Perhaps this is a sign that MMA has truly hit the mainstream, although it’s enough to make you wish it hadn’t. Lori Foster is a best-selling romance novelist who is apparently also a huge MMA fan. I guess it only makes sense that she would blend these two passions in her new novel My Man, Michael. But wait, it gets better. And by better I mean worse. Just check out this plot synopsis:
Michael thinks an injury will keep him from fighting again until a woman shows up and promises to heal him. But, he must travel with her and teach a community of woman warriors to fight in return. Imagine Michael’s surprise when she fulfills her end of the bargain and finds that, to fulfill his he must travel into the future!
Oh, good. A romance novel about MMA that also includes time travel. Nothing like a little half-assed science fiction to go with your clichéd plotlines and completely absurd dialogue. What’s not to love?
I don’t point this book out to bash Lori Foster or the romance novel genre in general, since doing so is like pointing out the stupidity of romantic comedies. Everyone knows they’re terrible, but they sell, so they’re allowed to continue. Instead, I point it out as a way of asking, why can’t we get a real MMA novel, the way there used to be real, awesome boxing novels, like The Professional and The Knockout Artist? Instead we get shit like this. Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter, just to piss you off:
In the last four years, he’d made a strong name for himself in the SBC [Supreme Battle Championships]. At twenty-six, he was considered a major contender in two weight classes, and one of the most feared competitors in the sport. In another month, he would have fought – and won – the title belt.
His hands fisted. His jaw flexed and tightened.
Seriously? His hands “fisted?” I don’t know about Lori Foster, but the only way I’m aware of to use the word fisted as a verb involves an adventurous second party. As you can probably tell, the story is about an MMA fighter injured in a car accident who is laid up in the hospital just as his career is taking off.
Of course, that’s the point where the beautiful stranger with “soul-sucking eyes, and a mouth made of sin” appears in his room and says shit like: “You mope for no reason, sir. A warrior, no matter the condition of his limbs, remains a warrior for all of his life.”
That’s it, I’m writing an MMA novel, just to counteract stuff like this. Matter of fact, we should all write MMA novels. Perhaps a new Cage Potato contest is even in order. I don’t know. But I do know that If Lori Foster can use canned terms like “mouth made of sin,” (which I assume came right out of a manual on writing romance novels) and be a best-seller, we’re all missing a great opportunity to turn our MMA knowledge into (very small) piles of cash.
Get cracking, Potato Nation. I will be. And you can rest assured that when the term “fisted” appears in my MMA novel, it will be in the context of an after-fight party at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone. And no, C.B. Dollaway won’t be there. Maybe in your fictive world, but not mine.