I’ve made no secret at all about my dislike of mixed martial arts. As far as I’m concerned, MMA is nothing more than human cockfighting.
Do I hold such disdain for boxing? No. Am I a fan? Oh God, no. But to me, it seems different in some way. A lot of boxers – seemingly more and more these days – die as a result of their injuries in the ring, and this is hideously awful and depressing, but the substance of the competition itself still somehow seems different. I wouldn’t want anyone close to me to take part in either of them, that’s for sure.
Now that I think about it, I think part of the difference for me is the fan reaction. MMA fans seem to have more of a bloodlust than boxing fans. That brings me to the point of this post: Anderson Silva’s now ubiquitous broken leg from last night’s UFC 8429 (or whatever).
I haven’t seen footage of the injury, and I won’t. I have no desire to. What I did see was everyone’s reaction to it, at least via social media: shock and surprise, followed by lamenting over the possible end of Silva’s career.
Last thing first: hey, it sucks when one of your favorite athletes hangs them up, especially when it’s not on his terms. I get that, but, well, here’s the thing about that first thing…you’re shocked and surprised that a guy engaged in a fight got seriously injured.
HELLO. THAT’S THE POINT.
Nobody gets into “The Octagon” thinking, “hey, I’d like to just roll around and hope the judges call it a draw.” No! They want to win, and the best way to do that is to knock your opponent out cold, or put him or her in such excruciating pain that they beg for the fight to end. Hurting the other guy is the main objective of professional televised mixed martial arts.
Moreover, whether you’ll admit it or not…that’s why you watch. People watch auto racing for the crashes. They watch someone walk a tightrope across the Grand Canyon because the guy might fall. And they watch MMA to see if one of the guys will grotesquely injure or disfigure the other.
It’s sick, and I don’t like it. And part of me doesn’t even understand why anyone else would.