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Sound and Fury Alert

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"For those who might view that as a sign of social progress, remember that watching people fight remains a good business.

It is just not boxing that many Americans and Japanese are paying to watch. It is mixed martial arts like the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a few-holds-barred competition in which hard men punch, elbow and head butt each other in an octagon instead of a ring.

Sweet science it is not: more like professional wrestling without the pantomime and scripted outcomes. UFC, as this heavily marketed mayhem is known, does tap into something primal for which society clearly still wants an outlet. And it is instructive that Dana White, UFC's voluble president, has photographs of Ali on display in his office in Las Vegas."

-- Christopher Clarey, writing in the International Herald Tribune about what he perceives as the move towards MMA from boxing as a sign of cultural depravity and social decay. And with the all the head butting that apparently goes on in MMA, hee-haw, who can blame him?