I find most sports boring, if not downright abhorrent (people shell out insane funds to watch other people make millions of dollars playing a game).
But… I have a love affair with MMA.
The one thing I truly picked up and retained from my husband, even after the divorce, was an appreciation fighting with the hands and feet using a combination of the bazillion varieties. There’s something very primal and very stirring about watching these sportsman throw down with each other
Very little expensive gear is involved (thin gloves to protect the knuckles, occasional shin guards, a mouth guard for those teeth) and therefore little to stand in the way of every punch and kick thrown (known in the industry as ‘strikes’). People get hurt. All of the time. I was watching during the infamous Silva vs. Weidman rematch -UFC 168, for the belt- when Weidman leg-checked Silva’s strike and it sheared Silva’s tibia. Everyone at the restaurant that night got to see the 18 million replays from EVERY angle showing Anderson Silva’s leg wobbling like it belonged to a rubber doll. I swear, 18 million. Train wreck, folks. Horrifying, but you can’t look away.
One of the other reasons I love MMA are the many professionals throughout. I don’t mean professional as in ‘getting paid’ but in ‘I’m going to pummel your ass into a thin red paste, but as soon as that buzzer goes off, I’m going to shake your hand and congratulate you on a good fight’ kind of professional. What goes on in the Octagon stays in the Octagon. Clay Guida is one of my faves for this reason, and he would definitely be one of the ones I would wish to hang out with. (Some on the other hand, like Nick Diaz, Jason Miller and War Machine are pricks who, inside and outside, either antagonized one another or committed heinous crimes. Not cool for the sport guys. Not cool at all.) I love (to hate) Chael Sonnen only because he’s the sport’s version of the fisherman with tall tales. Instead of letting his own considerable skills speak for themselves (he was one of the few to give the then-undefeated Anderson Silva a run for his money), he goes around touting himself as the actual champion because he almost brought “The Spider” down. (That part is great, too. They all have nicknames.) Watching Sonnen fight is always a pleasure, because either I get to see him use his amazing fighting prowess and take his opponent down, or I get to watch someone kick his ass.
My other pet peeve is when they brought two women into the fighting (remaining nameless here, as they do not need the publicity). The idiot who arranged the fights and the producers played up the Reality-TV bullshit drama of it both of as catty bitches who were gonna “kick each others’ ass” truly soured the sport. Leave that petty crap on Jerry Springer where it belongs. Now that this TUF crap is out, there are COMPLETELY taking the sport in the wrong direction, selling it on the sex angle instead of a true exposition and merit of their skills. It will become a farce just as much as women gladiators (the “gladiatrix“) were in Roman times. Cheap amusement at the expense of the women involved, all the while trying to sell them as legitimate. It is a true shame, because a lot of the women kick serious ass, but unfortunately the size of their attitudes or how they look in bikinis will completely override any fighting prowess. Spectacle.
I don’t go to watch all of the fights; that would get far too pricey and I would always be up past my bedtime. I pick and choose the matches with my faves and occasionally, if none of my guys are going to show up on the card for awhile, I’ll check out some new and interesting faces.
The bottom line is, my interests inform my writing – sometimes a lot, sometimes just a little, but on occasion, the interest itself gives me an idea that Just. Won’t. Leave. Me. Alone. And so, I must write, in order to get it out there. And when that idea was Ennid the Havoc, he kept locking me up in a rear naked choke, and I finally tapped out and gave him his stories.
Oh, and Joe Rogan… shut up!
A little background information:
Royce Gracie essentially started the UFC as a coming-out party for his new style of fighting, Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, and it’s been gaining even more momentum.
The top UFC fighter only makes around $1 million a year, and that includes all of the product endorsements.
The octagon was used to differentiate it from all the other martial sports out there, to introduce it as something new and truly unique.