The Rules and Myths of Fight Club Sadisco*

It's almost guaranteed that bones will be broken and blood will be spilled at this weekend's Fight Club Sadisco* at The Firehouse.

Furious blows will be exchanged inside a makeshift cage at the annual underground event, which features both men and women facing off against each other in bare-knuckle donnybrooks, much like the ones depicted in the Chuck Palahniuk novel and the cult film it inspired.

Just like in the book and flick, however, there are few rules you might want to keep in mind and plenty of rumors, myths, and fallacies that surround the event, which has been put on by industrial dance party crew Sadisco* annually for the past six years. We spoke with organizer Toby Heidebrink (who also performs as DJ Squalor) to set the record straight.

Myth No. 1: Fight Club Sadisco* is a competition for cash prizes.
"That's not true. It's a personal competition between you and the person that you're fighting with, but it's not a contest beyond that and there's no prize, per se. The only prize is the feeling that you get fighting with a friend, or another person, and either winning or losing, and how you feel about it. It's one the reason of why they fight in the movie or the book. If we were doing this for prizes, it wouldn't be called Fight Club. It would be called boxing. This is a party based around the aesthetic and ethics of Fight Club."

Myth No. 2: People are required to fight whether or not they want to do so.
"Absolutely not. Everyone who's ever fought has done so willingly fought because they couldn't stand not to fight. We've never had a problem where someone is getting bullied or ganged up on."

Myth No. 3: The organizers decide who you're gonna fight.
"People usually pick who they're gonna fight. If they don't want to do that, we've matched people together in the past."

Myth No. 4: You have to have MMA training to participate.
"Absolutely not. Anyone can fight, regardless of their skill level. And if you are an MMA fighter, you should probably tell whoever you're going to fight about that, just so there are no surprises and people can decide if they want to battle a UFC guy."

Myth No. 5: All fighting is done bare-knuckle style.
"Sorta. We have boxing gloves available but they never get used. It's whatever the two fighters agree on. Most people want to keep it pretty real."

Myth No. 6: The crowd or the organizers decide the winner of each fight.
"Usually, there's some gossiping in the crowd about who kicked who's ass, but that's it. There's no judging. We'll step in and stop a fight, however, if things get too brutal. Basically, when we tell you to stop fighting, you stop fighting."

Myth No. 7: The fights are fake.
"No. If the fights were fake, it would defeat the whole purpose of what Fight Club Sadisco* is all about."

Myth No. 8: Someone died at Fight Club Sadisco* a few years ago.
"That's a big misconception. Bones have been broken and there's blood every time, but no one's ever died at Fight Club Sadisco*. Someone had a seizure after a fight four years ago and was taken away by an ambulance. They wound up being okay."

Fight Club Sadisco* takes place at 8 p.m. on Saturday at The Firehouse, 1015 North First Street. Admission is $11. Click here for more info.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.