ALBURY CAGE FIGHTING | PHOTOS, VIDEO

1. TIPHANIE BOYD

2. JOHN RYAN

3. KYLE WEST and ADAM HAMMENS

4. TODD HARRINGTON

5. ANTHONY CLARK

BLOOD-splattered faces, fire twirlers and scantily-clad dancing girls were all part of the action at the cage fighting in North Albury on Saturday night.

And the promoter has vowed to come back to the Border, possibly by next February, despite a small turnout of about 1200 people who attended the Australian Fighting Championships at Bunton Park.

The number is less than half of what was expected.

The huge white circus tent had plenty of extra space and there were empty seats around the back.

Promoter Stephen Palmer said the exact number of ticket sales or the financial outcome weren’t known yet, but he expects to break even.

“We were expecting a bigger crowd,” he said.

But Mr Palmer said it hadn’t put them off the idea of returning to the border with the “Vegas style” production, adding: “We’ll be back”.

“We were very happy with the outcome of the show,” he said.

“The crowd was extremely well-behaved, with no trouble at all.”

The indebted North Albury Football Netball Club had been banking on a financial boost from hosting the cage fighting — a style of mixed martial arts that has been banned in Victoria.

Club president Mark Cronin said it would be a few weeks until the Hoppers knew whether it had run at a loss or not.

“We were disappointed in the crowd, but otherwise it went very well,” he said.

Those who did attend weren’t complaining.

The smoothly run event was streamed live on the internet, but that couldn’t beat being there.

Wodonga siblings Robert and Laurette Howe said it was definitely worth the $80 general admission tickets.

“I’ve never been to anything like this before,” Ms Howe said.

“There’s not enough things in the area and it’s really great that it went ahead.”

Paul Clapham drove up from Geelong with his sons, Syd, 8, and Ollie, 5, who are learning martial art Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

He said he didn’t have a problem with them watching the cage fighting as it was “unbelievably safe”.

“I’m more worried about the dancers than the blood,” he said.

“They always have ring-girls, but that was a bit much.”

But Greg Hodgkin and Victoria Beswick, of Wodonga, wished they had brought their children along too.

“I reckon it’s the best thing that’s happened to the Border,” Mr Hodgkin said.

Ms Beswick said it had been well-run and she didn’t agree the Albury dancers weren’t child-friendly.

“It’s a great opportunity for local girls and it’s a wonderful opportunity to bring people to our community,” she said.

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