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A Journalistic Apology

We need more of these:

I'm not a complete convert, but my eyes have been opened.

Over the summer I wrote a column about the UFC - the Ultimate Fighting Championship. I came down hard on it. I made a mistake. I lumped all mixed martial arts into the same basket as the UFC, with its barbaric television sell of bleeding guys brawling in a cage.

My e-mail inbox just about exploded from the responses. I was called ignorant and ill-informed, and those were the nice ones. Some of those who wrote were blockheaded violence fans. Most, though, were mixed martial arts athletes who argued their cases quite intelligently.

So yesterday I went to L.A. Boxing in Mamaroneck, where the International Fight League was holding a draft/tryout, to see what it's really about. I still think some of the TV spots are detestable, and I don't think the IFL needs to have its New York franchise named the Pitbulls.

But I also came away with a greater appreciation of the athletes and the sport.

It's not just bloodlust.

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