(Photo via Getty)
By Matt Saccaro
Watching MMA comes at a cost. Not $60 for a PPV. Not $10 every month for Fight Pass. Not even the hours you spend watching low-level fighters on prelims learn their craft so you can watch the main card. No, being a fan of this sport comes at a human cost. Real people are putting their permanent health on the line for…money? A pittance? For our entertainment? For the tired notion of glory?
Each fighter has their own motivation for stepping into the cage, but most fans generally watch MMA for the entertainment value; if something about MMA didn’t entertain or excite them, they wouldn’t watch.
And how can MMA fans be blamed? The kernel of Dana White‘s blowhard persuasions about fighting being “in our blood” is true. The highest level of MMA transcends “sport” as we’re used to it. There are no overweight outfielders scratching their balls between innings. There are no fines for wearing your socks the wrong height or for excessive celebration. MMA, at its best, is a phantasmagoric display of violence juxtaposed with art. It’s raw. It’s visceral. It’s a grotesque, screeching cacophony of carnage that unfolds into a single, unparalleled and strangely soothing melody. There is nothing on earth like (good) MMA. Nothing.
This is why Matt Brown vs. Erick Silva was so spectacular. As MMAFighting’s Chuck Mindenhall noted, UFC Fight Night 40′s main event reminded us why we watch MMA in a time when lackluster card after lackluster card had us questioning our fandom.
But Sunday mornings are always sober; the high has worn off. The consequences of combat are the violence junkie’s hangover.