UFC: not for me
MATTHEW ROBERSON | SPORTS EDITOR | @mroberson22
On Saturday night I stumbled into a friend’s apartment to find that they were watching a stream of UFC 196.
While I know next to nothing about ultimate fighting, except that the goal is to viciously knockout or force the submission of your opponent, I sat down and began to watch what can best be described as an organized street fight littered with energy drink and protein powder sponsorships.
I arrived just in time to watch the women’s bantamweight championship brawl between Miesha Tate and Holly Holm. The fight ended with Tate literally choking the life out of Holm, rendering her unconscious and me a bit surprised that something like that was allowed to happen.
Chalk it up to my naivete, but I always thought that when choking someone you should at least periodically check in to make sure your victim isn’t actually going to die.
It turns out that’s not how things work in a UFC octagon. They actually hire a referee to monitor that sort of thing so that the athletes getting paid to legally assault each other can dedicate all of their energy to destroying the other person.
I guess you could say I was slightly taken aback.Tate was being celebrated for her calculated brutalization of another woman, while Holm was lauded for not tapping out and instead nobly embracing the full impact of a chokehold. It was the first time I had ever heard of someone being choked like a true champion.
After trying to dissect what I had just watched, the main event quickly started. The notorious Conor McGregor, an unapologetic Irishman whose devastating trash talk can only be topped by his punches and kicks, entered the ring to a song named after legendary drug lord El Chapo. Because, why not? The man already has a tattoo of a gorilla eating a human heart taking up the greater portion of his chest.
When he lost to Nate Diaz, a native of Stockton, CA, I was surprised. It’s not often you see a man with a gorilla-eating-a-human-heart tattoo get his butt kicked on live television. But then again, it’s not often that you see two people willingly fight each other for a large sum of cash and a shiny silver belt.