PETAL, MS (WDAM) - A man from Petal will compete on ESPN for the World Arm Wrestling League Championship.
B.J. Fokakis only started arm wrestling about a year ago. He never expected to place in the Top 12 for the Dallas Southern Regional competition and continue to the next round in Las Vegas on live television. At the event he will compete against 24 other men in his weight class who come from all around the world.
"The atmosphere of the tournament kind of just caught my attention," Fokakis said. "Ever since then I've just been sticking with it, I go all the time."
Fokakis used to play baseball and football in college but started looking for something else to do after he tore his ACL.
"I looked for something to keep me busy, and this is kind of something that found my way," Fokakis said.
Club Empire in Hattiesburg hosted a tournament Saturday afternoon, and it was filled with grunting, shaking and sweaty men who were battling to earn bragging rights as the best arm wrestler.
However, Fokakis said you shouldn't let the atmosphere intimidate you because it's all about the friendly competition.
"There's a lot of testosterone in the room," Fokakis said. "You might think that people might be fighting but after every match you're going to have the guys reach across the table and tell a guy good match."
Fokakis practices about once a week for three hours and said he enjoys the competitiveness of the sport, but also the camaraderie.
"Why I do it it's definitely a brotherhood, these guys I can call these guys up for anything," Fokakis said.
If you want to learn more about arm wrestling go to the Professional Arm Wrestling Facebook Page.