Heading out last week to the Mixed Martial Arts event Mayhem at the Mansion, I didn’t have very high expectations. MMA is a relatively new sport that has rapidly become popular across the country.
That being said, the only other event I’ve been to was in a small town and was poorly put together. The refereeing was terrible and the event seemed more like legalized street brawling than an actual sport. So it was with that memory that I set out to cover last week’s bout. To my surprise and satisfaction, the Mayhem at the Mansion was an incredibly well run event. The packed house was loud and energetic. The ring, centered in the middle of the crowd, was illuminated like a crown jewel and the events that took place inside were the cherry on top.
It was entertaining. It was fun. Most importantly, it was a legitimate sporting event.
The reason why I get at this is that the day after, there was a comment on our story questioning the validity of the sport.
“Two guys rolling around on the floor with each other?” a commenter posted, raising to question the manliness of the sport.
Well, I can tell you firsthand, what these guys do in that cage is one of the most skilled and — if you will — masculine things I’ve ever seen. I’ve had a couple quarrels in my life, thought I did alright, but I can tell you that I wouldn’t step foot near that cage with any one of those fighters from last Saturday. I’m not just talking about the heavyweights; the tiny 125 pound guys would wipe the floor with me.
The reason for this is because they are good at their sport. Anyone who thinks that MMA is just a bunch of idiots getting in a ring and slugging it out is dead wrong. These guys are skilled. They’re trained. They’re well-oiled machines that not only let fists fly like pistons, but they have the smarts and patience to know when to take a guy to the floor, when to slow down and when to attack.
There are a lot of misconceptions flying around about this sport. From the streetbrawling view that I once had to the ignorant “rolling on the floor” comment. The only way for the sport to rid itself of these views is to keep putting on classy events such as the Mayhem at the Mansion. If people like Mayhem promoter Vance Pascua continue to put on quality events such as last week’s, it will only be a matter of time before MMA takes over Kaua‘i.
For more insight from Sports Editor Tyson Alger, follow him at www.twitter.com/tysonalger