Wrestlers in Florida are testing their skills against a new jaw-dropping opponent to find out who was the real swamp king, man or alligator.

Rather than fighting it out in the ring, competitors were diving into a deep pool for a 10-minute session with their potentially deadly opponents.

This was all part of the Freestyle Alligator Competition, founded by James Holt, who wants to turn the tribal tradition of alligator wrestling into an extreme sport.

Holt, a Native American whose family wrestled alligators for generations, said: "We do it the way it was done back then. That's what this competition is.

"We're recreating it as it would have been done in the wild. We have a deep water pit. These alligator wrestlers are going to jump in there. They're going to show whatever skills they have."
Competitors are scored in six categories: aggressiveness of the alligator, difficulty of the move, style, appearance, showmanship and water wrangling.

Holt, who dismissed accusations of animal cruelty, set up the competition last year and hoped this year's event would widen its appeal.

"We definitely would love to have guys from Australia, guys from Thailand. Those guys are really good at what they do too," he said.

One of the wrestlers taking part in this weekend's competition in Hollywood, Fla., said visitors would be drawn to the event, not just for the skills of the participants, but also for the possibility of something going wrong.
"People like to go watch hockey games for the fights and car races for the wrecks. People like to watch alligator wrestling for the bites," wrestler Paul Bedard said.

Read more at SkyNews.com.