2/1/09

UFC: Un-Freakingbeliveably Crude

Sometimes I wonder how much of myself comes across through my writing. How do YOU guys see me ... versus how I see myself. Though granted you only know the things I want you to know, I only tell you what I want you to hear, but still. Tone and manner of writing can at times say way more than words themselves, so I wonder. Anyways, if nothing else, this post will tell you a little bit more about ME. I guess.

Last night I went to a friend's place for drinks and such. Just a couple of us hanging out, watching TV etc. But the event du soir was some pay-per-view UFC championship thingie. Or else just a regularly-scheduled pay-per-view. I don't know how these things work. Whichever.

Now for those not familiar with UFC (a population I was part of until a couple months ago when another acquaintence turned it on one evening), Wikipedia explains it as...


Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts (MMA) organization, currently recognized as the largest MMA promotion in the world.[2] The UFC is owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The UFC began as a single-event tournament to find the world's best fighters irrespective of their style, and was based upon Brazilian vale tudo fighting. Although there were a limited number of rules, promoters marketed fighting in the UFC as no holds barred, and contests were often violent and brutal. Early UFC fights were less sport than spectacle, which led to accusations of brutality and "human cock fighting" by Senator John McCain and others.[3] Political pressures eventually led the UFC into the underground, as pay-per-view providers nixed UFC programming, nearly extinguishing the UFC's public visibility.

As political pressure mounted, the UFC reformed itself, slowly embracing stricter rules, becoming sanctioned by state athletic commissions, and marketing itself as a legitimate sporting event. Dropping the no holds barred label and carrying the banner of mixed martial arts, the UFC has emerged from its political isolation to become more socially acceptable, regaining its position in pay-per-view television.

With a cable television deal and expansion into Canada, Europe and new markets within the United States, the UFC as of 2009[update] has experienced a remarkable surge in popularity, along with greater mainstream media coverage. UFC programming can now be seen on Spike in the United States and Canada, as well as in 34 other countries worldwide.


Basically, two men have 15 minutes to beat the crap out of one another in what's essentiall a bare-knuckles-no-rules fight.

I hate it.

I really really really hate it. Not just in a "I hate it I love it I hate it" kinda way.... in a real, honestly genuine, hate it kinda way.

I spent half the night, especially the "title fight" with my hand over my eyes, shield my delicate mind from the sheer brutality of it all. I almost started crying.

The pre-game fights really, okay. That wasn't too bad. Lots of hugging, mounting from behind, funny commentary. But the main fight of the night was just horrible. The walter-weight champion was having a rematch against some other dude. The champion was from Montreal. Woohoo-Canada. Not.

But the Canadian dude was SO MUCH BIGGER than the challenger. He was a big ole hulk of a man with granite abs and biceps of steel.

And he beat the little guy to a pulp.

Not just in the first round.

But the second.

The third

And the fourth.

Shit he probably would have kept going if the match wasn't called off by medical personnel. But for twenty full minutes (the "main fights" get 25 minutes of "pure fighting action" as my friend put it) this guy was slaughtered. I swear, the weight behind his punches was terrifying. And I seriously, honestly seriously, thought that the challenger was going to die. Going to die in front of my eyes, on live television.

It really could have happened. And the very thought just is so frightening.

What the hell kind of society are we to champion this kind of brutality? Why do we watch this? Why do two 20-something girls on a Saturday night SEEK OUT this kind of "entertainment" and then honestly watch it with interest and lack of disgust?

Don't they REALIZE that it's real? That hundreds of blows to the head in a matter of minutes can most certainly kill a man? Why would anyone watch that? Am I that much of a wussy pacifist that I stand isolated from the grander flesh-hungry portion of the population? Am I really alone?

I don't know. I just can't ever handle that again. If I ever get invited over for UFC again, I'll "just say no." It's too hard on my brain and my heart otherwise.

**Sidenote, Georges St-Pierre, the Canadian fighter, was actually named the 2008 Canadian Athlete of the Year by Sportsnet. Twisted.

14 comments:

Anonymous February 1, 2009 at 2:01 PM  

I don't get violent sports or violence in sports either Jackie. Guess we have something in common. I just leave the room or turn the channel if I am at home.

Mom

Matt, Kara and Hunter February 1, 2009 at 2:08 PM  

While not a fan of violence, for some reason I am drawn to ufc... no clue why. Maybe because I just don't understand how someone could choose a career like that!

Mongoose February 1, 2009 at 2:53 PM  

"What the hell kind of society are we to champion this kind of brutality?"

Actually, the fact that this is sort of behaviour is not the norm, is probably a lot weirder. Men beating each other up is normal human behaviour. Including men beating each other up for entertainment - theirs or someone else's. We're a very soft society. In my opinion.

Jackie S. Quire February 1, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

Mongoose:

I expected this comment from someone eventually. And here's my point: if we are supposedly so EVOLVED why do we keep reverting and celebrating such archaic and barbaric forms of "entertainment"

Idealistic Pragmatist February 1, 2009 at 3:00 PM  

Wow, that just sounds appalling! No thanks.

Anonymous February 1, 2009 at 5:09 PM  

I'm with you Jackie, although, I don't think I hate UFC quite as much as you do. My first UFC experience was just as terrifying, I however watched it in real life. Thats right, lucky me got to be ring side and actually see the blood fly. I was so scared it would land on me. All I could think was "where are these guys mothers?" Cuz I know if I have a son and he grows up to do something so ludicrous, I'll wonder where I went wrong. I haven't watched it since, but my husband likes it, so much in fact, that he neglected communicating with me last night while the UFC was on pay per view. Very disappointing.

Shannon (from Mexico)

KOTN February 2, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

It is more honest than pro-boxing.....

Jackie S. Quire February 2, 2009 at 9:14 AM  

KOTN,
You are probably right. But my distaste for UFC has absolutely nothing to do with the "honesty" of the "sport" and everything to do with how disgusting the whole event is.

I know I'm a dramatic person. I know that. I know I over-exaggerate from time to time.

But I really, honestly, thought BJ was going to be killed on live, pay-per-view television.

And how wrong is that? Seriously? To pay money to watch someone die on-screen? And to pretend its okay?

No thank you. Too Brave New World/1984-style forms of "entertainment" for me.

And

Alex February 2, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

as a fan of the UFC...I'd have to disagree with you on this one.
If looked at from a statistical point of view, it's actually quite a safe sport. Boxers and NFL players tend to drop like flies as they get older. Mainly as a result of taking thousands of blows to the head over the course of their careers. UFC fights, by nature, will never go on long enough for a fighter to accumulate that many shots. Things such as submissions allow for different methods of victory.

From my own experiences, people seem to have an issue with how "in your face" and "real" the fights are because the participants are in plain site- no helmets and "protective" gear covering up their injuries. Society seems to have become jaded toward head on, person to person combat/competition.
If it's instead masked under the guise of "get this ball over there" or "put this piece of rubber in that net" it goes over a lot easier with people.
I see it as an extremely technical and skillful chess match of combat...and entertaining to boot!

Not trying to be a bugger...just my opinion! :)

Jackie S. Quire February 2, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

Alex:

(First off, thanks for commenting! I think this might be a first, and it's appreciated!)

@"UFC fights, by nature, will never go on long enough for a fighter to accumulate that many shots."

I don't know if you saw Saturday night's fight or not. And frankly, I don't watch UFC on a regular basis. One night was more than enough. I will never watch it again.

But my point is for about 20 minutes, especially the final 10 minutes... Georges St-Pierre had BJ Penn ON THE GROUND. Penn, basically limp without hardly any fight in him to even consider an "escape" ... was punched easily hundreds of times exclusively TO THE HEAD. And not light little play punches either. Big. Honkin. Heavy. Punches. Fist punches. Elbow punches. You get the idea.

I am not a fan of violence in sports-- period. I don't watch hockey "for the fights."

@"I see it as an extremely technical and skillful chess match of combat...and entertaining to boot!"

I can see how someone would compare certain types of martial arts as a technical/skillful chess match. Hell, I could even see that being said about wrestling (I'm thinking like high school-style wrestling, not WWE wrestling). But not this.

Sure, the guys are in crazy great shape. Sure, this is a demonstration of their fitness.

But it's the *intent* that gets me. It's like the *intent* here is to kill.

Not to score "points"

Thanks for your comment!!

Mongoose February 2, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

But we're not "so evolved". We're still the same human animal we always were. I always like to look at human behaviour from a zoological people and most people seem to think that's a horrible thing to do, but we're still just mammals. We're not any more "evolved" than that... We just have more high-tech toys than most. In my opinion.

Jackie S. Quire February 2, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

Okay, just for funsies, I'm going to play with this "evolved, not-evolved" point for a bit.

Okay, so we are mammals. Yes, I agree. We fit the definition, no problem.

But there is *something* different about humans than "the rest", right?

And personally, I'd like to think that *something* is higher reasoning... and my higher reasoning says needless violence and celebrating needlessly violent displays is *not right*.

This hardly means I think I'm "more evolved" than people who LIKE UFC.

Just a thought.

What do YOU think that distinction is?

Amy H. February 2, 2009 at 12:42 PM  

Hubby dragged me out to watch this fight on Saturday night. I must admit, I am the kind of girl who turns up her nose at the whole violence as entertainment thing. Can't stand wrestling, don't enjoy boxing. But sitting in a room with five other guys who provided all kinds of context and explanation, I actually enjoyed it!! Nobody was more surprised by that than me!

Mongoose February 3, 2009 at 12:42 PM  

I don't think it's "higher reasoning" telling you that violence is "not right." I think it's a schema.

And as for the difference between humans and other animals, that's not a question I really ask myself, as I'm much more interested in the similarities, but I'd have to stand by what I said earlier: we just have more technology.

In my opinion.