Two black mambas fight over a mate

Black mambas are among the deadliest snakes in the world, but when they fight each other, it's more like an MMA match than a use of deadly force, called plaiting combat by scientists. National Geographic posted this remarkable drama that unfolded on a South African golf course.

Via NatGeo in an interview with herpetologist Kenneth Krysko:

The snakes will sometimes bite each other during such battles, but they rarely inject any of their venom and aren't trying to kill each other, Krysko says. Normally, the males will shove each other until one gives up, and the winner then approaches a female that is ready to mate.

Female snakes typically mate with one male a season, and can store the sperm for months or even years, in some species. Males often try to mate with multiple females, depending on how many battles they can muster. (Watch another black mamba video.)

WATCH: Two of World's Deadliest Snakes Battle on Golf Course (YouTube / National Geographic)