Saturday, September 22, 2007

Competitive Sports Rule!

MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts and is better known in the U.S. as Ultimate Fighting (or, totally straight, non-gay dudes rolling around trying to dominate each other--in a completely hetero, not homo, kind of way). I find it awesome for a number of reasons, but I won't discuss all of those reasons in this post.

So, I just got finished watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pay-per-view event this evening. The match-ups didn't promise to be all that exciting, but I couldn't help but order because I'm a nerd.

Even if all the fights went according to who was better on paper, I figured it'd be good to see Shogun Rua's UFC debut. Also, it couldn't hurt to see Chuck Liddell comeback from his loss to "Rampage" Jackson. I was also looking forward to seeing Diego Sanchez lose again (he just annoys me).

Well, I was able to see Diego Sanchez lose again...but even that didn't go as well as I anticipated since I actually like Sanchez more after his loss. The kid showed heart and humility. Hard to hate that.

And then all hell broke loose. Forrest Griffin beat Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (that' Rua with an "H" sound--Poutegese, bitch). To put this in perspective: Rua was ranked number 1 or 2 in almost all rankings at 205 lbs. Griffin wasn't ranked and was thought of as a sacrificial lamb for Rua's debut in the UFC. As if that weren't enough, Keith "The Dean of Mean" Jardine (I kid you not) beat former light-heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell in a 3-round brawl.

That's why the sport of MMA is awesome. Over the past year, the number of hu-ge upsets in this sport is unbelievable. A quick count: I think there have been at least 7 huge upsets in the past year...at least 3 of those for titles.

When we watch sports, of course we want our favorite team to win. And if they happen to be the awesome team (Bulls during the 90's for me) we're fine with the fact that there is a lack of competition. Beyond that, however, most sports fans crave a good upset.

MMA/UFC has delivered those upsets this year. Some people consider this a negative for the sport since newer fans have trouble wrapping their heads around the fact that their favorite fighters are unlikely to go undefeated and/or lose to someone they've never heard of. Simple fact is: getting hit with a good punch or having a bad night is not that uncommon.

So that's why mixed martial arts is awesome. I like to feel all torn up inside after a sporting event. Either I'm feeling on top of the world because my Cubbie's are about to make the playoffs (fingers crossed...go Brewers' opponents!). Or, if my guy or team loses, I'm feeling all anxious and unsure about life itself. Either way, it distracts me, however momentarily, from life. And that's what sports for me is about: having an irrational bond with a game that has no impact on my well-being. Tonight, the game was a controlled fight with rules. And tonight, I feel totally irrational about this shit.

And that's awesome.

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