When it comes to mainstream or traditional sports the US is, compared to Europe, South America and Australia, somewhat resistant to Sporno – rather coy about strutting its stuff. Nonetheless, the US is home to specialist, completely non-coy S&M Sporno.
Say hello to Ultimate Fighting/Mixed Martial Arts, a new – and ferociously violent – sport from the USA in which two hyper-fit pleasingly muscled young men in Speedos grapple in a cage in positions that Chi Chi La Rue might blush at. Though in Ultimate Fighting, everyone fights for top.
Or maybe they’re just very feisty bottoms.
Unlike rugby or football, MMA doesn’t use Sporno to make itself more marketable or mediagenic – MMA simply is Sporno. Hardcore Sporno. Yes, I know, my filthy mind is working overtime again. But that doesn’t mean that UF isn’t filthy too.
MMA is also rapidly becoming very popular with spunky lads in the UK – earlier this year I attended a local ‘cage fight’ as a mate of mine was competing. The atmosphere was, as they say, heavy with testosterone – so I breathed deeply. And the short-haired thick-necked lads in the audience shouting ‘GWORRN!! STICK IT TO ‘IM, STEVIE!!’ certainly added the sense of excitement.
But since most of the ‘action’ in MMA is on the mat (the combatants are usually only on their feet for the first few seconds because the main objective seems to be getting your opponent’s heels behind his ears) I found myself slightly frustrated by the ‘live’ experience watching from beside the ring: most of the time I could see bugger all.
This sport isn’t really meant to be watched in the flesh. It’s designed to be consumed in the privacy of your own bedroom via voracious multiple-angle telephoto video camera lenses with a pause and rewind function. Enjoy.
(I don’t know about you, but I think the ref in this clip is getting in the way deliberately.)