So my foray into the world of blogging was not so successful. I had one comment on my entry and it was from my best friend. I'm not sure anyone else even read it. For that reason, I haven't written another entry in about a year and haven't really even thought about it, for that matter. But two things happened yesterday that made me think of this little blog I wrote and encouraged me to write a follow-up, regardless of the lack of readership.
So I was in the corporate fitness center yesterday where I and all my fellow minions go to play athlete a couple times a week. As I typically do at the end of my workouts, I was hitting the heavy bag for a few 3-minute rounds. I do this purely for exercise. I hate to run so I find other ways to burn calories. So as I'm catching my breath in between rounds, some old dude, probably in his early 40's, comes up to me and asks me if I'm a professional fighter. Now I'm a young guy. I am still a good athlete. And I have some boxing training, albeit very little. But come on, dude. A professional fighter?! Why? Because I'm hitting a punching bag? No, guy. I'm not a professional fighter. I'm a banker, just like you. That's why I'm hitting a punching bag in a corporate fitness center. I took it as somewhat of a complement but couldn't help but shake my head and laugh for most of the day. Then last night I turned on the television and the last person to watch it must have been watching the Versus channel (Vs.) because what do I see on my screen but two monkeys with cauliflower ears and at least 47 tattoos between the two of them beating the living piss out of each other. I stood there watching this spectacle for a good 2 or 3 minutes, wondering when the gorilla would administer an arm bar on the ape and put an end to this horrific and pathetic display. So in a span of less than 8 hours, I had two separate run-ins with MMA. And I got to thinking about this little blog entry I wrote and thought it was time for a follow-up.
In the year since my first entry on MMA Guy, the sport of mixed martial arts has continued to grow. I think the freshness has worn off but that just means it has become more mainstream. This could not disappoint me more. To wit, take my example in the gym yesterday. MMA has apparently become so intrusive and pervasive in our society that, when you see a guy hitting a punching bag, you just assume he's training for a cage match. Also, I can't sit down for a pint of Guinness without spotting 3 "Affliction" shirts and a sideways cocked "Tapout" hat. Last week, my cousin, a Miami Beach firefighter, came to visit me for the weekend. We went to my corner bar and ordered a pitcher. So across the bar we see this Douche with his Affliction shirt and his pencil thin beard. Seeing as how I was just inebriated enough to loosen the tongue, I took this opportunity to reveal to my cousin just how I feel about MMA Guy. He got pretty quiet and I immediately sensed that I was in the presence of someone who did not agree with my stance. Upon doing a little digging (and considerable softening on my position), I learned that many firefighters and police officers now engage in some level of MMA activity on the side. So even my cousin, it seems, is quite the MMA fan.
So last night, as fate had the foresight to tune my television to the Versus channel on a Wednesday evening, I resolved to watch a few minutes of this through different eyes. Could it be that I am missing something? Could I be wrong about this? Maybe MMA is cool after all. Maybe I should check this out so that I can intelligently discuss submission holds while doing Jagerbombs with all of the spiked haired goons at the bar. Maybe I should give this one more shot. So I did. I turned it on and watched 3 matches. And here's my verdict. It sucks. It's just awful. This is supposed to be highly trained, all-around fighters matching their differing skills against each other. But instead it is two heavy footed guys who are average boxers, average wrestlers, and average ju-jitsu practitioners, rolling on the floor of a cage. I see no speed. The technique is average at best. All of the "fighters" have records like 6-0 or 10-3. This tells me that there's no staying power. A guy gets in and gets out. And besides, this is not MIXED martial arts. It's a ju-jitsu competition with some wrestling mixed in. I have to believe that Bruce Lee would have dispensed with these meatheads in 30 seconds. And I shudder to think of what would happen if one of these a-wipes found themselves in a ring of any sort with Floyd Mayweather or someone like that.
MMA I suppose is entertaining to the masses. People lap it up the same way they do American Idol, US Weekly, and Harry Potter books. Yet only with MMA do people think that by watching it or by being interested in it, they are automatically engaged in it. I mean, I watch basketball and football but do I think that makes me a semi-pro player? But MMA guy doesn't get this. Instead, he signs up to take ju-jitsu from a white guy with a calf tattoo, buys a whole wardrobe full of fighting clothes, and starts looking for someone to rumble with. My message to all of those people is simple. You are not an American Idol, you are not a celebrity, you are not a boy wizard, and you are not a cage fighter.