We've come a long way from the days of The Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1994 with No Holds Barred rules and no weightclasses in tournament style match ups.
Today's Mixed Martial Arts is the newest evolution of Sport.
That's it. There is nothing in the world that compares to it. Sure there are the primary sports that comprise MMA which are Wrestling/Grappling, Jiu Jitsu, and Boxing/Kickboxing. When putting all three together you have a dynamite, action-packed contest based on skill, agility, athleticism and sheer will.
In my humble opinion, there is no particular sport or competition that can even be mentioned in the same breath as MMA. I'm not denying other sports/athletes of their skills or abillities, I'm just saying that MMA is that much more difficult to master and and is greatly more entertaining to watch. I love sports, I hold partial season tix for the Yankees, and go to the occaisional b-ball game and football game, but I'd rather watch two athletes in a cage or ring impose thier will on one another than seeing your run of the mill 10-2 blowout in baseball or watch the Knicks lose (kind of becoming a way of life, instead of just a streak for the Knicks). It's between the adrenalin you get from watching people swing away at one another, and the skill it takes not to be taken down and submitted within the first minute of a match. The greatest part of the sport is the propensity for upsets. All it takes is one mistake and the fight could be over! You can overcome single mistakes in team sports, however in one-on-one combat, one mistake could mean the end! In essence, each athlete has to be perfect in both their offensive and defensive schemes to win a match. Just a very intense sport to watch let alone compete in!
Back to the intial premise of this blog (sorry, I ramble and my thoughts come out faster than I can blog). Since those initial days of Barehand combat, deemed as "human cockfighting", MMA has become sanctioned in many states, more socially acceptable thanks to media outlets (Thanks SI and ESPN!). Not only is it becoming more common to see MMA stars everywhere (Chuck Liddell on Entourage, or other stars on the King of Queens), MMA has become a huge cash cow... UFC regularly buys the most expensive pieces of real estate in Times Square to put Chuck Liddell and Quinton Jackson on gigantic Billboards, or advertise endlessly onTV for upcoming events! MMA has surpassed Boxing (save the DeLaHoya- Mayweather fight) and WWE in pay per view buys and is now moving globally by uniting fans of all lands in viewing the spot on its highest level.
I'm not Pro UFC or Pride or IFL or any organization that is currently promoting shows. I genuinely love this hybrid sport and want to see it flourish in a positive light that displays the skill sets these athletes have obtained over years of training, and fighting underground to get what's due to them! Fame, good $$, and most importantly RESPECT.