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Ultimate Fight Night 21: Local Columnist Says UFC Is When Art Yields To Thrill

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Tom Sorensen wrote in the Charlotte Observer:

Boxing is my favorite sport to cover. Boxers are my favorite athletes to write about. I never took to mixed martial arts because I couldn't see the art. In boxing, there is art, as Muhammad Ali, both Sugar Rays and Manny Pacquiao will attest.

Some nights art is overrated.

I had the pleasure of trading a few emails with Tom prior to the UFN 21 event to gauge his interest in the sport as he had written a piece promoting the UFN event on Tuesday.  He openly stated that he was a boxing fan and that he didn't see much art in the sport of MMA.  He has 3 years training in Jeet Kune Do though.  He indicated that he was going to attend the UFN event(his first MMA event) with an open mind which I thanked him for.  Here he writes about the experience:

Every big punch, kick and elbow drew big cheers. So did the courageous and the unexpected. Dennis Siver, a Russian fighting out of Germany, was on his back and getting pounded by England's Ross Pearson.

Despite the beating, despite a face so smeared with blood it looked as if it had been cut by a pro wrestling razor blade, Siver fought to his feet and raised his hands in a boxing stance, ready for more. How do you say, "Let's go!" in Russian.

Late in the evening power was lost for about five minutes. Roy Nelson, 6 feet and 263 pounds, atoned for the delay. He stepped inside a jab from 6-11 Stefan Struve and cold-cocked him with a right. Nelson celebrated his 29-second victory by rubbing his large belly. It worked for him.

In the main event, Kenny Florian of Westwood, Mass., boxed cautiously and effectively against Japanese star Takanori Gomi. Wary of Gomi's power, Florian jabbed and slipped and dominated the first two rounds. Art comes to the cage.

I hope to speak with Tom further about his first live MMA experience and maybe get him to do a fanpost about it.  Finally, he wrote:

Look, the sport isn't for everybody. But the UFC makes it tough to look away. And if you came to the Coliseum by choice, why would you?

Well said sir, well said.  I'd also like to formally thank Tom for covering the event and for giving the sport of MMA a fair chance. 

SBN coverage of UFC Fight Night 21: Florian vs. Gomi