The fact that I am not using a very recent photo of Dana White may be the kindest part of my article.
Recently Dana appears heavier and less in shape than he did a few years ago but, as everyone knows, once a person hits the big 4-0 their best days are behind them.
Recently, in listening to Dana hype the upcoming fights scheduled for March, I have noticed that he is heavily emphasizing the fact that the action will be "stand-up" wars.
Dana makes no bones about having been a boxing fan all his life and having started out hanging around boxing gyms when he was young. He even was due to box with Tito Ortiz at one point in time, although Tito failed to show up for said match, which was televised and part of UFC history.
Everyone knows how fond Dana was of Chuck Liddell's overhand slugging ability (when Chuck was still winning).
The days of the much-hyped and feared "Superman punch" may be over for Chuck, since his punching has recently failed to save him from defeat within the octagon. But Dana still emphasizes stand-up fighting when he hypes new fighters and upcoming fights.
Everyone who reads Bleacher Report knows how much my fellow journalist Stoker loves to analyze fights by breaking down the boxing ability of each fighter. Stoker, like Dana, once boxed and loves a fighter who knows his way around the sweet science and demonstrates those skills in MMA matches.
Well, I do not like boxing, and I grew up during the boxing era of many greats, most notably Ali and Tyson. I still do not care for the sport even after watching my share of their most famous bouts.
Not liking boxing is what got me so involved in MMA, because I do admire all the different martial arts from the various nations around the world.
The combination of fighting styles, the game plans, and timing are what I find so fascinating about the sport. When the styles are well done, it is almost like a ballet of combat. That grace and flow is what I truly love, not the blood and gore that often results from kicks and strikes—especially if BJ Penn is in the cage.
Yes, I know it is a blood sport, duh!
Yet still, I enjoy watching for the beauty of well done, stylistic technique.
Even Jose Aldo's double-knee knock out struck me as being a beautiful move. When Jon Jones body slams an opponent, I think that has a certain artistic beauty as well. A good suplex makes me swoon.
Give me twisters, sweeps, reversals, submission attempts, and counters. That first Tyson and Edgar-type exchanges that never stop and had the crowd on its feet cheering are what I long to see!
Boxing is not sweet or beautiful, in my opinion. It is just standing and throwing punches, some of which land and some which don't. Although I know the difference in upper cuts, round house punches, feints, and jabs, I can't get by on those alone.
The variety of kicks, knees, strikes, and elbows from the muay thai discipline are much more interesting, and in combinations are exciting to watch.
For Dana to make promises to the boo birds who hate when a fight goes to the ground or doesn't end up with punches being exchanged continuously, it turns me off completely.
Why does he have to take all the beauty from the sport?
If I wanted to see boxing, I would watch it. If I wanted to see blood flowing freely, I would watch TNA or WWE.
In my opinion, Dana is taking away the larger gloves and replacing them with four ounce, fingerless mitts.
Other than that, I feel he gives more incentives to his fighters who resort to boxing than he does to the martial artists who display a thinking form of combat. He often makes disparaging remarks to my favorite fighters who do not resort to trying for knock outs, and fight strategically.
Why on earth does Dana do things like this?
Boxing leaves more chance of death or serious injury from blows to the head and snapping the neck. Sooner or later, there will be a death in the octagon. Surely this is avoidable by keeping MMA a combination of skills, as it has been. Why the sudden emphasis on boxing?
For me to continue watching the sport, it needs to emphasize boxing less and show the full range of skills.
I am not into the sport for blood or injuries.
I am in it for love of mixed martial arts.