If the above video doesn’t make you want to shotgun a beer and punch through a wall, I don’t think I want to know you. Set to a soundtrack of ridiculous, chugging heavy metal guitars, we see engineers demo the Unified Weapons Master suit — a technology that promises to turn mixed martial arts into a game of Armored Core. The armor is designed to protect fighters from bodily harm, and will apparently debut at a series of events in Australia this year. According to News.com.au, weapon use will be encouraged.
It all raises the question: why didn’t we put MMA fighters in futuristic robot battle suits from the beginning? Sensors on the suits would detect and record damage from strikes, so that a well-placed punch would still work to a competitor’s advantage. Chiron Global, the Australian company that developed the suits, previously designed armor for the Lord of the Rings films. “UWM’s vision is to create a large-scale sport and entertainment experience where martial artists can compete against each other with real weapons, with an objective measure of who would have won in a real combat situation,” David Pysden, CEO of the company, told the News.
Considering the over-the-top theatrics and the pedigree of those involved, this will probably go the way of the XFL and SlamBall, with a few fights airing on Spike TV before it fades into oblivion. All the more reason to watch before it goes away.