Promoted from the Fan Posts by Kid Nate. Blez is the boss of me, so play nice.
You guys may not know me, but I actually started SB Nation, which Bloody Elbow is a hugely important member of this family. I started it about 5 and 1/2 years ago now and it all started with my blog Athletics Nation about my beloved Oakland A's. But I didn't come here to talk baseball. I came to talk about UFC 100.
I'm going to be as brutally honest as I can. I never liked UFC or MMA in the past. The few clips I'd seen of it (mostly after hockey games on Versus), the sport seemed overwhelmingly and unnecessarily brutal. In particular, the wailing on someone who was already unconscious was one of the more disturbing things I'd seen.
But Kid Nate and Luke have worked on me for more than a year now. They worked to try and educate me on the subtle aspects of the sport. I was skeptical at first. I wondered if there was anything beyond the bloodthirsty nature of things. At the same time, I'm not skittish about a little blood. I love hockey, played hockey and Gladiator could very well be my favorite movie of all time.
On top of all that, I love gaming and I recently got UFC 2009 for the Xbox 360 after trying the demo. I really liked the demo and the depth of it. It also helped teach me some of the finer points of the ground game and submissions. I swear I never understood the term tap out until that game. Gaming helped energize me and helped me understand the sport a little better. Much like I think NHL 94 did for many gamers back in the Sega Genesis days. But back to the story at hand...
So we settled in at the Champps in Irvine, CA (home of Rampage Jackson, baby!) at about 5:50 p.m., down some beer, chips and the Firecracker burger and waited for my inaugural MMA event. UFC 100. Sure I'd missed 99 of these before, but I figured that so many fans in the SB Nation network were so passionate about this sport that I needed to educate myself.
Thankfully Nate and Luke had really primed me on some of the finer points of things. I knew the GSP has no rival and that he was quite possibly the best pound-for-pound fighter in MMA. I knew all about the trash talking that had happened and was aimed at Henderson from Bisping. I knew that Mir had beaten Brock Lesnar who I last really knew as a rising WWE star because my brother in law is a huge WWE guy. I hadn't seen Lesnar highlights before so I didn't really know what to expect.
The fights started and I was really caught off guard by the first fight between Akiyama and Belcher and how the two combatants seemed to have so much respect for one another. They would be beating the living crap out of each other and then when they got up from a clutch or being on the ground, they would tap gloves and the go to beating each other again. Now there's a reason I mentioned the movie Gladiator because it struck me like there was a respect for each other and two men willing to step into the ring and bloody each other. There is something beautiful, majestic and humbling about that.
Course that wouldn't last long because the respect was tossed out the window with Henderson and Bisping. And let me tell you, I heard and read about much of the trash talk from Bisping and I wanted to bash Bisping in the face. I can't imagine how Henderson must've felt. And for me, in many ways, that fight was the highlight of the night. My buddy who went to the bar with me was kind of repulsed by the extra shot Henderson gave Bisping after he was out, but I've got to admit, I took some sick joy in that. And I feel a little guilty for feeling that way since I do consider myself, by and large, a rather sensitive soul.
The GSP fight was a clinic in takedowns. Course this, to me, was the lowlight of the night simply because I'm a noob and I don't understand the finer points of the ground game. It's a lot less interesting to me once the guys hit the canvas (BTW do they reuse the same canvas over and over again because it looked like there were a crapload of blood stains on there already when the evening started). I much more enjoy the kickboxing, boxing aspects of the sport. But I'm told that the appreciation for the grappling on the mat comes later.
And the Lesnar fight was awesome just in the sense that Brock really appears like he's just so freaking angry about everything. Seeing a guy that big and that downright frightening upset is great television, especially when that anger isn't directed at you. I loved the Joe Rogan analogy of hitting Mir with lunchboxes too. It seemed to perfectly fit the situation. And the comments about Bud Light made the entire bar crack up as well as the comment about getting on top of his wife. I kept teasing my buddy all the way home about whether or not his wife was going to be awake so he could be on top of her. And we both screamed with joy when we rounded the corner on his block and the light was on in his bedroom. You've got to find pleasure in the little things.
I loved when Lesnar gave the finger to the crowd and the infamous mouthpiece spitting/drooling. It was animalistic and borderline insanity. And it spoke to the id of my being.
Ultimately, I enjoyed the evening quite a bit. It's not my favorite sport now or anything. But I could see myself getting way into it, especially when someone like Rampage is fighting. The gif of Rampage body slamming another dude had me all giddy. Thanks for that, Nate. But while it's OK for us to be intelligent, respectable parents (I have a 4-year-old daughter) and hard workers, it's also OK for us to get in touch with our violent side on occasion. That's how I view the occasional hockey fight and that's how I view MMA.
I'm glad I took the plunge.