There is too much to say about what I love and hate about MMA culture, the UFC and their reality recruitment show, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), because time is ticking away on this residency.. but I feel like I can try to sum it up briefly with some video examples and I will just say this… What I learned during an intro session at a pro MMA gym (that I got for my partner for their birthday for a lol) is that MMA is not about your gender, size or strength, it’s about how you use your body to protect yourself. In contrast to many other sports, it’s about not pushing your body to it’s limits as much as possible.
Things I like about the UFC: the build up, the creation of the persona (and presented as multidimensional beings (eg. Maurice ‘The Crochet Boss’ Greene), the shit talk, the theatrical walk-outs, Bruce Buffer’s suits, the working class culture of the sport and the social engagement that self-defence gyms bring to low-income communities, the equal reverence for both male and female fights, the tattoos, it’s international reach and the blatant homoerotica.
Things I don’t like about the UFC: Dana White, the lack of diversity in the ‘ring girls’, allowing fighters in the ring who have committed violence outside of it, casual xenophobia and racism, the fighter’s pay not reflecting their contribution and work.
Okay now for the fun part:
My favourite fighter is Israel ‘the last style bender’ Adesanya for his choreographed walkouts and unique dance-like fighting style as well as his confidence. His desire for hyper ability extends to the superhuman as he has repeatedly asked Marvel to cast him in a superhero movie or create a superhero based on himself. Here is his walkout for his last fight a week ago (there is some flashing imagery in the first 15 seconds of this clip):
Me and my partner casually run an Instagram account dedicated to the tattoo culture of MMA fighters, called inkyfists.MMA. I really like the way that they choose to mark and decorate themselves and I have some tattoos inspired by that too