Mother Nature delivered a knockout punch Saturday night in downtown Leavenworth as heavy rain and lightning forced the cancellation of an outdoor mixed martial arts show.
Officials called off the show after only four of the scheduled 19 bouts were completed in the Universal Combat League event at Haymarket Square.
“When you have an outdoor event, it’s just a chance you take,” said John Kiser, promoter of the event. “Mother Nature was not on our side. I sincerely apologize to the fans for the unfortunate events.”
The fights were slated to begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, but heavy rain prevented the show from starting until about 8:15 p.m.
“We have to ensure (the canvas) is dry for the fighters’ safety,” said Sean Wheelock of the Kansas Athletic Commission.
The bouts resumed but were called off at about 9:30 p.m. due to rain and lightning in the area.
The rain caused a malfunction of one of the banks of portable lights on one side of the cage. Kiser said the weather also caused problems with a microphone and sound system.
The show attracted a large crowd at Haymarket Square. Kiser said 2,200 people were in attendance. He said had it not rained, there may have been as many as 3,000 people at the event.
“I want to thank everyone who came out despite the thunderstorm,” Kiser said.
Kiser said another UCL show will be held in Leavenworth in about three months.
He said people who attended Saturday night’s show can bring their ticket stub to the next show and purchase a discounted ticket.
“Leavenworth, don’t sweat,” Kiser said. “The UCL is here to stay and we plan to bring more great live entertainment to town.”
A photo gallery from the event can be found here.