Diaz/Condit was hyped as a sure-fire fight of the year candidate. Fans were teased by a giddy Joe Rogan at the end of the FX prelims for the oncoming onslaught of carnage, blood, and violence that was sure to rain down upon the live crowd at the main event later in the night. We were urged to buy the card if we considered ourselves "true MMA fans", because two fighters "in their prime" and "at an elite level" rarely meet, let alone two supposed "killers". Yes, I'm air-quoting. No, I'm not upset. I watched it at a local bar because I could smell the hypetrain's familiar post-card failure fresh in my nostrils.
Fights like this, and nights like last night underscore the reason why I'm beginning to gravitate away from MMA, at least in the sense of main event title fights. The fights are oversold, and very rarely do they deliver what was promised. I'm not going to pretend to know what's going through the casuals' minds today as a result of a visually disappointing fight to the untrained eye, nor am I going to pretend I care about the hardcores' thoughts on the masterful zen-like Command and Counquer-esque gameplanning of one Greg "Darth Siddius" Jackson. I feel like the sport I've enjoyed for the better part of the last decade is finally losing its appeal to me, and point-fighting, as it's so rightfully called, is to blame.
I don't watch MMA fights to see violence. I also don't watch to see brilliant examples of technical prowess. I watch because the thought of two people in a cage fighting to see who the better man is excites me, and the fact that any fight can end at a moment's notice drives me nuts. If some violence and wizardy comes with that package, I'll take it. When two fighters are locked in a submission battle on the ground, standing and trading, or stalking each other to land a killing blow, I find myself moving around trying to guide them through the motions they should take, usually annoying the hell out of my girlfriend in the process. That's what the entire experience means to me. If I'm that absorbed in the action, the UFC and the fighters involved have given me my money's worth. If I'm standing up at the edge of my couch waking my neighbors because Frank Mir locked in a perfect kimura or Rousimer Palhares took home another leg, I'm experiencing an emotion that no other sport gives me.
Last night was no such night. I enjoyed several of the prelims, but the main card was sorely, sorely lacking and overwhelmingly predictable. Roy Nelson didn't land the big right solid enough to come back from the Muay Thai drubbing his rhinoceros-thick skull was enduring, Jorgensen and Sobral went the distance, and Condit outpointed Diaz while doing his best imitation of a hummingbird. Anyone that's watched a mainstream MMA card in the last five years could've probably picked those results, and I would've been incredibly gullible to think otherwise.
If that doesn't paint a bleak enough picture, the future most certainly will. I can speak only for myself. I am in no way excited to see GSP fight Carlos Condit. I simply don't care. I've never been a big fan of GSP, though I have to admit I gave him a little salute after he kicked Matt Hughes' head into the third row due to my disdain for all former-asshole-now-totally-into-Jesus meatheads. I was a fan of Condit, but unfortunately it seems he's been stricken with the incurable killer instinct-dulling point-fighting plague knows as Mixorrhea, also known as "being in the mix". Maybe this fight would have interested me a bit more at the earlier stages of both fighters' careers when they weren't concerned with being safe. As of now, the fight possesses no luster. I watched Carlos Condit hit Diaz with shot after powerless shot, and even land a clean head kick with about 15% power. He's going to be even more reserved against GSP, and I have no desire to suffer through five rounds of that.
That said, I'm sure it'll be a brilliant back and forth. Stuffed takedowns, stiff jabs, dazzling high-low-high combos, and one undisputed technically superior champion. I, however, will not be paying to see it. I'll read the results the next day and go on about my business. "Good riddance, unworthy MMA fan", as the hardcores say. "We don't need you anyway." I'm fine with that. If enduring cards like last night's are what it takes to be a true MMA fan, well, I'd rather be in Skyrim.
The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.