One of the most pervasive urban myths on the darkweb is that you can find underground rings of Django Unchained-style fights to the death. Some of the believers claim they give millionaire members the opportunity to attend such fights; others say there are live webcams broadcasting them, which can be accessed for a fee.
I’ve trawled the Onion, far beyond what’s available on the Hidden Wiki, and have yet to uncover any evidence at all. Yet, like all urban myths, those who wish to believe insist that its true. There’s one here for example:
“Even underground fighting tournaments to the death (I’m not joking very real very organized). Very Real trained professional fighters. It may seem surreal but they are guys that train with the best and want no part of UFC or any fight league. Dudes who really enjoy fighting to the death. It’s just crazy explaining it it’s not some barroom brawl. These things happen and alot of millionaires pay big money to see them. Modern Gladiator battles. I heard there are some with humans vs animals.”
Over on Words With Meaning someone who calls himself ‘Online Investigator’ and claims to be an ex-government cyber security expert also insists they can be found:
“As well as this there are literally gladiators who organise ways of fighting to death. I know how exaggerated this sounds – trust me, I’m the one trying to convince readers it is true – but there’s no joke to this claim.”
I asked the author of that piece to help me find them, but sadly no response was forthcoming, though they did forward a text document that was like a badly-written ‘Rules of Fight Club’.
There is evidence that modern-day gladiatorial fights to the death do occur, but in very limited circumstances. The Zetas drug cartel for example, has been accused of pitting their kidnap victims against each other with hammers, knives and machetes. The winners are ‘allowed’ to join the cartel. Guards from a San Francisco prison staged ‘cockfights’ in the late 1990s by putting prisoners from rival gangs into exercise cages or yards and betting on the outcome. Some of these ended in the guards shooting one or other of the prisoners and there is a video floating around of at least one of these incidents, where 25-year-old gang member Preston Tate was killed. This video does not seem to be available on the darkweb or any of the gore sites.
Anyway, that is different from the idea that there are organised fights that millionaires can pay to go to a’la Django Unchained, or even better that really hokey episode in the older La Femme Nikita series where deranged billionaires pitted beautiful women against each other in fights to the death. Or even more unbelievably, that UFC-type fighters willingly engage in fights to the death for money.
Los Zetas is considered by the U.S. government to be the “most technologically advanced, sophisticated, and dangerous cartel operating in Mexico” so it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they would branch out into webcasts of their atrocities, or personal invitations to those who want to watch. However, so far, no evidence of such whatsoever exists.
There is no doubt the world can be a place where evil happens. Just the other day, at a BBQ conversation, someone said “The Chinese should sell opportunities to execute their prisoners. I bet people would pay for it.” He was probably right.
However, at the moment, it appears that organised rings are the stuff of books and movies.