I imagine most of us are filling the current MMA void in the same ways: watching fights you missed or can’t remember or revisiting old favorites, possibly with someone who has never seen them before. The more hardcore fans among us—either in their degree of fandom or boredom—are re-watching entire events and reveling in the forgotten moments of commentary and between-fight banter.
Although I have greatly enjoyed going through the careers of Nick Diaz and Mirko Filipovic one fight at a time with my wife, many of my longtime favorite performances have struck me for different reasons than they initially did. When I was a younger, greener fan, I was still learning why I was so drawn to fighting and had a very limited grasp of what was even happening in the cage or ring. Now, after 18 years as a fan of MMA and nearly six years of covering it, I have a much greater appreciation for what I’m watching.
Still, I wouldn’t call myself an analyst. I’m not completely ignorant. I know enough to know my limitations, which is also enough to know who knows what they’re talking about, so I reached out to one of those people: Ed Gallo, analyst for Bloody Elbow and The Fight Site. His knowledge and ability to articulate technical nuances, especially when it comes to wrestling, is illuminating.
Watching fights attentively and critically and not simply for entertainment is its own fun, and now is as good a time as ever to become more fluent in fight analysis. Here is the first part of a conversation I had with Gallo about how to watch fights like an analyst…Like