Remember earlier in the week I said that the UFC had avoided negative press from the Australian media? Then a day or so before the event, I posted this from the Sydney Morning Herald? Well, you knew we would have one or two posts knocking the sport afterwards as they went into the event with a biased opinion beforehand. Check out this pulitzer prize winning piece!:
Welcome to something called the Ultimate Fighting Championship which, as well as claiming to be the world's fastest-growing sport, made its debut in Australia yesterday on a schedule suited to the American pay-per-view prime-time Saturday night audience.
A cross between Fight Club, rock'n'roll, a vicious bar-room brawl and the fall of Saigon, the idea is that this is "multi-discipline fighting" - across three five-minute rounds - incorporating everything from boxing to wrestling, kick-boxing to karate, judo to jujitsu to just
about anything else you can think of, including choke holds
And so the afternoon goes on, with nine vicious bouts and much blood spilt. About 30 police watch as the fighters continue to bash each other to a pulp. If it were to happen 100 metres away, on the street, those same police would have to arrest them for grievous bodily harm - though they'd take the precaution of calling for back-up first.
This is as far from professional wrestling's tightly choreographed theatrical fighting. These are deadly serious contests fought by highly skilled men. It's not everyone's cup of tea - and it will be the last bout I'll attend - but it looks like we might have moved into an age when tens of thousands of people no longer want cups of tea. They want buckets of blood.
However, I'd like to give Mr. Brad Morris of the Sydney Morning Herald some props. He provided a fair recap about the event, as well as documenting the atmosphere of the event:
The 27-year-old American[Joe Stevenson] said later it was the first time he had been booed in a 37-fight career but it is unlikely there has been such an atmosphere at the venue since the 2000 Olympics as the crowd cheered Sotiropoulos throughout the three five-minute rounds by singing the cricket anthem ''Come On Aussie, Come On'' or chanting ''Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi Oi''.
Progress is being made and in the words of Diego Sanchez....YES!