5 Ridiculous Things That MMA Fans Obsess over
MMA fans are an obsessive bunch.
No, don’t be ashamed—it’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with it; it’s just who we are.
Perhaps, it comes from the intense lifestyle that high-level martial artists have to endure to be on top of their game. Perhaps, it’s the gritty, primal nature of the one-on-one display of toughness that the sport brings.
No matter what the case, though, MMA seems to breed the kind of obsessiveness that could be diagnosed as insanity if it wasn’t so natural.
Fans of all sports can be obsessive at times, and while MMA fans might be a little more into their sport than others, it’s just something that comes with being interested in competitive athletics.
There are certain topics within the sport which seem to breed this obsessive nature more than others. The arguments they breed can be epic.
Here are the top five things that MMA fans obsess over.
5. TV and Pay-Per-View Ratings
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Fans of other sports love to watch their favorite teams and athletes compete on television. Many even participate in funding the sport by contributing their hard-earned dollars toward pay-per-view experiences such as boxing fights, pro wrestling events or season passes.
MMA fans do all of those things, but we tend to take it a step further. Many of us actually care about the pay-per-view and television ratings.
This is a foreign concept to non-MMA fans that really just care about enjoying their sport, but to a large group of MMA fans, for whatever reason, there seems to be this obsession over how many other people are watching with us. We even go so far as to predict the ratings of future events.
Yup, we’re a bunch of nerds...proud, tattooed, tough nerds but nerds nonetheless.
4. Arianny vs. Brittney
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As hot as some of the other ladies who walk around the cage before rounds are, there's really no arguing that the two most well-known ring girls in the history of MMA are currently working for the UFC—Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer.
Celeste has been with the UFC since 2006 and has been known as the female face of the organization ever since. She's been chosen as the “Ring Girl of the Year” at the MMA Awards, was the first host of the UFC Ultimate Insider television show and even appeared in Playboy magazine in the November 2010 edition.
Palmer, on the other hand, began working for the Zuffa organization under the WEC banner. She quickly gained a cult following on the internet and saw her popularity explode when she was eventually hired by the UFC after the WEC merger.
Ask any MMA fan, “Brittney or Arianny” and just about everyone will have his or her own opinion...and they won’t likely shy away from sharing that opinion.
3. Fictional Fights That Will Never Happen
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A “prime” Chuck Liddell vs. a “prime” Wanderlei Silva, Don Frye vs. Bas Rutten, Frank Shamrock vs. Ken Shamrock, Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre, Fedor Emelianenko vs. Randy Couture...
What do these fights have in common?
Well, they’d all be awesome, for starters...but they’ll also never happen.
Of course, that doesn’t stop MMA fans from obsessing about the hypothetical matchups and how they’d play out if the two combatants somehow got into the cage.
These fictional scenarios regularly include the usage of a flux capacitor from Back to the Future in order to resurrect the peak fighting condition which would be required for one or both of the athletes to actually be competitive.
2. MMA vs. Boxing
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MMA is often criticized as being “too dangerous” by those who don’t really understand it. Not surprisingly, some of the most vocal haters have been those who perceive that they stand the most to lose by MMA’s growth. I’m talking, of course, about boxing promoters.
Founder of Top Rank, Bob Arum, even told Ariel Helwani that the sport was full of “guys rolling around like homosexuals.”
It has been the “MMA vs. boxing” conversation which has led to some epic verbal confrontations between some of the top personalities from each sport. Boxing great James Toney even stepped into the Octagon at one point and was completely humiliated by UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture.
Many fans enjoy both sports, but for those who only like one or the other, this has been an ongoing battle that doesn’t look like it’s going to be coming to an end anytime soon.
1. Pound-for-Pound Rankings
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This short list has just a few of the hundreds of crazy things that MMA fans obsess about. Knocking the list down to five was actually quite difficult.
However, there was never any question in my mind that the No. 1 thing that fans obsess over is something that has absolutely no bearing on reality—Pound-for-pound rankings.
Pound-for-pound rankings are essentially a list which orders the fighters in the hypothetical world that they are all exactly the same weight.
I know, it’s absurd, right?
But MMA fans absolutely love it. It even leads to us clamoring for fights such as Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones, Jon Jones vs. Junior dos Santos, Jose Aldo vs. Benson Henderson, etc.
These fights would never happen and probably wouldn’t even be considered if there wasn’t this borderline insane desire for people to know who the best “pound-for-pound” fighter is.
Of course, pound-for-pound lists are a necessary evil if you’re going to be a media source that caters to its audience.
Bleacher Report features a monthly top-25 pound-for-pound list, various other internet sources have their own, the MMA television programs have their own, even UFC President Dana White has his own (albeit inconsistent) pound-for-pound list. Everyone does it.
...But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a completely stupid thing for us to obsess over.