5.31.2008

MMA Kicks Boxing's One Dimensional Ass

I make no secret of the fact that I am a very big mixed martial arts fan and especially of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, including the reality, The Ultimate Fighter.

This season of The Ultimate Fighter has been superb, marked by excellent fights and alot less focus on the drama in the house where the fighters all live together. This despite one wanker's attempts to paint himself as a bad boy who got the living snot beat out of him in his fight.

Anyway, I'm sure slicker pens than mine have dissected the differences between boxing and MMA. For me the main difference is that boxing is, well, boring. Its one dimensional, those huge puffy gloves look like pillows and I find myself wondering why the hell they aren't throwing kicks, knees, elbows and taking the fight to the ground. Why? Because any pro boxer will get the holy crap beat out of him in a mixed martial match.

Not everytime since chance and luck do come into play in any fight. But the vast majority of the time, a boxer will fall to a more rounded and capable fighter.

But, as with any new and upcoming sport with its share of controversy, there are myths, stupidities and outright lies being circulated about mixed martial arts.

So it is with pleasure that I read, MMA myths debunked again because there is an awful lot of bullshit pretending to be reality when it comes to MMA.

Don't get me wrong, boxers are highly trained athletes competing in a dangerous sport. It just happens to bore me to tears.

MMA is a multi-discipline sport requiring expertise in at least three areas, striking, grappling and submissions. Th rigors of MMA training outshadow boxing by a good margin since each discipline is its own fighting art in its own right. Boxing is one, MMA incorporates all of them.

I'm not a huge fan of the bloody matches where an elbow strike opens a squirting bleeder on top of someone's head but its part of the game. My favorite kind of fights are the wars that go back and forth with each fighter scoring points, the fight has stand up elements, ground and pound elements and dynamic special moves like Superman punches, flying knees and spinning back fists. A good MMA fight has been likened to a physical chess match and some of them really are, especially the jui jitsu fights that looks alot like foreplay to the uninitiated but is anything but.

I enjoy MMA where I used to enjoy boxing. Now boxing looks old, tired and slow compared to how dynamic and exciting a quality MMA match is.

Here's the short list of myths debunked in the article and my short comments in italics:
John McCain once called mixed martial arts “human cockfighting.” - unlike boxing which is ballet with punching.
MMA was once banned in nearly every state. - polygamy is banned in nearly every state too.
Mixed martial arts was a rules-free freak show until the UFC’s current ownership came in and cleaned up the sport. - I think people are confusing the tv wrestling (is that clearer, Ryan?) with MMA. One is filled with misogynistic steroid freaks pantomiming gutter dramas and the other is a sport for elite fighters. Easy to get them confused.
Mixed martial arts is a haven for white trash. - yes, because white trash has the dedication to train in three disciplines to the exclusion of everything else and no other demographic could possibly do so. MMA is rife with international fighters, to say otherwise is to ignore patent fact.
MMA contributes to the level of violence in our culture. - Again, MMA is not WWE. WWE contributes to violence against women and violence against each other based on perceived insults and rigged results. MMA fights are selected by organizers, the fights take place in strictly controlled venues and have conclusions that are irrefutable (they may be disputed but a win is a win).
Mixed martial arts is inherently more dangerous than other contact sports. Tell that to the dude who rode a mountain bike down the side of a volcano and found out how dangerous pumice is at high speed. MMA is no more dangerous than any contact sport and is probably safer in many aspects due to the controlled environment, excellent referees and rules.
MMA is unskilled bar-fighting; while boxing is refined and genteel. This is just an asinine thing to say. If you are basing all of MMA on Kimbo Slice then you might have a point, a totally illogic and stupid point but a point nonetheless. MMA requires an amazing amount of skill and discipline and training and dedication.
Mixed martial arts fans are bloodthirsty and just want to see people get knocked out. I'll admit that I like a quality knockout as much as the next fan but I also love a great submission just as much. Also, let's apply the same logic to NASCAR fans, they just want to see the fiery crashes so they can go "Woooooooooooo" some more.

There, that was kind of fun.

Also, tonight is the network debut of mixed martial arts in the form of the sole superstar outside of the UFC, Kimbo Slice, who rose to fame via YouTube videos of his backyard ass kickings. Not traditional, not conventional and alot of MMA fighters are thoroughly pissed off that he's one of the faces of the sport. But either way, the debut on primetime is a big, big step forward for the sport. I'm sure the panty-twisting crowd will up in arms about the "bloodsport" on television but they tend to get all wadded up over pretty much everything so who really cares, eh?

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