LITTLE ROCK, AR - Crowds in Arkansas came for the lure of cage fighting and $1 beer, but police say two shows last month only wanted to film an audience enraged by men ripping each others' clothes off and kissing.
The June shows, one in Texarkana, one if Fort Smith, come as a new movie featuring Sacha Baron Cohen of "Borat" fame is due out next year.
Texarkana police captain Mark Lewis says a red flag went up before the June 5 show at the Four States FairGrounds. Lewis says promoters asked for ten plainclothes officers. Four officers ended up heading over to the event, but were asked to sign release and liability waivers. Lewis says the officers learned that there were to be plants in the audience who would try to rile the crowd.
FairGrounds president and CEO Dwight Duncan said the Texarkana show, entitled "Red, White and Blood Cage Fighting," closed down early. He said officials had no inkling of the fight night's true intention, as the fairgrounds held another fight put on by the same promoter that went fine.
In Fort Smith, police sargeant Adam Holland says 18 off-duty officers provided security. He says two men in the show went right up to the line of the city's morality laws. The crowd started booing and throwing beers. Holland says it took about 45 minutes the clear the arena.
Baron Cohen became a national celebrity after the 2006 hit movie "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," in which he played a bumbling reporter from the Central Asia nation. The faked cage fights come as Baron Cohen is in production of a movie titled "Bruno," named after the gay Austrian fashion reporter he developed for the "Da Ali G Show." Baron Cohen, in the guise of Bruno, often interviewed hapless subjects in the South.
Matt Labov, a Los Angeles-based publicist for Baron Cohen, said he had no comment Monday about the faked fights.