A few nights ago at the dinner table, I showed my Mom Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey’s first fight over the Strikeforce championship, and she was horrified. “Why would you watch something like that?” The fight I had shown her was actually the first MMA fight I had ever watched myself. Sometime in my high school years, the Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey fight ended up on my TV screen and I mindlessly watched it. I was originally rooting for Miesha (I usually always root for the current champion for whatever reason… they just generally have a better track record I guess?), but Ronda was the one that won.
I didn’t keep up after that fight, but MMA resurfaced in my life this year when I went back to Brazil. Brazilians are well known for loving soccer, but not being an avid soccer fan myself, I looked for what else they were interested in that I could share. The other sport Brazilians follow is MMA! I looked up some clips and got reunited with Rousey and Tate. I learned about Rousey’s win streak, and her domination of the bantamweight division. I was on my way… kind of. As a girl, only the female fights interested me, so I was still missing a large chunk of what MMA had to offer. But I did mark down both Rousey and Tate’s fights.
When I discovered the Try Guys’ video on UFC, I got exposed to more fighters,like Jessica Eye, Chuck Liddell and Chris Weidman (whose nickname “All-American” cracked me up for some reason). I thought Anthony “Rumble” Johnson had the most gorgeous eyes… which was ironic because of the unfortunate accident where he had his eyeball split open (even though the knockout afterwards was glorious). After that video, I looked them up and watched some of their highlight reels… I had really started to become fascinated with all these fighters and their stories.
Things rolled fast after that. Quicker than I thought, the Tate vs. Eye fight came on. I watched them as well as the title fight, Dillashaw vs Barao 2. An ad before a Youtube video showed Conan McGregor advertising Game of War. I mistook him for a League of Legends gamer before discovering he was a UFC legend. Just yesterday, Rousey defeated Bethe Correia by knock-out in 34 seconds… insane.
What attracts me to MMA and the UFC is the story. They do a really good job of advertising the fight with the backstories of all the fighters and their journey to the Octagon. I watch the Embedded series almost religiously before the fights. By the time the actual fight starts, I feel like it’s almost the denouement rather than the climax… the fighters have done all they could, and we’re just there to watch and see where all the pieces fall.