The Ridiculous Nature of MMA

Okay, so I am writing on a sports blog about a non-sport item.  But since this story appeared on a sports website, I guess I can make the parallel.

Apparently at a recent MMA event (UFC 96 or 4,273 or whatever) a guy by the name of Matt Hamill KO’ed the holy hell out of some poor sap named Mark Munoz.  The knockout came courtesy of a kick, but that does not matter; it could have been a monkey wrench.  That is beside the point.  The point is Hamill hammered the consciousness out of Munoz for the win.

Now, apparently this cat Hamill was fighting in front of his hometown (or at least his home state) and was estatic of his ass-kicking of Munoz.  However, the knockout was so “vicious” that Munoz was being treated for the injury while Hamill auditioned for Dancing with the Stars.  They even “almost” brought out the stretcher for this loser Munoz.

Apparently many “expects” in MMA found Hamill’s antics over-the-top and disrespectful.  While some have wondered if they should give Hamill a pass because of his “disability” (Hamill is deaf…which strangely enough does NOT affect his fighting ability, nor his intellect), others have noted that Hamill knew Munoz was in “seriously bad shape” due to the number of people surrounding the fallen loser.

Smells like teen spirit, doesnt it?

Smells like teen spirit, doesn't it?

Ok……what the hell!?  MMA is a “sport” (sic) that sells itself of people getting knocked the f*** out with brutal kicks to the head and fists of fury on a guy pinned against the “cage.”  Any ad for MMA that runs on television is filled with guys getting knocked unconscious before they hit the mat.  It sells itself on the violent aspect of it.  Hell, they advertise a “knockout of the night” typically that will show someone going comotose.  When searching for a clip of the knockout, I came across another match where a guy uppercutted his opponent, essentially knocking him out.  The cat then pounced on the fallen loser and got off three or four unguarded shots to the face before the referee finally stepped in; all the while the crowds is going nuts!  This is the kind of stuff that MMA wants to promote.  Hamill was playing his role for the betterment of MMA in general, and the UFC — it is good for business!  Hell, it got me to write about it.

The “outcry” over the Hamill celebration speaks to the ridiculous and hypocritical natural of MMA as a “sport” (sic).  Dude knocks out his opponent, which is what he is supposed to do; celebrates his KO towards the fans, which is what anyone would do in his situation; and the MMA “media” blasts him for doing essentially what the business wants its fighters/entertainers to do.  I guarantee that fans were not that upset; they probably loved the knock out and fed on the celebration.  Yes, there was an injury, but this is a competition that is predicated on violence, pain (and pain thresholds) and essentially creating injuries.  Furthermore, it was not like Hamill was standing over Munoz doing pelvic thrusts and saying “Can you hear me now?”  He celebrated towards the fans.  Admonishing Hamill for that is akin to admonishing the Dutch team for celebrating its (second) win over the Dominican Republic.

This is one reason why I do not watch MMA; the hypocrisy.

NOTE: before some slapper tries to claim that I am an MMA-hater (or that I hate MMA because I love boxing [there tends to be a polarized fan base when it comes to the two]), understand the argument first off.  And second, it should be clear I am no fan of MMA.  This is not to say that I have not given it a chance (several occasions, including watching UFC PPVs).  Nor am I stating that it does not possess a legitimate entertainment value.  But I just have not enjoyed any match that I have seen.  It is mostly a lot of boring moments with a few spurts of excitement.  I feel the same way about boxing; not a fan of boxing for the most part.  Both MMA and boxing bore me and while I have given it several chances, instances like this turn me away from it even more.

3 thoughts on “The Ridiculous Nature of MMA

  1. There is a comparison that can be drawn between this MMA instance and instances from a more mainstream “collision sport”–Football (American Football). Most people would not argue that football is not a sport, though seeing Hawaii Football in this blog’s banner makes me think you might give it a whirl, nor would many debate the violence of the sport that gave us brutes like Jack Tatum, Ray Lewis, Dick Butkus and Wilbur Marshall. Timeless quotes like, “I like to believe that my best hits border on felonious assault” and “Pro football is like nuclear warfare. There are no winners, only survivors” only help to summarize the brute physicality of football. While educated fans enjoy the nuance of the game the NFL seeks to draw in new fans with the plays that make ESPN highlights: long td’s, ints, and players getting “Jacked up.” NOTHING fires up a crowd like the “Big Hit.” Fans cheer when someone gets “laid out” or “k.o.’d”, but very few cheer as a player lay still, and injured on the field. Furthermore, most fans (excluding those sporting jean shorts, mullets, natty light cans, ‘Canes paraphernalia, Eagle’s Jerseys, or seated in student sections) even clap when the injured player is escorted off the field, cheering the efforts of a fallen “gladiator”. This is where similarities can be drawn between football and MMA. MMA does use the rapid-fire, knockout montage to attract new “fight fans” to a card (because watching two, spandex clad men hump each other’s leg doesn’t sell tickets). A knockout is the highlight in its simplest form, it needs no explanation, and meanwhile the nuance of Brazilian Jui Jitsu tactics takes longer than a 10 second slot on Spike to appreciate. Most MMA fans cheer the knockout, but no one wants to see someone critically injured in the ring–danced over no less. Educated MMA fans prefer a well executed grappling move, ending in a gore-less, non-highlight “tap out,”(often fans plead for the tapout as to not see a Theisman-like snappage) over a two second knockout finished up with hammer fists. Just as NFL fans fear the sissyfication of football through rules (rules no doubt enacted after very public, serious injuries) MMA fans do not want to see their sport destroyed in the court of public opinion over a few publicized, “bad” knockouts. MMA writers and veteran fans are not being hypocritical, they simply seek to protect the sport they love by helping to establish a line for celebration–seeking to help the sport evolve. Other sports have established these lines over MANY years (70 + of them for the NFL), rarely in the NFL do you see someone celebrate over an injured opponent, but it used to happen…I hope to say that about MMA soon enough.

  2. ah, Crumby…i attempted to tread carefully on that line. but since you brought it up…

    the goal of football is not to lay out a helpless defensive back. blocking is an inherent part of football, but ultimately the point is to score — touchdowns, field goals or even safeties. SMU might land a few hard blocks, but that does not mean they win in a 95-21 loss to Houston. you do not win with hard blocks. conversely, to win an MMA event, one of the ways is a knockout. a knockout would typically be something that essentially incapacitates your opponent. that DB will likely get up from that Hines Ward cheap shot; an MMA’er will not likely get up from a knockout (at least not immediately). that is the difference, the knockout — the actual act of laying out your opponent — is inherent in the “scoring” system of MMA.

    yes, both are physical. both have the potential for (serious) injury. and yes, the media and the business side of things in both football and MMA thrive on images of big hits…but also showboating. i agree, the nuances are more interesting to “real” fans of MMA. the reaction of experts seemed hypocritical.

    rules have to be formed. okay…i understand that. and you do not want to go overboard. but i will give you another example of what turns me away from MMA. one of the matches i watched was Brock Lesnar v. Frank Mir. Lesnar takes down Mir and wails on him. Mir turns his head and Lesnar is forced off and HE is deducted a point. a few seconds later, Mir wins with an anklelock submission! can’t hit in the back of the head…i get that. safety first…but it was Mir who turned his head, therefore his fault and should’ve been deemed that he gave up (went defenseless, whatever the hell they call it). instead, the guy doing what he was supposed to do gets penalized and subsequently lost.

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