A new sport has entered the arena. Ice Wars International is gaining steam all across Canada and the United States.
Just think of boxing, MMA and hockey all in one…that’s one chaotic sport.
You didn’t see much fighting during the 2022 NHL playoffs, and really, you haven’t seen much of it in the new age NHL over the last few years.
If you want your fix of hockey fighting, Ice Wars International has you covered, and soon, you’ll be able to bet on it in Pennsylvania.
What is Ice Wars?
Ice Wars is a combat sport consisting of strictly hockey fighting without hockey. There are no pucks or sticks involved. Punching is the only acceptable form of fighting.
Two fighters enter an octagon ice rink and duke it out for two one-minute rounds.
Knockouts and technical knockouts end the fight. If a fight goes the distance, judges pick a winner based on a scoring system. If judges deem the fight a tie after two rounds, the fighters settle it by going an extra 30-second “icebreaker” round.
All fighters wear four-ounce UFC gloves and helmets are worn during the duration of the fight.
You can watch Ice Wars events on Fite Pay-Per-View.
Recap of Ice Wars inaugural event
Ice War’s first event occurred on May 21 and was considered a huge success.
Longtime former Philadelphia Flyer Chris Therien was the color announcer, and plans to keep that role going forward.
He was blown away by the event.
“What we did see last time was guys’ willingness with gloves on to absolutely go toe-to-toe, which to me, was electric,” Therien said. “If you’re going into these fights thinking I’m going to be defensive-oriented, you’re just not going to have time to do it. I knew that we had something that would be interesting. I think in a lot of ways I was pleasantly surprised at how electrified I was myself. It was unbelievable.”
The event was held in Edmonton, Canada and consisted of eight fighters of different ages and weight.
Daniel Amesbury, from British Columbia, won the inaugural Ice Wars King of the Rink as the field’s lightest fighter at 225 pounds. He defeated Derek Parker (278 pounds), Chase Tippen (282 pounds) and Justin Sawyer (284 pounds).
Why Ice Wars can succeed
Therien views Ice Wars as a new combat sport that can and will draw attention as there are more events over the next several months.
When Therien joined Ice Wars, one of things he was most impressed with was the culture of the organization and fighters.
“They are really, really unique individuals. They love each other, which is great,” Therien said. “It doesn’t matter if Bob is fighting Jim, they don’t care. They’re like ‘Hey Bob, can’t wait to have that fight with you,’ and that’s really unbelievable. It’s the same type of stuff I experienced in the NHL where two guys would go to the box and the guy would look down and go ‘Great fight. Way to get your team going.’ The code of conduct is still very much alive.”
Therien also believes there’s a flair to Ice Wars that will be able to keep fans’ interest. Character development is one of the aspects that Therien said Ice Wars is attempting to promote, similar to WWE.
“What’s the one thing [the WWE] doesn’t have? They have character development with WWE but they have fake results,” Therien said. “Imagine if you had a guy walking into the ring with chainmail on his head or some big mantra that sticks to him and he goes in the ring and either kicks the crap out of somebody or gets the crap kicked out of him. It’s beautiful.”
What people are saying about Ice Wars
Therien told PlayPennsylvania that Ice Wars has surpassed more than two million social media views. That number should easily climb with more events to come.
People, including sportsbooks, are fired up:
Organized hockey fighting is gonna take over the globe pic.twitter.com/aJKzWGcf9J
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 25, 2022
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE NIGHT! CONGRATS @ames_to_bury on taking home the crown and title of #KingOfTheRink 👑 👑 👑 Well deserved. All are combatants were amazing! Looking forward to the next @iceiswar event! https://t.co/dEr9ttCA8u
— Chris Therien (@ctherien6) May 22, 2022
Can you bet on Ice Wars?
Pennsylvania bettors can not place wagers on Ice Wars just yet, but Therien said there are talks that betting on fights are coming soon.
Ice Wars is not keeping it a secret that it’s trying to get in the betting game, as it replied to DraftKings’ tweet last month.
We will continue to provide updates on potential Ice Wars betting in PA as information becomes available.
What’s to come for Ice Wars
Ice Wars announced its next event for August 6 back in Edmonton, Canada. Viewers can stream the event on FiteTV.
As the new sport and popularity grows, Therien said the plan is to have events every month or so, and expand operations to the United States.