At The Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale Rugby Bowl: Beauty & The Beast on Saturday, April 18, World Arm Wrestling Champion Travis Bagent will also square off against both Rugby Bowl spectators and competitors at the World Armwrestling League Qualifier.
Produced by the founders of The Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, the event will be full of fast-paced rugby action.
The best scrum of the day is sure to be the battle between the nationally ranked ASU Sun Devils and the former Big Ten champion Ohio State Buckeyes at 3 p.m.
The USC Trojans are set to play against the NAU Lumberjacks, in an exciting match that is scheduled for 1 p.m.
The day will open 11a.m., with Arizona’s High School Rugby Championship, which will feature the best of the best when it comes to local high school teams.
Before the matches commence though, fans will have the opportunity to meet, and even challenge, one of the most recognized arms in the sport of competitive arm wrestling right at home plate of Scottsdale Stadium, the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants.
At 6’3” and 275 lbs., Bagent is literally, and figuratively, one of the sport’s giants.
In arm wrestling inner circles, Bagent is referred to as “the Beast”, and he lives up to his moniker. He is currently ranked as the world’s No. 1 left-handed arm wrestler and ranked No.3 for right-handed arm wrestlers.
Bagent started arm wrestling at the age of 15. His father, Jerry, was also a renowned strongman who competed in arm wrestling from 1965 until 1978.
“After retiring from competitive arm wrestling, my father opened up a restaurant called, The Big Arm Bar & Grill,” said Bagent. “The restaurant served as the arm wrestling capital of West Virginia. While working as a server and bar-back, I watched matches and fell in love. I competed against as many people as possible to get more experience and with some early success, I decided to devote my life to it.”
Since becoming a professional arm wrestler, the Charles Town, West Virginia-native has won over 21 national championships, and even took home the 2003 World Armwrestling Federation championship. To prepare for arm wrestling tournaments, Bagent not only focuses on weekly arm wrestling practice, but also utilizes a CrossFit training regimen.
The modern sport of arm wrestling gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, as tournaments sprouted up all across the country at carnivals, fairs and taverns. Since that time, the sport has gone global.
Over 60 countries participated in the 36th Annual World Armwrestling Championship which took place in November 2014 in Vilnius, Lithuania.
“Arm wrestling is becoming more popular by the year, and not just in the United States,” said Bagent. “I’ve been fortunate to have a career that’s allowed me to travel to over 40 countries. I’m always amazed by the growing number of people competing. It’s an honor to be considered one of the sport’s ambassadors.”
After testing out their arm strength against Bagent, spectators can turn their attention to the true “beauties” of The Rugby Bowl, at 2:30 p.m., for the “Warning Track” Fashion Show, produced by Phoenix Fashion Week. But that’s not all — some of the Valley’s fanciest cars will be on display thanks to Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale and local auto clubs and dealerships.
The Scottsdale Independent is available for free every Wednesday.