Is anyone a fan of MMA?

You might know it better if I call it UFC. UFC is the most popular MMA organization, if not in the world, then certainly in North America. MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts. To the uninitiated it seems like two guys trying to kill each other in a cage. A glorified cock fight is what a lot of MMA detractors call it.
It has had a pretty meteoric rise in popularity in the past couple of years. Like anything that becomes popular it also becomes a target. There are a lot of people who have let it be known that they hate MMA.

A lot of states still have it banned in fact. As I type this sitting in the province of Ontario, I know the UFC is not allowed to put on a show here.
I can understand a bit of the problem. It can get very violent and sometimes gruesome. I know people who hate boxing as well, so when they tell me they hate MMA, I understand. It isn’t for them. Now a lot of boxing fanatics hate it as well, that doesn’t make much sense to me, but that is a whole other story.

I for one enjoy the sport. And yes, it is definitely a sport. These guys train very hard and very long. This isn’t two local tough guys tossed in a ring. These are two people (men or women by the way) who have trained for years to be the best they can be.

The MMA world isn’t full of mindless roosters, as some people would like you to believe. There are medical students who fight (Carlos Newton). There are certified accountants who fight (Chuck Liddell). There are teachers who choose to fight (Rich Franklin). There are even Olympic athletes competing (Dan Henderson).

I guess since I work in the personal development field, being a fan of something like this, might seem odd. I strongly disagree though. I think there are a number of valuable lessons in the world of MMA. In any sport there is going to be great motivational and inspirational stories. MMA is no different.

Besides the “overcoming the odds” stories, I find it interesting to think about a guy like Chuck Liddell. Here we have a guy who graduated college and went on to become an accountant. I am sure his whole life people told him that was a good idea. He made his parents proud and he had himself a nice career. I wonder what the people around him thought when he decided, I am going to leave this pencil and suit behind, I am becoming a professional fighter.

I bet you there were a couple people in his life who told him not to be crazy. They probably thought it would be stupid to give up his good solid career. Well, he followed his dreams. He left the corporate world and decided to take the leap and follow his passion. I would say he did alright for himself. He ended up becoming a world champion and for a time, the face of an entire sport.

Maybe I read too much into these fighters, maybe my tolerance for violence is too high. I can’t be sure. All I know is that I enjoy the sport. I will continue to enjoy the sport, and I hope that someday the Ontario government will allow me the chance of seeing my favourite athletes compete live.

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