As with every sport, there’s always going to be bandwagon fans that pretend to talk a sport up. The rise of MMA is no exception. This article gives some insight on the pretenders and wannabes of the topic, so keep your eyes and senses sharp for these fans:
With each passing day, Mixed Martial Arts looms ever closer to the mainstream. After many years, Mixed Martial Arts is finally getting recognized as a unique and exhilarating hybrid of combat sports.
While you may not foresee yourself gathering with your co-workers at the water cooler and discussing the “devastating knockouts” and “slick submissions” from the latest PPV event in near future, an increasing number of people enjoy and appreciate MMA.
Unfortunately, the unprecedented popularity of the sports has not been an unalloyed blessing. It has given birth to two ignominious species: the wannabes and pedants.
The first species are often identifiable by their uniform of choice: Tapout and/or Affliction clothing and gear. Drawn to the “tough guy” aesthetic of MMA, they love to look and act the part. You may have seen these guys shadowboxing between sets of bench presses in full Tapout gear at 24 Hour Fitness. They proudly sport their uniform in bars and clubs as well, anxiously waiting for someone to ask if they “train for Ultimate Fighting.”
You just want to slap these buffoons and break the harsh truth that it takes much more than occasional visits to gyms and cardio kickboxing class to be a MMA fighter. However, you cannot blame them; looking and acting tough has never been easier.
Like any other die-hard sports fans, MMA fanatics enjoy lively discussions about the sports. Nothing fosters bonding like sharing your passion and knowledge with like-minded folks: Just beware that the second unfortunate byproduct of MMA’s newly found popularity could spoil the fun.
These obsessed know-it-alls, or pedants, as I call them, are bent on showing off. They go out of their way to throw out the names of obscure fighters from UFC 3 or statistical comparison of Chuck Liddell’s and Lyoto Machida’s takedown defense. While you tell your buddies about the “wicked BJ” you received from some skank at a bar during the weekend, they hastily interject with a detailed biography of BJ Penn.
They give lengthy prognostication of upcoming fights—whether they are firing off a spontaneous analysis or regurgitating what they gleaned from perusing thousands of MMA websites and message boards is a complete mystery. Perhaps they are pursuing a Ph.D. in Mixed Martial Arts History in their parents’ basement, but their incessant boasting of their encyclopedic knowledge is grating beyond belief.
As MMA continues to grow in popularity, expect the population of wannabes and pedants to expand as well. While these troglodytes stick out like sore thumbs, they are, for the most part, harmless and even amusing at times. Like the deranged bums shouting gibberish on the street corner, they should be ignored and allowed to make a fool of themselves. Whatever you do, do not let them ruin it for you!
by Aki Kuwabara
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