Monday, September 5

CDP Top 30 Of All-Time ('08-'10) - #26.


#26 - 'MMA! UFC! CDP! OMG!' &
'I Have A Black Belt In Armchair Jiu-Jitsu.'

(Originally published 11/6/08 & 8/21/09.)

I don’t talk about it very much on the CDP, but I am a huge fan of Mixed Martial Arts. I own stacks of DVD’s, get most of the pay-per-views and watch all of the shows (on Spike as well as the constant stream of programming on HDNet). I’m even considering starting a MMA podcast, because, you know, the Internet really needs another guy yammering into a microphone with his pajama bottoms on.

The Missus is also a pretty big fan, which pleases me on a level that’s far beyond what I could properly summarize in print. I’m just not that good of a writer, even though I’m actually a pretty awesome writer that hasn't written anything awesome in well over a month, including the essay you're reading right now. I'm of the opinion that you will find it somewhat scattered, random, and lacking a worthwhile ending. I ask you to cut me some slack; it's been awhile.

Moving on, I want to also make it clear that I’m not some fairweather MMA fan; some douche that jumped on the bandwagon when it became popular a few years ago. I shelled out $40 for UFC IV in 1995, at the age of 13, during a time when the UFC was on the verge of getting banned nationwide. Classless, out-of-touch nimrods like John McCain classified the UFC as ‘Human Cockfighting,’ the sport went underground and re-emerged in the 21st Century as the defining sport of a generation, after being sold to promoters that believed in strict regulation, solid marketing and the legitimizing of the brand. In Middle School, I wrote every report and made every speech I could in defense of MMA, explaining the rules, virtues and standards applied to a sport that had received such negative publicity in its mishandled infancy.

And yes, I’m writing all of this out just in case Dana White, the President of the UFC, is reading and possibly looking for an Executive Assistant of some sort. I make great coffee and don't wheeze when I breathe.

I honestly see a time in the near future where MMA becomes an Olympic event, and when you really think about it, it should probably be the only Olympic event. At the end of the day, events like badminton, luge and field hockey all boil down to one burning question: "You think you can kick my ass?"

Well, maybe not the luge; that just looks like a lot of fun. I bet all of the competitors go out for pizza afterwards and high-five each other with the bewildering amazement that they get to ride a sled for a living. I suppose some of them do get shot out of the tube and die every once in awhile, but I'd take those odds.

Nonetheless, my love for MMA has began to actually trick my body into thinking that I should attempt to enter the world of MMA. Start training. Take classes. Get my body into fighting shape and step inside the Octagon. This, as you can already tell, is a recipe for a failure so rich and buttery that even I know it’s a shade more retarded than anything I’ve ever bothered to talk myself into thus far. In fact, should I ever get myself into an MMA fight, I’d wind up a legitimate shade more retarded than I already am, and this is from a strictly medical and psychological standpoint. When I told my Physician about my aspirations, he told me that my wife should start casket shopping. I’d leave on a stretcher if I was lucky. In reality, I’d probably leave on two stretchers.

See, me and exercise don’t get along. I stay in shape, eat decent food and maintain a Lightweight density of approximately 155-160 pounds at any given time, but it’s due to fast metabolism, anxiety and coffee, not Hindu squats, wind sprints and Tony Little. Drumming keeps my arms strong, running from the Paparazzi keeps my legs tight and good-old-fashioned HGH takes care of the rest. The mood swings and non-existent testicles are a small price to pay.

So, the other day, I saw a commercial for a new MMA gym that was opening in my area. The place was beautiful; it had pretty much all of the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that you see the UFC guys using at the Las Vegas gym on The Ultimate Fighter. The trainers were experienced, decorated and taught by some of the most popular and greatest MMA fighters of all-time. The urge to become a part of this was getting harder to ignore; I wanted to go to this gym badly and kick some ass. Practice Round Kicks on those rubber cylinders that look like crude, doughy humans. Do victory laps around the Octagon like I had just knocked out Anderson Silva. Jog in place, pee in the sauna; stuff like that.

Logically speaking for a moment, there are easier ways for me to get involved with the MMA game than merely being a fighter with no professional experience to speak of (as I’ve stated before, my street fight record is 2 wins with 1 loss and a draw, and these all took place before the 7th Grade; Kimbo Slice I am not). I could be a promoter. I could be a reporter. Hell, I could be a lot of things in the fighting World that didn’t involve slipping in and out of consciousness while the medics reset my femur and placed what was left of my nose into a plastic bag full of ice cubes and shattered dreams.

Furthermore, they do frequent drug testing in MMA, which meant that I would finally have to accept the fact that I could never freebase meth again; something I wasn’t quite ready to deal with at the age of 26. I still have too much expendable income and almost all of my adult teeth.

Even with all of the damning evidence mounting against me, I still logged onto the MMA Dojo’s website and saw what they were all about. Then I saw the price tag, and remembered just how popular MMA is right now. Then I passed out, hit my head, woke up the next morning in front of the computer, saw the price tag again and proceeded to pass out and hit my head once more. It appeared as if the decision was made for me.

If I could afford what they were asking to train me as a fighter, I wouldn’t need to fight for a living in the first place. Apparently, the only way you can be expertly trained in MMA is if you were already sponsored by a company, or are some maverick billionaire with nothing better do to than choke people. Sir Richard Branson should jump at this in a second, just as soon as he gets sick of taking his rocketship to the Moon, or wherever the hell takes it nowadays.

I'm down but not out, however. My path will converge with MMA at some point in the near future. With any luck, I'll have the good sense to kick it in the balls and run like hell.

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to take in my first-ever live MMA event, when I attended the Madtown Throwdown here in Madison, Wisconsin. The show was fantastic, the production and talent were top-notch, and I honestly think that we have an awesome group of up-and-coming fighters that could potentially make waves worldwide in the next few years.

The Missus had a prior engagement that night, so I flew solo for the event. This caused a slight bit of discomfort, as I was given a bleacher seat wedged between two of the fattest dudes I've ever seen outside of the Guinness Book of World Records. I'm a small enough guy, but it was a tight fit to say the least, and the event itself lasted for somewhere in the neighborhood of six hours. Still, I faught through the pain; they were nice guys and took great pleasure in drunkenly shaking me back and forth whenever they delivered the punchline of a sexist joke. Good people.

As I sat there and attempted to immerse myself in the action taking place inside the cage, I began to hypothesize (absurdly so) about my own potential talents as a Mixed Martial-Artist. I mean, I'm in good shape, adequate height and weight, good diet, lots of energy, free of cigarrettes and drugs, great knowledge of the MMA game and all it entails. Hey, why not me?

Who's to say that after a solid year or two of serious gym training and getting whipped into fighting shape, that I couldn't step inside the Octagon and have an honest crack at knocking some bitches out? I'm smart, I'm tough, I'm dedicated and I love the sport! Yes...YES! I'm going to peel myself off of the proverbial Couch of Life and GO FOR IT!

This epiphany had made me quite hungry, so I decided to take a break from the previous four hours of decrepit, fetal bleacher seating and grab some nachos. Without stretching and with an unnecessary amount of upward propulsion, I squirted myself free from the crushing Black Hole of the huge guys on my left and right, took a big step forward and promptly pulled my groin.

Read that again. I pulled my groin at the Madtown a spectator...because I stood up too fast to get nachos.

I tapped out to nachos. It finally went away entirely early this week, but it taught me a very important lesson about not only the ravages of age and mortality, but that I should never, under any circumstances whatsoever, try to fight for a living.


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