“Watching a lopsided game is a fairly awful viewing experience in most sports. Even if it’s our team that’s winning, there is something inherently boring about dominance. A competitive match, in any sport, is more compelling because the outcome is uncertain. There is a reason why stadiums and arenas tend to clear out early when an insurmountable lead is established; people get what they came for and stop caring.
MMA is the exception to this. Whereas a blowout football or basketball game is hard to watch, a prolonged, ferocious beatdown is hard to stop watching. Perhaps it is hardwired into our mammalian brain, or perhaps it’s a psychological phenomenon. Whatever it may be, the appeal of watching another person get the stuffing beat out of them is impossible to deny.
When Khabib Nurmagomedov spent the majority of three rounds ragdolling Michael Johnson at UFC 205 on Nov. 12, nobody took a smoke break. It was a hellacious, one-sided beating that earned the undefeated Dagestani Sherdog’s 2016 “Beatdown of the Year…”