Saturday, April 3, 2010

Man Up: Bringing the Pain

This past Wednesday I watched the free UFC Fight Night 21 on Spike.

In the main event, Kenny "KenFlo" Florian dismantled former Pride lightweight champion Takanori "The Fireball Kid" Gomi over the course of three rounds.

Two years ago, I posted about mixed martial arts (MMA) and the now-legendary fighter Matt Hughes, an Illinois native. Now, as then, some people wonder about my interest in this sport ... and why so many men between the ages of 18 and 49 find it compelling.

First and foremost, today's MMA fighting--as managed by the most widely known fight league (the UFC), and regulated by state athletic boards--incorporates clear rules to protect the well-being of competitors. Weight classes ensure parity and referees are trained to intervene when a fighter is clearly in danger.

Unlike the mock combat of professional wrestling, which I watched with rapt attention as a kid (particularly when the Texas Von Erich clan was in the ring), the events are not scripted performances.

As someone who competed in high school wrestling (with a win/loss record tipping just barely to the win side), it's rewarding to see many top-tier collegiate wrestlers have an opportunity to extend their athletic careers.

As an armchair martial arts enthusiast, I find it entertaining to see a variety of fighting styles matched against each other, with often unexpected outcomes. By way of example, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida is one of the few karate practitioners to hold a championship belt in the UFC.

Finally, and on the simplest level, no matter how fit, talented, experienced, and prepared each fighter may be when he (or she) steps in the cage/ring, one mis-step can mean the end of the bout.

Sure, there are knockouts, as in boxing ... but an ankle or arm grabbed with finesse in a submission hold can also end the match.

I understand that the Savoy 16 Theater and Buffalo Wild Wings in Savoy are two local venues to inexpensively watch pay-per-view UFC events. Otherwise, it's $45 on cable at home.

We have a few UFC videos in our collection and a bunch of MMA books. Here follow some sites also worth your time.
Bloody Elbow

Cage Potato

ESPN: Mixed Martial Arts

Fight! Magazine

Grapple Arts

Houston Chronicle: Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts Law Blog


Sherdog: Links


Ultimate Fighting Championship

Wikipedia: Mixed Martial Arts

World Extreme Cagefighting

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