Our fans want to see exceptional displays of skill, strategy, character and aggression played out in the arena, but they also marvel at the history, beauty and artistic craftsmanship of the weaponry and armor.”

According to the website, here are some interesting armor rules for the Modern Gladiatorial League:
Primary Armor: The head, neck, torso, arms, legs and hands must be protected by rigid materials and must be visually equivalent to historic originals.
Secondary Armor: Gambeson, Aketon, Padded Jack, supplemental mail, voiders, shoes etc. worn beneath the primary armor; materials must aesthetically match historic equivalents.
Athletic Armor: Hidden supplemental protection such as Viscoelastic non-Newtonian fluid polymer garments, under armor, modern athletic groin protection, knee braces, etc. can be worn to enhance safety. Such items must stay completely hidden and not distract from the medieval appearance of the combatant.

Valhalla Modern Gladiatorial League is the amalgamation of historical re-enactment sport combat and MMA, combining Eastern and Western fight disciplines into one professional gladiator organization. “We will execute a single elimination tournament structure to determine future champions and top tier challengers so that world-class fighters have ultimate control over their destiny based purely on performance,” says Waters. Valhalla is full-contact fighting, where competitions are determined by knock-out, tap out or time out (scorecard). Combatants use replica rattan weapons and shield strikes to score points, grappling to attempt submissions, with kicks and pommel punches to gain tactical advantage. “This isn’t stage combat. This is the real deal,” Waters adds.

Televised events will be promoted throughout the United States, structured as tournament competitions, crowning champions and top challengers at the end of each season, with six simultaneous tournaments taking place for each of the six weight divisions: Lightweight 145 and under, Welterweight (170 lb.), Middleweight (200 lb.), Light Heavyweight (235 lb.), Heavyweight (275 lb.) and Super Heavyweight over 275 pounds. Eight gladiators from around the U.S. will be represented in each division.

“The fans’ connection to Valhalla will be created through our warriors. That understanding will drive the promotion, publicity, marketing and advertising of Valhalla’s fighters, making them the centerpiece of what we do,” says Brian Higgins, MGL’s Communications Director. On each telecast, leading up to tournament bouts, Valhalla MGL will air back-stories on each fighter. “Valhalla gladiators have incredibly rich stories to tell, and we will bring these to modern MMA fans, allowing our audience to identify with who these warriors really are.”

To win the Valhalla Championship, fighters must battle each gladiator in their weight division over a seven-event season before entering the Championship series. Once the Quarter Finals begin, the Champion must win a total of three single elimination fights, a sudden death contest where winners advance and the losers go home. At the end of the 10-event season, MGL will have crowned six Valhalla Champions and will have awarded each Champion $50,000.

MGL’s debut event, VALHALLA I will take place Sept. 30, 2017 in Monterey, California.

Valhalla’s interactive website, features event and fighter information, behind the scenes video footage, fight clips and live interaction with Valhalla fighters.



About Lisa Iannucci

Lisa Iannucci has been interviewing professional athletes and Olympians, sports writers and film/tv personalities for more than a decade. Her book, A Film & TV Lover's Travel Guide is now available:

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