Sounds gruesome, and judging by the amount of camel spit said to fly through the air, it certainly is, but the clash of split-hoofed beasts is part of a 2,400-year-old tradition in parts of the Middle East and South Asia.
Raucous spectators gather to watch male camels in the 10-minute showdown, slamming necks and butting heads until one animal forces his opponent to the ground or flees. Each camel's mouth is secured in a tight halter to prevent biting.
There's only one time of year when a camel's emotions are running rampant enough for match organizers to entice the beasts into battle. That, of course, would be mating season.
In Turkey, arguably the world's camel-wrestling capital, injuries eventually forced some fight organizers to stop using seductively posed females to rile up these blond, hairy gladiators. Today, in what is undoubtedly a darker side of the sport, camels are also starved, building up anger months before the match.
Nevertheless, as a common man's sport, camel fighting has still managed to hold its place in the local culture.
The Selcuk championship, named for the western Turkish city where the event is held, draws roughly 20,000 spectators annually. Oddly enough, Selcuk fans also enjoy eating camel meat while watching the camel fights.
In Turkey, the sport is a cultural carryover from the country's pre-Islamic roots. For nearly 60 years after the Turkish Republic was formed in 1923, the government discouraged the practice, calling it barbaric and non-European. Then in 1980, following a military coup, the new regime encouraged Turkish people to embrace the sport as tradition.
Despite camel fighting's place as a symbol of the country's rich history, however, animal rights advocates are critical.
"I think it's one thing for animals to spar with each other in a natural environment of their own volition during mating season. It's another matter entirely to starve and animal for three months and raise that animal's aggression,"
So while the sport lacks the negative stigma that dogfighting and cockfighting have in the U.S., Rajt still doesn't buy it.
In recent years, the sport's popularity has experienced a decline, leading event organizers to create new spectacles, such as the camel beauty contest.
Say what you will about the animal's aesthetic qualities -- a critic once said camels "walk like constipated polar bears" -- but these animals strut their stuff as they trot down the "camel walk."
"Camels are very sophisticated and realize people are watching them, so they're trying to pose," Necidet Durmaz, one of the judges in Selcuk, told The Wall Street Journal in January. "Some camels will stop, open their back legs and wave their tail, or cock their head back and moan -- this is the kind of posing we are looking for."
The beauty contests, which animal rights groups also oppose, may not have the same draw as the wrestling matches,
"My uncle had a camel in 1978, and we used to feed and look after it ourselves when I was about 15," he said. "It's a culture coming from our ancestors and we want it to continue.