I was flipping through channels the other night and happened upon a UFC Unleashed match between Georges St. Pierre and some very unlucky fellow who, unfortunately, allowed his nose to get in the way of a very nasty elbow.
The name of the fellow who got his nose broken escapes me, but the great match did not.
That one match led me to come to one conclusion: "This is better than boxing and more entertaining than any sparring competition I have ever seen."
Now, it's important to me that I point out my experience with the UFC—I have none.
Prior to that match, my only dealings with the sport were as a college video store clerk (I often noticed that the matches that we received once a year were always sold out) and whatever happened to end up on ESPN in the form of a highlight.
Many times I thought to myself—ignorantly so—"Is this like wrestling? I don't get it."
Knowing what I know now, please forgive my naivete.
After watching said match between St. Pierre (GSP as he was referred to) and the "unfortunate elbow catcher," I can safely say that the UFC is nothing like wrestling and I am embarrassed to pieces to have ever thought as much.
Don't misunderstand me, I am not knocking wrestling, but clearly the UFC is a different level of competition; one that involves more bite and less bark.
I can appreciate that.
The matches are short, intense, and often leave no doubt as to who the winner was. It's two guys making the most of every weapon they have in their fighting repertoire and that is exciting to watch.
Personally, I couldn't get enough!
After watching the first match, I immediately watched another, then another, and another. The last one was between Anderson Silva and Rich Franklin—it was on old one (circa 2006), much like the previous matches I watched that night, but no less entertaining.
The thing that struck me about the matches I saw was the straight-forward approach of it all. There is so little time to make a move that every move has to count.
The lack of a straight-forward approach is why I have so often shied away from both boxing and wrestling.
Boxing had it's moments but it was basically twelve rounds of defense with some offense sprinkled in here and there, while wrestling had the acrobatics but seemed to lack truth in it's outcomes.
I could never find enough value in either of them, personally, to sustain my interest level.
Strangely enough, I very nearly wrote the UFC off again after catching the Brock Lesnar highlight. I, again, suspected that the sport was like wrestling.
Clearly, the impression I got from the Brock Lesnar outburst was not in line with the UFC ideal. He mistakenly brought some of his wrestling bravado into the UFC culture—something I am glad to see is not a staple in the sport.
So what now? Well, I find myself completely enamored of the sport.
I have tried to read everything I can about it, trace the sport's history, dredge YouTube for old matches, and I've even set my DVR for UFC Unleashed.
I admit that I am still trying to learn about the sport and my interest grows with each new match viewed and article read. So, by no means am I ready to go toe-to-toe with anyone about who's the best of the best.
However, what I do know is this, I am loving the UFC right now.
Does that mean I am a fanatic? No. But, I am definitely becoming a fan.