Inside the sport more violent and bloodthirsty than UFC that has axes and swords

Some sports fans love tension, some sports fans seek thrills, and some sports fans just can't get enough of violent combat action.

If you fall into that last category, then the brutal sport of Historical Medieval Battles (or HMB for short) will be right up your street.

HMB, also known as 'Buhurt', is a full-contact fighting sport that puts a modern spin on the wars which took place in the Middle Ages.

They may look like staged reenactments, but two competitors go head-to-head for victory like in mixed martial arts fights.

They wield blunt steel swords and axes which can still cause nasty injuries, despite both men or women wearing up to 30 kilograms of armour each.

Specially trained referees called 'knight marshals' oversee the action which features both striking and wrestling.

Hits and blows can be made on any part of the body, which leaves plenty of room for blood and gore.

And when the heavy suits of metal land on top of an opponent, bones are sure to be broken.

The most damage can be seen not in the one-v-one encounters, but when 'mass battles' of up to 30v30 are held.

Which sports star would you like to see give HMB a go? Let us know in the comments section.

These are like nothing seen in other sports and the last man standing reigns victorious.

The savagery on show more than lives up to the 'deathmatch' title which it is given.

As well as referees, several regulations are put in place to prevent traumatic injuries and there are unified rules for all international events.

Weapons are checked before every bout to ensure they match up to the measurement and safety requirements – so you won't be seeing any decapitations.

While the techniques are thousands of years old, the sport only emerged in Eastern Europe in the late 1990s and early 21st century.

It originated in Belarus, Ukarine and Russia – who unsurprisingly dominate the sport.

They won all but two of the 18 categories of events at the 2019 world championships, which is called 'Battle of the Nations'.

Competition has grown since the inaugural tournament in 2010 and there are now teams from 32 different countries entering.

That includes competitors from the UK, who have won a handful of medals in recent years.

Lukas Kowal was the man to win the UK's first and only gold medal to date, though.

The annual championships are held at a different fortress or castle each time, with the latest staged in Romania.

The sport continues to expand and has a growing base in both America and Australia.

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