Tag Archives: mixed martial arts

I’ve Been Shattered

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.


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.

The Time is Right for Fighting in the Street, Boy

I’ve never had even the slightest interest in watching mixed martial arts.  I don’t have many friends that are into it, as least as far as I know, so I don’t really miss out on anything by not following it, but even if I did, it’s just never appealed to me.

And yet last night, I found myself in a bar watching UFC’s pay-per-view.  I was out with some friends and we decided to just grab a drink or two and then head home.  The place we went had about 30 televisions, and 28 of them were on UFC 163.  We arrived just in time to watch Lyoto Machida, a guy I’d heard of, face Phil Davis, a guy I hadn’t heard of.  As a sports fan, I always feel the need to have a rooting interest, even when I feel like an event is borderline not-a-sport.*  As an American, I felt like I had to support Davis, as he was fighting Machida, a Brazilian, in Rio de Janeiro.

*If you can get arrested for doing something on the street, getting paid to do it in an arena instead doesn’t necessarily make it a sport.

They “fought” for three rounds; I put that in quotes because I hesitate to call what I saw them do “fighting.”  Davis won via a unanimous decision, probably on the basis of at least trying to take Machida down once or twice.

From what I gather, it was a controversial decision.  Okay.  As a soccer fan, I understand and appreciate the value of a draw; I don’t know if UFC has draws, but if not, they should look into it.  Or maybe a way to make both guys lose.  I dunno.  What I’m saying is, it was boring.

The main event featured (something)weight champion Jose Aldo, another Brazilian, against Chan Sung Jung, a.k.a. the “Korean Zombie,” doing battle in the Octagon in fro–::record scratch::


Aldo hasn’t lost in eight years.  Zombie walked out to “Zombie” by The Cranberries.  I kid you not.  Who do you think was going to win the fight?

They did some fighting for three rounds, but in the fourth, Zombie threw a punch and ended the sequence with a separated shoulder.  The announcers said the impact of his fist on the back of Aldo’s head popped out his shoulder; I think the impact of Aldo punching him on the back of the shoulder may have played a role, but hey, they’re the announcers, and I’m just a dude who wanted a beer.

So Zombie failed to get his shoulder back into its socket, Aldo got him on the ground and began punching the shoulder, the referee called the fight, and Zombie stayed on the ground in obvious pain.  Game, set, match, TKO.

I was kind of disgusted.  I guess I just don’t have that bloodlust, that part of the brain that makes you enjoy watching a man get hurt and another jump on top of him and pound on the injured body part.  I didn’t think it was any sort of expert finishing by Aldo (I mean, it was; when the situation presents itself, of course that’s what you do); all I thought was, “oh, poor Zombie, look at him, he’s almost crying, stop hitting him!”

Apparently, when watching MMA, I turn into someone’s grandma.

I’ve watched a couple boxing matches, and for some reason, the reservations I have about MMA don’t seem to apply.  Maybe it’s the fact that most boxing matches go 12 rounds and end on decisions, while a number of MMA bouts end out of nowhere with one guy ripping the other’s arm out of its socket or with the winner’s legs wrapped around the loser’s unconscious throat that makes mixed martial arts seem much more savage to me.  I honestly don’t know.  I feel like I should be able to justify the distinction, but I can’t, so I struggle with it.

MMA is such a part of the mainstream now that I will probably give it another shot.  I don’t think I will seek it out, I’m sure I will inevitably end up seeing it on a television when I’m out somewhere and sticking around until the card is over.  Maybe someday I’ll get it.  Maybe I won’t.

Regardless, it’s not something I’d ever want anyone close to me to ever get into.  I wouldn’t want to have to do the grandma thing in the front row.