Anyone who follows MMA on the message boards or websites sees a plethora of comments with fans expressing they are the "real" or "true" fans of MMA.
So for all those "newbs" out there, follow my step by step guide to becoming on of those "real" MMA fans.
Yes. In order to be a MMA fan, you must look like an MMA fan. No baby faces here my friend.
I strongly recommend the rugged look, but there are times that you may build a little pudge as the ladies say.
For those donut-loving guys out there, there is a way out. Grow a beard. And no pansy 5 o'clock shadow either, an EPIC beard.
Or at least pull off a sweet 'stache like Hazelette here, or for those older fans, go for the Severn or Frye.
Along with the look and the 'stache, you must deck yourself out in the latest and greatest gear. You must own at least a few Tapout shirts, get some Extreme Couture, or go all out and get your favourite fighters' entrance shirt.
You must show your "realness" on and off the message board, you never know when those "newbs" are watching!
Everyone has their fighters who they will pick against all odds, or at least a fighter or two who they pray to the gods that they'll lose.
Love 'em or Hate 'em, you have to respect them.
Martial Arts is a great sport that a lot of us will probably never participate in, either due to age, or just plain laziness, but it's great to debate about. So throw away those GSP voodoo dolls and stick to throwing a bake sale for Mama Penn.
If you are to become a "real" MMA fan, you must form an opinion on the sports most polarizing figures, Mr. Dana White.
More than just an opinion, true fans of MMA must be able to debate the inner workings of what made him, his temper, his finacial backing of the UFC, and everything else in between.
Most "real" fans either build a shrine, or get voodoo dolls and lots and lots of pins.
Either way you go, get ready for a hot debate!
In order to keep up with everything MMA, you must always be on the lookout for more and more shows.
To do this, you must have all the channels that show MMA as well as pay for ALL Pay-Per-Views, and yes, even when there are four or more a month!
Make sure to have HDNET for all the obscure Japanese shows, Versus for WEC and UFC, SpikeTV for UFC, Showtime and CBS for Strikeforce, as well as a way to order all the Pay events.
This may be costly, but if you want to be a "real" fan, you'll find a way!
In order for you to become the best of the best, you have to have a collection of the greatest films of all time.
And no pansy ass Titanic movie, I'm talking Pride, pre-rules UFC, Pancrase, Chute-box, any type of film on any type of fighting.
Bruce Lee movies are allowed and recommended!
For those young bucks out there, those larger boxes on the bottom shelves are VCR cassettes, make sure you ask your parents if you have the right technology.
This one is for those "newbs" out there with real jobs that do not have the privilege of getting on the web all day, or at least those who like a little reading material when handling your business.
I know it's the 21st century, and most people have to be surgically removed from technology, but there are really good magazines out there that give you that extra edge in the chat room.
If you want inside information, magazines are really good at getting behind the scenes and letting you know what's happening.
I implore those that can, go find a gym, join up and get into the action. There are too many fans out there that throw temper tantrums when the fight goes to the ground and they cannot understand the process of grappling.
You don't have to go sign up for a tournament, though I wouldn't blame you, but at least get the concept down and enjoy some of the greatest matches there have ever been.
MMA is one of the fastest growing sports there is right now.
Good thing about that is that you are privileged to some awesome fights for pretty cheap! Local shows are smaller.
You get to get up close and personal, and since the sport is growing, you may be watching the next UFC or Strikeforce champ right there in your hometown.
Granted you won't be seeing Fedor fight the next biggest thing, but if you're lucky, you may run into some of the legends in town for autograph sessions.
This would be a good time to deck out in the new gear you bought!
Now that you are a Man's Man, a "Real" MMA Fan, you must tell people. In order to express to anyone who will listen, you must have a couple of website's that hold message boards or accounts where you have to sign up.
Of course I would recommend Bleacher Report! (wink wink) But "real" MMA fans must have at least three. Check out MMAJunkie or Sherdog.
Stay atop of MMA news and give out breaking news on the sites to help out all those other "newbs!"
There are too many times when I see an excellent article on breaking news and I want to express my opinion.
I scroll down to the comment section and it's filled with random people expressing how much of a "real" or "true" fan they are and how others are not.
If you ask me, the more fans the merrier, enjoy the fact that the sport is growing, and help those "newbs" out and give them suggestions, not criticize their lack of knowledge.
Have fun with the sport, if everything was so serious, you wouldn't see the guys in the cage, who just got the shit beat out of them bowing down in respect after a hard fought loss.
Now go forth all you "real" fans and spread the knowledge!