The Opinionless Fight is a Dead Fight



When I watch MMA, it’s in the company of a fairly even amount of hardcore and casual fans.  When sitting in Buffalo Wild Wings 3 hours before fight time, I often ask my friends, "Who are you rooting for in the _________ fight?"  Frequently I get a response I don’t understand.

"I don’t care who wins, I just want to see a good fight."

I find it almost impossible to watch a fight based on that preference. 

If we enjoy MMA long enough, we typically become serious fans of at least a handful of fighters.  I could finally understand my Dad’s stomach pains when he watched his hometown college play.  I felt the same pain when I watched Evan Tanner fight.  Seeing your favorite win meant roars and leaping in the air.  Silence followed a loss.

If we all have specific favorites, those favorites can’t always be fighting; so inevitably, we watch cards we are less invested in.  I can enjoy these cards because I won’t have the powerful euphoria or dejection that’s not so easy on the vocal cords or blood vessels. 

 But I cannot understand the enjoyment in just wishing for a good fight.  Not caring about the outcome would mean one hopes to see exciting things happen in a fight.  Breaking this down to a very basic level, this fan would hope for a flowing dance, exhilarating violence, two bodies trying to take out the vitals of the other. 

 I see this philosophy applying similarly to the appeal of figure ice skating or gymnastics.  Both are about fluid and skilled movement.  Beautiful moves are not the reason I watch MMA.  MMA is about struggle and about one person not only winning, but beating the other person.  A defeated MMA fighter does not look at his opponent and announce, "You beat me in this fight, but I could out figure-skate you any day!"  The amount of a fighter’s personal safety and dignity invested in each fight is what separates a fight from a contest.

 Maybe it’s easier to not invest in a fighter.  If you never pick a winner, you can never be a loser.  You also will never scream at the top of your lungs when Evan Tanner is announced champion or Anderson Silva latches the triangle minutes from a loss.

 Come Saturday night, I’ll have a storyline for every fight.  I might hurt a lot, and I might have a lot to cheer about.

 And I’m pretty sure I won’t have a voice by Sunday morning.  

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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