Fight Club on Panama City Beach

Just east of Joan Avenue on south Thomas Drive a cage has been erected with a sign on it that says Fight Club. MMA cage fighting is being advertised: “Come watch the pro’s and Spar with your Bro’s.”

As if we didn’t have enough image problems, now we’ve got “cage fighting” right on Thomas Drive where all the tourists can see as they drive by.

And, to top it all off, a bikini bull riding contest.

29 thoughts on “Fight Club on Panama City Beach

  1. Something is wrong with our zoning laws if they allow non-permanent, carnival-like, businesses like this to operate. And this is not a isolated incident. There is a business just down the street that erects a huge tent that turns their parking lot into a nightclub for 6 straight weeks every year.


  2. Hey Everyone,

    Something is wrong, but this is only part of the problem with the whole. The “fight club” is located on Bay County land, where as the club being referenced is on Panama City Beach land.

    The City of Panama City Beach isn’t bridge to bridge… take a look at the maps and one will be VERY amazed at the zig and the zag of what is within the city and what isn’t. Take Clara Ave into this, south of Middle Beach road is Panama City Beach but north of it is Bay County. With that, I understand that Bay Point is the City of Panama City?!

    Now… I am not saying that Panama City Beach should be bridge to bridge, right now. Panama City Beach, doesn’t have the resources required to maintain that large of an area. But they should start putting a little away to allow for this change.

    For the “fight club” it isn’t a zoning issue with Panama City Beach, it’s a zoning issue with Bay County. The club is a zoning issue with Panama City Beach, but I not against that. They do a fairly tasteful job of blocking it off and making look good from the front… it could be worse, a lot worse. And it is for only spring break not for the full summer.


  3. Inviting more trashy people. The TDC would welcome Charles Manson if he could fill some rooms and buy some alcohol.


  4. Joe,

    Thank you for the comment, it shows your intelligences.

    I do agree that this “fight club” does look out of place. I agree that zoning should implemented for the beach (bridge to bridge), being that tourism is our number one industry.

    Joe, what intelligent advise can you give the community?


  5. Let’s see…. We are hoping that families who have disposable incomes (especially in such a poor economic time) to vacation here. We really hope they like it so much they consider the purchase one of our many luxury condos… so someone decides that in conjunction with our beautiful beaches and newly complete Pier Park – that they need to sweeten the pot by adding barbaric cage fighting to the landscape? No wonder we will never shake the image of the “Redneck Riviera”.
    Who cares that this (or other attractions similar to it) is only temporary – the fact that it exists at all is a shame. Panama City Beach really needs to focus on the demographic they want to collect tourism dollars from. Is it going to be the teenagers who simply budget for beer, cover charges, and a place to crash – or is it going to be the family planning on spending more money per person overall which would help the new business in our area while helping to change the image of PCB at the same time.
    And people wonder why we lose so many visitors to Destin. It is not just the shopping and places to eat – it is also the surroundings. You would NEVER see this on 30A.


  6. I don’t like it, but fight club and bikini bull riding is not really “out of place”. It fits in quite nicely with all of the other family un-friendly aspects of PCB.

    Why is it any worse than the adult toy and movie shops, tattoo and piercing parlors, pipe and ez-whip dealers, and drive-through liquor stands that are so noticeable on Front Beach Rd. and Thomas Dr.? It will likely attract tourists just like these businesses, the wet-t contests, and our lax liquor law enforcement on the beach do.

    I am of the opinion that our family un-friendly aspects scare away more tourists than they attract, but our community leaders seem to disagree. They are all about putting “heads in beds” and don’t seem to care who those “heads” belong to.

    Maybe it is time for our community to quit acting like we want to be an upscale, family-friendly destination and just try to be: “The Redneck Rivera: The beach were it is Spring Break 365 days a year”


  7. This just demonstrates a problem that has existed in Bay County for ages. Everything is just slopped together in a hap-hazard fashion. Businesses next to residences, high rises next to houses, bars in residential areas. Don’t even get me started on those ice machines (and no, I don’t want a long, drawn out fight about the ice machines – I don’t have anything against them except that they look totally out of place – it’s just my opinion and that doesn’t mean much!)

    Things wouldn’t be so bad and we probably wouldn’t get on each other’s nerves so much if things were in their proper place. Somehow we need to segregate entertainment areas from residential areas, and such.

    Here’s a businees op for somebody: Let’s create Redneck Village. Redneck Village is a place where you can do whatever you want and nobody cares. Enjoy unlimited amounts of alcohol, get a tatto, buy some “tobacco” pipes or adult toys, go see a wet T contest, and then blow off all that steam at the fight club. Redneck Village – a place where dreams come true. Sign up for your condo today – prices starting at only $400,000. What – No takers?

    Thought the comprehensive plan was supposed to deal with all of this, but I guess not. Face it people, outward appearances matter to most tourists and we just aren’t putting our best foot forward.


  8. I don’t understand why this is such a big deal. There are lots of “untrashy” people that love watching cage fights and the UFC. There are topless shows in Las Vegas and billboards with half naked ladies, yet families still flock there. Geez people, PCB isn’t the Hamptons.


  9. They will go out of business and soon, and the turn is starting towards the way PCB will be in the future . . . . .believe me, gone will be ALL of this stuff in about 18 months . . the money is lurking, waiting, and will indeed come. Steve


  10. Yes, people love the UFC. It is a professional sport and the athletes work very hard. However, don’t you make the sport look bad when you put it out on the corner of a lot with scooter rentals and a closed down, lighthouse shaped snack stand? Come on. The UFC has way more class than that.

    I don’t think people would be so appalled if the fight arena was in a sports venue. People just think that it is not supposed to be where it is. If someone built a building and had professional fights, I think it would be better received.


  11. This thing popped up overnight. Code Enforcement will shut it down in a matter of a few days. Bay County Zoning doesnt allow for cage fighting…The sky is falling.


  12. All of the problems associated with PCB seem to stem from POOR leadership. There doesn’t seem to be a clear vision of what PCB should look like. We made the mistake of investing in a condo and have lost about 35% already. The more I see, the more alarmed I become!

    I think Rudy Giuliani needs to get elected there to clean things up FAST! I agree that properly placing business with business, residence with residence, tourist attractions etc., would go a long way to legitimizing PCB as an attractive family vacation location.

    Who runs this town anyway?


  13. Tickets for the Andy Phillips Vs. Wes Burnham Cage Match are on sale at the Edgewater Front Desk!


  14. “I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.”

    The east end does need to be annexed. Who’s running this town?
    If it were a spring break thing and off the side of the road that would be acceptable, but it went up after spring break….
    I have nothing against boxing, UFC, etc. I’ve even done tough man competitions in bars, but it isn’t something for the side of the road. It’s embarrassing.
    If it were any closer to my house I’d be pissed.
    Do they have insurance?


  15. I would prefer a celebrity fight club with Britney vs Paris – to the death! The first rule of Celebrity Fight Club is ‘Never Wear Panties’ The second rule of Celebrity Fight Club is ‘make sure the whole world knows you aren’t wearing panties’.


  16. I think the city / county fathers need to visit a real beach town like San Diego, to see what class is. They obviously think that 3 wheeled motor scooters with non-licensed riders clogging the roads is acceptable. Lets not forget Thunder Garbage twice a year. Noise pollution with a bad attitude. Those of you who think they are doctors and lawyers are nuts. Just walk by Sandpiper Beacon once, you’ll see for yourselves. Since Palm Springs stopped Spring Break several years ago, their quality of life and revenues have increased dramatically.


  17. Come on, get over yourselves. This is a trampoline and it NOT intended for professional MMA fighting. Just a carnival attraction.
    I think it looks as rediculous as most of you sound.


  18. Wes Burnham is a good man. Andy Phillips is a complete egotistical ass. Screwed his best friends wife….and they have it on tape……..what a loser.


  19. as a new resident to this beautiful town (pcb west end) I happen to like the mix of as most of you say redneck carnival type attractions,and the lets spend as much as we can at pier park for the fight ring if its not your thing then its not your thing and your not gonna like it whether its legally there or not if you dont like it then dont look at stay away from thomas dr except over by capt andys and the pirate ship and take middle beach down to the west end and you wont have to see all the redneck riviera for the person who said you wont see that on 30a is very correct that area is so crowded with lil beach houses and small businesses that there isn’t any room for it. and personal opinion here but destin sucks unless you like to shop or show off your money. PCB is atleast affordable for most vacationers and trust me as long as the beaches are here so will the tourists.


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