If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our travels through this crazy world of mixed martial arts, it’s that you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. There are only a few different types of MMA fans, and they tend to gravitate towards certain fighters. For example, let’s say your favorite fighter is…
(That’s you on the left.)
You are without a doubt the hippest dude you know. You were the first to start wearing skinny jeans and also the first to stop, proving your bona fides as a trendsetter. You like to think that you appreciate the finer elements of striking technique more than most MMA fans, but really you just parrot things Joe Rogan has said (“ballet of violence”) while listing off all the ways that Silva is like a modern-day Bruce Lee. You sometimes wear glasses you don’t really need and you pretend to like jazz. You think of yourself as a good dancer.
Your favorite fight: Silva vs. Rich Franklin I
You’ve been watching MMA for years, and it’s important to you that people know that. You have an extensive collection of ironic t-shirts and Pride DVD’s. You work in the IT department of a moderately-sized company, where you used to feel bad for the people who pester you for help all day because, honestly, how did anyone even get that clueless? Now you despise them and don’t go to very much trouble to hide it. You are probably overweight, but you’re quick to tell people that it doesn’t necessarily mean you are out of shape or aren’t a good athlete. You don’t date much but there’s this girl in Illinois who you have a thing with over the internet, which you refer to as ‘the web.’ Someone in a bar once asked you if you thought Fedor would stand a chance against Brock Lesnar. You laughed out loud. Okay, so they were talking to someone else and you overheard them, and when they noticed you laughing you pretended to be coughing, but still. The ignorance of some people.
Your favorite fight: Fedor vs. Mirko Filipovic
GEORGES ST. PIERRE
You’re either Canadian or a woman. Either way, rooting for GSP isn’t really a choice — the fire in your blood compels it. Every time you see the fleur de lis tattoo on his calf, or the way his tight spandex shorts hug the curves of his ass and protective cup, a tear comes to your eye, and your clenched fist pumps the air. (Now that we think about it, you might also be a gay man, and that’s totally cool, no judgments, some of our best friends are gay.) Nationality, gender, and sexuality aside, you’re a polite and good-natured person, and you have a general distaste for the stereotypical meathead fight fan. You often order red wine at bars. You fully endorse Vaseline use, both in athletic competition and your own personal life.
Your favorite fight: GSP vs. BJ Penn II
At some point in your life, you were a pretty big fan of pro wrestling. These days, you’re a pretty big asshole. You never miss an opportunity to remind people that you don’t care what they think, and that you don’t care about being liked. As a result, you are liked by very few people. Your hobbies include playing video games, riding your ATV, trolling MMA message boards, and torturing small animals. You are almost certainly Caucasian. You would vote Republican if you voted, but you don’t vote because fuck voting, right? The number of guns you own is greater than the number of girlfriends you’ve had in your life. You have a crippling Internet porn addiction. You like heavy metal, and you like to play it loud enough so that your parents can’t hear you crying yourself to sleep.
Your favorite fight: Lesnar vs. Randy Couture
When you were a kid, you took some form of traditional martial art to protect yourself from the bullies that would constantly harass you at school for being small and girlish. Even though you achieved a high belt rank, you were still bullied at school, but you’ve kept your respect for dojos and senseis and gis and shit like that. These days you’re either a college student or a white-collar worker of some sort, and you would describe your life as generally happy. Your parents are still married. You read a lot. You own at least one sword. You think Tito Ortiz is the biggest douchebag on Earth. Your friends think you’re kind of boring, especially when you start talking about how exciting Lyoto Machida is. One time, at summer camp, you took a sip of your own pee on a dare. You spat it out and started screaming about how gross it was. Secretly, you didn’t think it was that bad. You tell people that your favorite fight is Machida vs. Dimitri Wanderley.
Your actual favorite fight: Machida vs. Rashad Evans
You don’t consider yourself a “TUF noob,” even though the first MMA match you ever saw was Griffin vs. Bonnar at the TUF 1 finale. You’re easily the smartest and funniest person among your group of friends, none of whom are especially smart or funny. Despite your lack of formal martial arts training, you’ve never backed down from a fight, particularly ones you’ve started with strangers in bars. You prefer tough, hard-working fighters to naturally athletic and explosive ones. You are almost certainly Caucasian. You listen to Andrew W.K. when you work out, and you consider Road House to be one of the greatest movies of all time. The phrase “Pain Don’t Hurt” may or may not be tattooed on your right arm.
Your favorite fight: Griffin vs. Mauricio Rua
If you aren’t Hawaiian – and chances are very, very good that you are – then at the very least you like to think that you live your life according to some vague island-like principles. Basically that means you wear a puka shell necklace and call people ‘brah’ a lot. Aside from your driver’s license and school pictures, someone would be hard-pressed to find a photograph of you where you aren’t doing the shaka. You’ve never watched an entire MMA event without pointing out possible situations where the rubber guard might be a good idea. You believe the moon landing was fake, 9/11 was a government conspiracy, and Georges St. Pierre could never have beaten B.J. if he hadn’t been covered from head to toe in Crisco and pumped full of steroids and some weird stuff the aliens left behind when they landed in Roswell. It’s very likely that you are stoned right now.
Your favorite fight: Penn vs. Matt Hughes I
First of all, Gina’s looks are totally not why you like her. You just love her attitude and think she’s very “down to earth,” which is how you describe all celebrities that you like and secretly think would want to be friends with you. You love stories about people who triumph over moderately difficult odds, particularly when that triumph involves significant weight loss. You always get emotionally swept up by stories of missing white children and lost pets that find their own way back home. Sometimes it seems as if Pink is singing those songs about you. For a little while you did muay thai and you were easily the best in the class until shin splints sidelined you. You often begin jokes and then forget the ending or realize that you’ve left out something important, so you just start laughing anyway in the hopes that other people will join you. They rarely do. You are either a teenage girl or a single adult male. You’re convinced that your father doesn’t get it and never will.
Your favorite fight:Gina vs. that redheaded chick
If you aren’t currently in your sixth year of college, then you have a job with “technician” somewhere in the title. You are white. You may or may not have a weekend cocaine problem. When someone asks you what your hobbies and interests are, you are likely to respond with, “Partyin’.” Even though Liddell (who you exclusively refer to as “The Iceman,”) is old and headed downhill, you still don’t believe he’s done. If he does retire, you may give up on watching MMA altogether and go back to being a Motocross fan. There’s an 80% that you’ve had some form of Chuck-hawk in the last four years. You’ve never been convicted of a felony, and this is a source of pride for you, though secretly you wonder how long you’ll be able to say that. You drive an old car that isn’t technically a classic, but it’s loud and you call it your “baby.” There’s hardly a bouncer in this whole shitty town who hasn’t had to tussle with you at least once.
Your favorite fight: The Iceman vs. Randy Couture III
You’re somewhere between the ages of 13 and 21. You’ve been watching MMA for a long time — ever since the first episode of The Iron Ring. You’ve never actually seen Jason Miller fight, but you think he’s funny on Bully Beatdown, and you like his hair. You’ve heard good things about this “Fedro” guy. You have an extensive sneaker collection, but don’t own any shirts with collars. You want to start taking lessons at the BJJ school that just opened up in the strip-mall across town, but mom’s being a bitch about it, what else is new. You have HPV.
Your favorite fight: (tie) Jake Shields vs. Jonathan, Jake Tyler vs. Ryan McCarthy
Did we leave out your favorite fighter? Tell us about yourself in the comments section below…