Sunday, June 01, 2008

The MMA Championship Fights

I just watched them. Can you believe that? If I didn't know that it was me in front of the television, I wouldn't believe it either. BLOOD SPORTS! Bah! Nasty!

But I got curious because:
  • My stepson had aspirations to be an MMA fighter at one time, so I wanted to see what attracted him and what I could have expected if I was to be ringside (cageside?) cheering him on. Thankfully, he's moved on to fly fishing, where only the fish feel pain and then only until he throws them back. Which he always does. And then if wants to eat fish, he has to go to the market and buy it like the rest of us non-fisherpersons. Go figure.
  • The defending champion was billed as The Sacramento Kid, which seemed to fit nicely into my own on-and-off aspirations to be a part of this town.

So I watched. The champion kept his belt, but not before five or was it six grueling rounds. There seem to be no holds barred in MMA fighting. The challenger got knocked in the nuts and both fighters had ears that were beyond cauliflower. In boxing , the ref breaks up the clinches. In MMA fights, he doesn't and the two guys just hold on, twisted in on each other like pretzels, so that who knows who's arms or legs are flailing in the air or whaling away. It was quite shocking, actually. Like street-fighting legitimized.

And yet, there was an odd tone of civility about it. Everyone said and then resaid and then emphasized again that these guys RESPECT each other. NO TRASH TALKING. Many hugs and you're wonderfuls at the end. The challenger introduced his fiance when it was over. The champion rehugged the challenger. This was very confusing, especially since my experience watching fights is Friday Night Boxing, which for a time was the date night of choice for D and me. Watching boxing, I'm always hyper-aware of the class issues involved. How else can these poor schlubs crawl out of the underclass? What other talents could they possibly be encouraged to develop?

I suffered no such angst tonight because I don't know if it's true for all MMA fighters, but these boys tonight? They're college graduates. As is my stepson. As are some other MMA aficionados I know. What's that about, huh? Is this Fight Club come to life?

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