“What are you doing?” she asked.
“You know. Getting ready for the fights.”
I had my ice bucket firmly in place under the dispenser. Each cube dropping with a purpose. The purpose of soothing the senses while I digested violence vicariously.
“Who’s coming over?”
“No one.” I refrained from looking up, knowing what was coming next.
“You used to have people over for the fights all the time. What? No one wants to hang out with you anymore?”
I picked my head up.
“Naw. I don’t want to hang out with them.”
I walked down to the basement, poured myself another cocktail, and unpaused the prelims for UFC 196. McGregor Diaz was going to be on in a few hours. Fuck everything else.
As MMA fans, all of us have danced with the siren call of impressing friends and family alike with this sport we love. As much as some of you hate the UFC brass, you have gone out of your way to promote for them.
And for whatever reason, be it the moon, the tides, whatever. They pack your place for Edgar vs Henderson and no show Cain vs Dos Santos II.
Either way, if you find a certain card captivating or not, you are undoubtedly tasked with making excuses for boring fights and respond with a fervent explanation of how important passing the guard is.
You are then met with a sigh and the uncomfortable visual of watching your guests pick up their phones, checking their timelines.
Thus, over the course of the last few years, I just stopped inviting people over. My wife is certain that I have just become more anti-social as I get older, and to an extent she is right.
I still love people. My family, my friends. I’m just anti-social with my MMA.
But I would also submit that my tastes have become more discerning with time.
I mean look. If your idea of a nice bourbon is Jack Daniels than have at it. If Burger King floats your boat, who am I to say otherwise? And if the NFL is your benchmark for the supreme test of athletics and violence, I’m not going to argue.
I’m just not going to waste my good shit on you.
Nights like Saturday are what keep us so glued to the sport. At any time, scripts will flip, stories retold, lives begin anew.
The raw honesty of the human condition that Nate Diaz and Miesha Tate displayed gives us all the visceral belief that we can buck the odds set in front of us. That’s why we watch this. For nights and performances like that.
The rest of the PPV struggled a tad, but the early fights delivered and kept me locked in for the night. Love the aggressive mic work, post fight, from Teruto Ishihara, he looked just as good in the cage. It was nice to see Diego Sanchez fight smart and pull out a win against the always crafty workhorse Jim Miller.
Erick Silva seemed to pull sort of a cheap play by faking the glove touch and the MMA Gods rebuked as Nordine Taleb answered in brutal fashion. And seeing Afghan import Siyar Bahadurzada, come back after over 2 years and look good doing it. Well played sir.
Fun little Fight Night coming up in a few weeks. Really looking forward to seeing how Hector Lombard fares after being out for so long against a guy like Neil Magney, who seems like he fights once a week. I like Magney to clinch and try to draw Lombard to the ground early and often. Don’t be surprised to see Lombard tapping late in the 2nd.
People hate, but personally, I’m a huge Frank Mir fan. I would make an argument that he’s a top 5 all-time HW. That said, his chin seems to be just so glassy. His head is off before the 1st round ends. I like Mark Hunt by KO.
Before that all goes down, though, WSOF gives us another chance to see “The Highlight” Justin Gaethje, who in my opinion is every bit as entertaining as the current UFC/Bellator Light Weight champs all respect due.
The card is not ‘stay in for the night’ type material. But it is ‘DVR that shit, so I have something to watch after I get home’ type material.
And I’ll be doing that, as I mix a drink. By myself.
All discerning like. Regardless of what you or the wife thinks.