What greater contrast could sports fans ask for when the Masters goes head-to-head with UFC 112 this weekend (I bet all you MMA-golf hybrid fans are going nuts right now).
Just check out the official website of the historic 76-year-old tournament to begin your visual disparity. It’s a picture perfect digital post card. You can almost hear the muted golf clap in the background.
Now, splatter a little blood from the Octagon canvas into the portrait, mix in some decibel deafening body moving music (use your imagination), and you’d have an ideal image for what a photoshopped illustration in Google Images would look like.
There aren’t two major sports more disparate then golf and mixed martial arts.
And yet, this weekend, the two will contrast each other while colliding media wise…and we all know which one will take center stage.
The Masters has a rich history. Unlike the other major championships, the Masters is held each year at the same location, Augusta National Golf Club, a private golf club in Augusta, Ga.
It has exclusivity. The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event with entry controlled by Augusta National.
It even has a cool green jacket that the previous year’s winner puts on you if you get your ball in the hole in fewer strokes then your competitors. Unless of course the same player wins it in consecutive years; then the chairman of Augusta National puts the jacket on them.
Makes sense, right?
Other traditions abound, and if that weren’t enough everyone’s favorite adult friend finder—Tiger Woods—will be back swinging his clubs and looking to get his own balls in the hole (more than one, of course) in more striking fashion than the men chasing his text flirting tail.
Be that as it may, the 2010 Masters has got nothing on UFC 112 and Abu Dhabi.
First, how cool sounding is Abu Dhabi. Say it out loud three times fast and tell me you’re not in a better mood then before you uttered those four syllables. Sure, Augusta is cooler sounding than your average location starting with an A, but has got nothing on Abu Dhabi (in case you’re curious, Austin is the mathematical median).
And what about location, location, location? Augusta and its pristine course is definitely a picture-perfect place. It’s got your trees, lush green landscaping and rivers that run through it. The southern charm and sweet tea from the 113th largest city in the U.S is likely hard to beat.
But Abu Dhabi, the richest city in the world, lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast and has quickly become one of the premiere destinations in the world for, well, everything. It’s like New York City and Las Vegas rolled into one. Even the girls of Sex and the City are smitten kittens, filming the sequel to their first movie there. Seriously, it the place to be and be seen on the international scene.
And have you seen the Ferrari Center where UFC 112 will be taking place? If not, do yourself a favor and click here for one of the best applications of a virtual tour yet. It comes complete with its own roller coaster for starters; it’s like a Middle Eastern Disney Land minus Mickey, Donald and Goofy.
Now let’s get to the stars of the show: Golf's Woods vs. MMA's Anderson Silva and BJ Penn. Lets throw in Phil Mickelson in there to even out the playing field. Hopefully the guys packing iron can keep their cheating to a minimum (referee deducts one point for low blow).
Woods carries intrigue and mystique with him into any major tournament. But this is the Masters, his home away from all the lavish homes that a golf game can apparently afford you—he reportedly paid $38 million for his property on Jupiter Island! And, of course, there is the whole sex scandal stuff which ratchets up the noise a notch or two.
But can you really compare the way Woods swings to the way Silva strikes? Or the way Penn chokes out his adversaries?
If—when—Silva and Penn win, it will be for a combined 10 consecutive title defenses. Six for Silva and four for Penn. In the process, Silva will have passed both Matt Hughes and Tito Ortiz, who share the record at five. As for Penn, he will tie his nemesis George St. Pierre.
And if Woods wins? It will add a fifth Masters trophy to his closet. OK, so that’s pretty freaking impressive. But that still leaves him one shy of Jack Nicklaus who holds the record with six.
The bottom line…both events should be pretty sweet. So if you’re a fan of sports, definitely follow Woods around all weekend (we know TMZ will). But also give MMA a look.
Sure you can only see it on PPV (or if there are any illegal Internet streams still around...or Buffalo Wild Wings for that matter) but if you can get five to 10 friends together on Saturday night, the 50 bucks is well worth it. Besides, how much is the Masters charging these days anyways?