Shane “White Orc” Shapiro wears down opponent Brant Moore in the Lightweight Championship bout at Mayhem in Mesquite on Aug. 13 at the Casablanca Event Center. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

Who would think that a community full of retirees would appreciate a good fight? Ely Prussin, Director of Player Development for Mesquite Gaming, sure didn’t when he first brought the idea to Mesquite Gaming and the community. Prussin wasn’t sure that Mayhem would work out but he was willing to give it a shot.

Prussin’s job revolves around driving business to Mesquite Gaming and there has got to be a draw worth a customers’ trip to town; something for them to enjoy, something entertaining and something different.

Prussin said, “MMA, Ultimate Fighting, it was all gaining heavy momentum around the country and becoming quite a popular sport. As it continued to gain in popularity, even adding women to the mix, I began to realize that we should at least give it a try here. We may be a community of retirees mainly but the town has a diverse population of visitors so I figured why not give it a shot.”

The first Mayhem events proved to be something that did indeed give visitors and community members something different, entertaining and enjoyable. There was enough of a draw that they continue to hold the event twice a year.

Mayhem is only amateur fighting but many of the men and women who have made Ultimate Fighting a career and big names for themselves, such as Rhonda Rowdy, have gotten their start with the Tuff-n-Uff series.

“And of course,” said Prussin, “anything that drives business to Mesquite Gaming has a residual effect on other community businesses and it’s a win-win situation for everybody. I didn’t know what to expect when I began the Mayhem events, I was hopeful but a bit skeptical myself. It proved better than I had expected and now is on its way to being what I had hoped for. It’s growing every year and people seem to be enjoying it.”

Based on the number of spectators in the Event Center on Mayhem in Mesquite nights and the excitement felt through the crowd it can safely be said that Mayhem is becoming as popular in Mesquite as it is in the rest of the country.