WEIRD NEWS
08/14/2013 12:02 pm ET Updated Aug 14, 2013

Professional Catfighting Troupes Wildcatz, Klaw Mark Kittens Scratch Out An Income (VIDEO)

There is a new kink in the world of professional sports thanks to a rise in catfighting leagues.

Two separate troupes, one in Lansing, Mich., and the other in Nottingham, England, are trying to scratch out a niche by offering different forms of women's catfighting, a "sport" similar to wrestling, but with more hair-pulling, eye scratching and face slapping.

Michigan's own Klaw Mark Kittens take an "artistic" approach to catfighting, dressing up like vintage pinups and making the fights a part of set scenarios, such as a woman in a bumblebee dress start grappling with a woman wearing a flower hat.

"We call it vintage burlesque wrestling," troupe leader Autumn Luciano told The Huffington Post, adding that the Klaw Mark Kittens take their name from '50s-era underground filmmaker Irving Klaw, who made several catfighting videos starring Bettie Page.

The catfighting is choreographed, and the three performing Kittens try to be as gentle as possible.

"It's mostly theater," said Luciano, 26. "However, when showtime comes, the girls will kick each other's butts."

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The Wildcatz from England take a more hardcore approach: competitive women’s wrestling with catfighting moves allowed. In fact, fighters get docked points if they don't do enough catfighting.

Wildcatz co-founder Chris Barber said his troupe is more glamorous than traditional wrestling, but is 100 percent competitive.

“It’s aggressive but it’s not violent. It’s not a free-for-all," Barber told HuffPost UK. "The girls can’t punch, kick, scratch and eye gouge or anything else outside of the very specific rules that we allow.”

In its first year of existence, the Wildcatz have managed to reach 1 million hits on their web page. Barber hopes to arrange a tour of arenas as well.

Wildcatz wrestler Sara Christi, who fights under the name "Lucy Chaos," said she knows some guys might get turned on by the site of two women spanking, pulling hair and even tearing off outfits, but insists that's not the appeal for her.

"At the end of the day it's sexy not sexual, and to me it's a sport," she said, according to the Daily Mail, adding, "Believe it or not I was the shy, geeky one at school. I was never in any fights and I always kept myself to myself."

The Klaw Mark Kittens, which have been around since March 2011, have had a slower rise, performing once every two months to audiences of around 100 people. Still, Luciano is optimistic.

"The videos are getting more popular on YouTube," she told HuffPost. "People like the entertainment."

There have been some setbacks at times.

"We had a corset failing at one show," she said. "A little more showed than we expected. Luckily, we had the pasties ready."

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