“Sports” is an incredibly broad word. Everything from cricket to chess can be considered sports. Which means that just because you like one sports does not mean you like another. But sports have certain essentials in common, and everyone who has ever supported a team or individual understands why fans of other sports get so drawn in.
One sport that is particularly different to most others, and considered somewhat niche by many, is mixed martial arts (MMA) or cage fighting. Not only is it extremely different to team sports like soccer, cricket, or rugby, but it doesn’t even compare to individual contact sports like boxing. An MMA fight is very different to a boxing match, in rules, structure, and the necessary skills and strengths.
However, despite its differences, there are reasons any sports fan might enjoy MMA, and particularly the influential Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). While in certain regions UFC fighting is unavailable even if you pay the broadcaster, there are ways around the UFC blackout restrictions that are fairly easy to implement.
If you’re not convinced that UFC is for you, here are 3 reasons to start watching.
- Year-round action
Unlike most sports, UFC is not limited to a season. While cricket, for example, follows very particular seasonal schedules, there is UFC action all year round. This means that, in those bleak periods when there is no football, cricket, or other sports to watch, there will be UFC fights to tide you over. If you can get invested in the action and find yourself hooked, you’ll never be lacking in entertainment.
- It celebrates (healthy) aggression
For some, this will be a mark against MMA fighting. After all, is aggression not what leads to all sorts of violence and even wars? The truth is, aggression in and of itself is not a bad thing. Every single human being has some sort of internalised aggression that comes out in one way or another. Those who do not physically hurt others will inevitably hurt them in other ways – sometimes worse – if they do not have an outlet for that aggression.
MMA celebrates aggression, but within certain bounds. It gives fighters and viewers the chance to appreciate a natural human impulse without it causing any lasting damage. If you think that MMA fighting is dangerous, you’d be surprised. Concussions almost never happen, and injuries are rare – they’re much more common in many other sports in fact.
- Individual excellence
There is something uniquely individual about the UFC fighters. They’re not representing a team or even their country. And they’re not fighting according to anyone else’s rules. The best MMA fighters have their own techniques and strategies that they have developed or discovered to be perfect for them. Their physical strength is only one factor in their success. Every fight will be very different because two people with differing approaches to the sport are meeting in the cage. While the untrained eye may see nothing but violence, those who look a little closer will see a fight every bit as nuanced as any other sporting event.