Mixed Martial Arts
Category

By In Mixed Martial Arts

More Than A Fight

“Eight decades ago, former International Olympic Committee Chairman Avery Brundage stated that politics is “a savage monster” bent on disrupting the purity of sport. Ten years ago, former European Union President Milan Zver stated that “[Sports] is too important to use it as a political instrument.” These are some of the most noteworthy instances of the “stick to sports” sentiment, a phrase that has recently come back into fashion as NFL players started taking knees during the national anthem.

It’s an understandable feeling. If you have played sports non-professionally — which is the vast majority of people who have played sports — your experience of athletic participation is colored as an inherent good, a pastime that cultivates life lessons like sportsmanship, the importance of practice and physical well-being. Thus, it’s only natural for us to think of sports as apolitical; we never had an opportunity to politicize them, even if we wanted to.

Yet sports are undeniably political, if for no other reason than the fact that money is involved…”

Read more at Sherdog

Read more

By In Mixed Martial Arts

Making Sense of McGregor

“If you’ve been a fan of this sport long enough, you’ve no doubt tried to spread the gospel of violence to friends and family. You convince them to watch a fight with you, show them highlight videos on YouTube to get them excited for it and hope for the magic of the sport to reveal itself come fight time. If you can’t make them diehard fans, at least you can turn them into casual appreciators of an otherwise off-putting sport. When it works, it’s great. When it flops, it’s a specific kind of shame, an embarrassment that feels less like bad luck than an indictment of your character.

The worst time that happened to me was when Mirko Filipovic fought Gabriel Gonzaga for the at UFC 70. After hyping “Cro Cop” to my friends for weeks and subjecting them to dozens of head-kick compilation videos, he went out and got demolished in ironic and ignominious fashion, suffering the same fate he had dished out countless times prior. For my friends, that was their introduction to “Cro Cop,” and it stuck. No matter how many old fights I showed them, it couldn’t supplant the experience of watching him become irrelevant in real time.

I’ve thought of that moment a lot lately as I’ve watched Conor McGregor — the first simultaneous two-division titleholder in Ultimate Fighting Championship history — gradually devolve into a Twitter troll…”

 

Read more at Sherdog

Read more

By In Mixed Martial Arts

In With The New

“Change is inevitable. Whether we’re talking individual lives or macro-level societal change, everything is in constant flux. Change can be hard to detect day-to-day; in three months of interminable sub-freezing winter temperatures, every day feels the same as the one before it. Spring seems perpetually distant, no closer to reality one week from the next. Then one day, all of a sudden, it’s 50 degrees and sunny outside. It’s like everything is the same until, almost instantaneously, everything changes.

That’s how this weekend felt, like new life was breathed into a coldly inert Ultimate Fighting Championship. Of course, the ranks have been changing across several divisions, but the drag of 2017 made the UFC appear to be more stagnant than it really was. With UFC 222 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, spring had finally emerged from the winter of last year…”

 

Read more at Sherdog

Read more

By In Mixed Martial Arts

The Illusion of Control

“At the risk of sounding like the kid in class who reminds the teacher to hand out homework, one of the best things to happen to the sport of mixed martial arts was the implementation of rules. As fun as it was to watch the early days of no-holds-barred fighting, that was not a tenable system for any organization. Sure, it was great to see the weirdness of grappling legend Royce Gracie resort to hair-pulling against Kimo Leopoldo at UFC 3, and it was downright hilarious to watch Keith Hackney pummel Joe Son’s testicles at UFC 4 — especially when considering what we later found out about Son — but those are the types of occurrences that justified the sport’s label as “human cockfighting.”

Without rules, sanctioning would have been a near insurmountable obstacle. That would have greatly strained the remunerative potential of MMA, which would have prevented most of the great fighters we know today from ever entering the sport. Part of the reason why those early Ultimate Fighting Championship tournaments were fun was because the competitors weren’t particularly skilled or athletic. They were tough enough, scrappy enough and probably more than a little off-in-the-head enough to want to fight a stranger in some random sketchy arena. They were regular people you’d see in regular life with a dash of martial arts and/or street-fighting experience; they weren’t world-class athletes.

The problem: Enforcing rules can be hard. The very thing that makes MMA so dynamic and exciting — the constant potential for an instantaneous ending of the fight — also makes it unmanageable. Pity the thankless, fallible work of refereeing…”

 

Read more at Sherdog

Read more

By In Mixed Martial Arts

The Cathartic Zen of The Cowboy

“You can never truly know what lies inside the mind of another person, but I can’t help but wonder two things about Donald Cerrone. One: Does he want to become a UFC champion? Two: Did he ever?

These questions sound more easily answered than they actually are. In the aftermath of his win against Yancy Medeiros at UFC Fight Night 126 on Sunday in Austin, Texas, Cerrone stated pretty clearly that he wanted to drop back down to lightweight to get the belt. Case closed, right? Not so fast. In the same interview, he fell back into his usual demeanor: “I’ll fight whatever they tell me. They’ll call me and say, ‘We need you at 170,’ and I’ll be like, ‘OK.’ They all pay the same to me, so it don’t matter what it is.”

Those are contradictory sentiments…”

Read more at Sherdog

Read more