I Will Watch The Fights No More Forever

Posted: May 27, 2014 in UFC

I’m done with the UFC. I didn’t watch it this weekend, I didn’t want to, and I might not watch again.

I’ve loved the UFC since it’s inception, but what I loved is dead. Now it’s a sport. A big, dumb, boring sport, as crooked as boxing, as boring as baseball, and as over produced as the NFL. It’s an endless game designed to sell chicken wings and make money.

Dana White is in a secret cabal with BW3s and Coors Light to take over the world. I don’t know if it’s with meat-head bullshit jingoism, or manipulations of the insulin market after diabetes kills off most of America, but I know they’re involved, and I know sparkly T-Shirts have something to do with it.

Worse, I’m afraid I’ve spread the virus to my friends and family, because I’ve exposed every person I know to the UFC, and I’m sorry. My ex-girlfriends all have favorite fighters, and my roommate, who couldn’t tell you the difference between linebackers, could identify a triangle choke, and knows why a North-South is funny. (a triangle choke is a leg choke that doesn’t look like it should work, and a North-South is when two guys end up with their faces in each others’ wieners… you pussies.)

Anyway, I hate it now, and here’s why the UFC sucks:

It’s not fighting, it’s a sport, and sports are boring. The First UFC was an Event, and proved a point. A bunch of the toughest folks people knew got together and saw who would win in a fight. They had a tournament, and a Brazilian ground fighter won it. He choked out a big kickboxer who’d just caved-in a sumo’s face. It was awesome, and answered a lot of questions. Stupid macho questions that I wanted answered on a fundamental level; Could a boxer beat up a karate guy, could a wrestler beat up a boxer, could a dinosaur kill an X-Man? Things I needed to know.

The very name implied this. It was The ULTIMATE Fighting Championship. Ultimate means last. Now it’s a weekly contest. Calling it the UFC is silly, however, it sounds much better than calling it the Weekly Fighting Championships.

But even that would be an overstatement, because it isn’t fighting. It’s Sort-Of fighting, and it’s less like fighting every day. The First UFC had 3 rules, and those were plenty, because you can’t tell people how to fight. Early contests were unpredictable. They could be hideously violent, or boring, or hard to watch. They were, indisputably, real fighting.

It kind of grossed people out, it could lead to tense, unexciting fights (Dan Severn once famously stalked Ken Shamrock for over an hour and didn’t do anything.) So they put in some rules. Then they added weight classes, and time limits which might have made for a better product, but is certainly less like fighting. Other rules were instituted to appeal to more mainstream audiences, audiences put off by actual violence. Idiots still think kicking a guy in the balls is dirty. (It’s macho to shoot an intruder, but only a coward would punch a man in his privates.) People don’t like the idea of fighting, so they changed it to seem more “sporting,” but it had the opposite effect. This seemingly silly argument, perfectly illustrates that MMA is not actual fighting and arguably less honorable. Putting in rules seems necessary to demand fairness, but it’s telling that in the first UFC, there were no dick kicks, even though they were legal. Now that dick kicks are outlawed… you see no fewer than 3 per card.

I do believe today’s athletes would win the first UFC, they have trained in more ways and have been opened up to more styles of fighting than was possible 20 years ago, and MMA is a very effective fighting system that grew organically out of sport fighting. I would say with the same confidence, that today’s champions are not the toughest guys in the sport, and that if the rules were stripped back to the original 3, the current UFC champs would not come out on top, at least not always.

Which leads to the biggest lie and problem with the UFC today, it’s champions aren’t champions. A fighting champion is a lie boxing and pro-wrestling have used for generations to trick idiots into thinking a show is the same as real life. There is no single toughest man on the planet, there are hundreds; any fighter can, with a little luck, beat any other fighter. That is the appeal and curse of the pursuit. Moreover, there are people who can regularly beat one opponent, and lose to another who regularly loses to the first. Styles and skills match up unevenly, and provide interesting results, but by tweaking and manipulating the scenario, those results become more and more formulaic. A champion can avoid styles that exploit his weaknesses, and never lose, but that does not make him the greatest. I won’t accuse any UFC athletes of doing that, but I’ll certainly accuse their camps, and the people whose priorities are not being the greatest fighter in the world, but keeping their fighter in that position.

The only way to prevent selective matchmaking, is to either demand a tournament (which still allows for some inevitable bias, as seeding is imperfect.) Or provide a series where all fighters compete against each other, and a winner is determined from the results. In short, the UFC needs a season, or embrace the idea of a yearly champion, not reigning champion. It was how the UFC was designed. It’s what “Championship” means, A champion is the winner of a contest, a representative for a camp, kingdom, or country, who stands for a higher ideal, the current “best.” It is Not a floating title that belongs to a man until it is taken from him. A Champion is not a king. A champion can not be disputed. I dispute the current system.

The UFC was designed to answer questions, and it no longer does so. It just showcases dudes wailing on each other in a perpetual system of meaningless violence. The Weekly Sort of Fighting Matches. The UFC was meant to present fighting as an art married to sport, but has turned into something less than either. It is bloated like major league baseball, phony like professional boxing, and as presumptuous as the NFL. It’s a show I don’t want to watch.

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