Like you, I will be watching fights this weekend. Unlike you, I will be watching them live — in a nightclub in Gangnam. Clearly, I’m not talking about International Fight Week.
The night before the biggest and most anticipated fight card of the year, a random club in Seoul will host Japanese promotion Real Fight Championship. The event is called Korea vs. The World and is headlined by Kyrgyzstani fighter Nursultan Arsen Uule, as he meets one of Brazil’s many Marcos Souzas. As far as I can tell, the only reason this venue is putting on MMA fights is a coincidence of nomenclature: The club’s name is Octagon, and since the shape is now synonymous with mixed martial arts, 2+2=4.
So why am I writing about this instead of the heavyweight superfight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier or the featherweight title fight between the most talented millennials on the Ultimate Fighting Championship roster? For starters, I would have preferred to write about Korea vs. The World after it happened, but since it coincides with back-to-back UFC cards, that would be irresponsible. More to the point, as the next week of MMA coverage — and likely longer than that — will focus on the highest aspirations and virtues of the sport, it’s worth remembering MMA’s uniquely bizarre underground fringe…