Urijah Faber
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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Watching Through the Rearview

“I watched UFC on Fox 22 after it had already finished. I had to work on Sunday morning, when most fight cards are live in my time zone, and after the requisite hweshik — a Korean custom where you go out and drink with your boss — all the hands had already been raised in Sacramento, California.

While I was out, I couldn’t help myself; by the time I rolled home, I knew the who and the how of the event’s winners. I probably could have left it at that and scanned through play-by-plays and post-fight analyses, but there’s a difference between reading about fights and actually watching them. So that’s what I did.

For whatever is lost in the way of genuine intrigue, watching fights through the rearview makes up for it with added clarity. Upsets, bad decisions, surprising performances — they all make more sense when you expect them. The experience is less exciting than not knowing, of course, but it provides a different lens through which to understand what happened.

The strangest part about watching a fight for the first time when you already know the end result is how normal it can be. I assumed Urijah Faber would win, and by the time “California Love” cut through the showers of applause at the Golden 1 Center, I knew he would win. The odd part, though, is that it felt no different than the majority of Faber’s fights for the past 10 years…”


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