22/09/2011 09:32 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Eight-Year-Olds Filmed Cage Fighting!

How shocking is this? Footage of young schoolboys cage fighting in the UK during an organised and legal fight night.

The video on YouTube shows boys as young as eight fighting, wrestling and slamming each other onto the floor during a fight night at the Greenlands Labour Club in Preston, Lancashire.

Children cage fighting Manchester Evening News

The young competitors enter the ring to shouts and slaps on the back from the baying crowd, and in another very adult twist to the youngsters' fight, scantily clad ring girls circle the ring displaying the scoreboards.

While organisers have defended the fights, the video footage is pretty difficult to watch. The boys aren't wearing protective headgear and at one point, one cries and appears to need medical attention before continuing.

Cage fighting Manchester Evening News

A British Medical Association spokesperson told the Daily Mail the lack of protective gear used in the fights was 'disturbing':

'This example of cage fighting among young children is particularly disturbing, especially as they are not even wearing head guards. Boxing and cage fighting are sometimes defended on the grounds that children learn to work through their aggression with discipline and control.

'We believe there are many other sports, such as athletics, swimming, judo and football, which require discipline but do not pose the same threat of brain injury.'

Children cage fighting Manchester Evening News

Owner of the club where the fights took place, Michelle Anderson, said she didn't see anything wrong with the fights, despite the competitors' young ages:

'There was nothing wrong with it. The kids were there to fight, they have fought before. The parents were there. Would people rather these kids were out on the streets with guns and knives?'

Do the footage and pictures shock you?
Is there ever an excuse that fights like this are good for children's fitness and aggression levels?

Read one dad's view on cage fighting for children here.