Sound and Fury Alert: UFC 87 Not Much Different Than a Street Fight Edition

Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press attended his first UFC event live and while he admits the fighters are tough, that MMA is a sport and "skill [is] involved", he seems to believe it's the most barbaric act known to mankind. And on his way towards doing so, he rehashes every anachronistic misleading canard regarding our beloved sport. Here are some choice clips:

You know it's a rough sport when the crowd boos a fighter for taking too long to recover from a knee to the groin. Gasping and choking for such a protracted length of time, he bored the audience.

UFC: 87 at Target Center Saturday night was quite an experience. As it turns out, mixed martial arts fighting is much different in person than it is on TV. Home viewers can't get a sense of the blood lust emanating from the stands. And they can't see the sweat and small pieces of artery flying out of the octagon.

This is the new "big thing," of course. Non-stop cartoon violence come to life for the Internet Age.

It's as vicious as cockfighting, except you can't deep fry and eat the loser on a bun. Although a lot of fighters that looked like hamburger limped past the press table after their bouts.

And those were the winners.

...

These are the toughest guys I've ever seen in any sport, gymnasium or prison yard. The sport is relatively new, so there aren't any long-term studies. But it's hard to believe any of the fighters will live long lives. Their internal organs must resemble oatmeal. They clearly have incredibly high pain thresholds.

It was very interesting. Mixed martial arts fighting might be over the top, but it's a legitimate sport. There is skill involved. The combatants blend all the best techniques of boxing, wrestling, martial arts and first-degree assault.

I've always believed that half the world is in therapy, and it's the wrong half. Well, this sport is for the other half. It's a way to release aggression, anxiety, anger and many other harmful feelings. Fans just have to watch the action and scream wildly for whichever fighter is kicking butt at that particular time. Their eyes and neck veins bulge. They lose their voice. Then they feel better.

...

Granted, the way we're headed, the next "big thing" in this country will be the National Decapitation League. A couple of guys will be given machetes and thrust into a steel cage. The first one to lop off the other fellow's head will be declared the winner.

We aren't there yet. But we're getting close.

Mixed martial arts, despite all the different techniques and moves, still resembles street brawling but with a few key rules to maintain some semblance of decency. For example, spitting officially is not allowed. Neither is "putting a finger into any orifice" of any opponent.

But I'm sure we'll soon have a breakaway association that allows spitting and orifice poking. From there, we're just a short step from the machetes.

When a mainstream writer new to MMA readily admits he can't tell the difference between street fights and what happened at UFC 87, I'm done with them. I have been part of and witness to many street fights. To not recognize the difference between a street fight and a high-level MMA fight is akin to being unable to tell the difference between Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" and a magazine cover of Ice T's CoCo.

Powers' email here.

HT: Yahoo! MMA Experts Blog

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