Even though I mostly play an energy account, I decided to investigate the new Mafia Wars Fight Club Tournaments.
The general gist of these tournaments are that you enter against other random opponents and fight in a bracket-style fight (single elimination) in order to see who the winner is. The winner then ends up with a collection piece, some $V, experience points, and Victory tokens (can be used to purchase items in the Marketplace under the "Fight Club" tab).
You can also bet $V on players (either yourself or others), which pay out odds based on their chance of winning.
However, it is a bit more complicated than that. On the next screen, you will see something like this:
So, apparently there are a ton of "weight classes", which are ranked below from easiest to hardest. At every "weight class" aside from heavyweight, there is a cap on your combined attack and defense (stat points) score and the number of members in your mafia.
Flyweight - capped at 10 attack and defense combined along with 5 maia members.
Heavyweight - No Cap
However, in order to go to the higher brackets, you have to win in the previous rounds first! As far as I can tell, it is completely luck who wins in the early matches, given that everyone has at least 5 mafia and 10 attack/defense! That is the cap after all, so you can't go past that.
At any rate, within each weight class, there are three rankings: regional, national, and worlds. Each one seems to be more competitive (or at least you have a higher chance to lose). I'm not sure exactly how this works given the low cap (everyone should be at the cap in at least the first few matches).
I entered the regional championship and won. Here is what I got:
10 "Fans" (determines your "Fame" and Rank - not sure what this does yet)
+5 Victory Tokens
I also bet the max on myself and won $V 300,000 back, which was pretty nice.
As far as Victory Tokens go, here is what the Fight Club screen reveals in the marketplace:
These items have some pretty good stats, but this is clearly very, very old. Who knows what the Marketplace will look like once they revamp this section (still has the old Top Mafia that appeared for a day or two!).
After winning at the regional level, the next match was nationals (still within the Flyweight bracket):
A little more expensive to enter... and I lost in the first round.
In between each loss, you must wait for 4 hours before you can enter again (or spend 8 Reward points!).
How to Win Fight Club Tournaments
I think I may have stumbled upon the answer of how to win capped fight-club tournaments:
First off, obvi0usly you want "Your Entry" (total mafia number and combined attack and defense skill) to be equal to whatever the cap is for the bracket you are trying to enter. Take a look at the picture below:
"Your fighting score is determined by your attack and defense skills plus the combined attack and defensive strengths of one weapon, armor, and vehicle item for each mafia member that you bring to fight."
So, it looks like we are going back to the old system where the maximum attack and defense of a single item does not matter but rather the important number is the combined offensive and defensive score.
With that said, for best chances of winning, try to collect 1 of the following items for the class you are entering in:
Weapon: Plasma Rifle (created in the Weapons Depot). Combined score of 87.
Titanium Katar (drops in episode 7 of Bangkok). Combined score of 85
Armor: Royal Thai Marine or Ninja (drops on Bangkok Episode 7 and 6, respectively). Combined score of 82.
Vehicle: Day Rider 2K (built in the Chop Shop). Combined score of 95.
Lamang Motorcycle (drops in Episode 7 of Bangkok). Combined Score of 83.
Animal: Bark Scorpion (random drop from doing jobs in Las Vegas). Combined score of 82.
I believe those are the 4 pieces best combined pieces that you can get multiple copies of without spending Reward points. I have included alternates for the Chop Shop and Weapons Depot categories as it will hard to get 500 of each of those pieces.
It is kind of funny after everyone (myself included) whined about how bad the Day Rider 2K was, but now it actually seems to have a use.
There are certainly better pieces out there, such as the Poison Dart Frog (animal with combined score of 96), which is a reward from the bonus spin of the slots. It seems that for the small brackets, having these items will go a long, long way.