"I like a man who grins when he fights." --Winston Churchill, 1941.
My father raised me on the classics of boxing: Ali-Frazier, Hearns-Hagler. Sadly, the representative fight of my generation ended up being Tyson-Holyfield II. I despaired that the sweet science had been reduced to a dude's ear getting spit into the third row.
Then I saw Bonnar-Griffin.
Like so many others, I had been led to believe the UFC was for psychotics, a no-holds-barred carnival of bloodlust. Sure, Forrest gushed plenty that night, but all I saw was two guys, fighting for recognition while being beaten beyond it. When's the last time I saw that in a ring? I still love boxing, but I had a feeling that I'd be watching plenty of fights inside those eight caged walls going forward.
In today's MMA, you need brains and skills to go with an iron jaw and a vocabulary that doesn't include "surrender". (A personality doesn't hurt, either.) Maybe you don't know a triangle choke from a square dance... or maybe half your closet is filled with Tapout and Affliction. Either way, there's something to enjoy about MMA for everyone. Hopefully I can convince you of that.
And failing that, we can all just make fun of Brock's tattoos.
It's MMA night in America again, and this time, the talent's coming out to play on CBS.
Randy and Tito are the big names, but a certain Russian's national TV debut trumps them all.
The problems of UFC 104 raise the question: does MMA in the United States needs a governing body?
If you can forgive that terrible pun, you can forgive that this card only has two notable fights.
Our educational series for MMA beginners looks at the most common MMA grappling position: the guard.
Is the sport of MMA compromised when friends and teammates refuse to fight each other?
What did Slice-Nelson tell us about bridging the gap from fighting to mixed martial arts?
Will it be tricks or treats for fight fans at the start of autumn?
Our educational series for MMA beginners looks at the basic principles of stand-up striking.
I spent the weekend lying down, staring up at a bright light. So did plenty of promising careers.
Are we in Kimbo Slice's world, or is he just stuck in everybody else's?
Our educational series for MMA beginners looks at the biggest heavyweights in the sport: the promotions.
It's a slow month for big MMA fights but a great one for prospects.
Nogueira beats Couture in a classic battle to cap a stellar card in Portland.
A combined 22 years of pro MMA experience meet this weekend. That's the good and the bad of it.
Our educational series for MMA beginners focuses this week on the rules of battle.
Strikeforce doesn't have a welterweight champion, but it does have stories of bad luck and wasted potential at 170 pounds.
Our educational series for MMA beginners clears up some of the myths and mistakes about the sport.
Cris Cyborg's coronation can't create a classic for Strikeforce.
Gina Carano vs. Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos isn't the watershed moment for women's MMA. Sunday morning is.