Monday, December 3, 2007

Friday Night Fights

And the pendelum swings...two Fridays ago, as you may recall, I spent the evening being regaled with song and spirit. Right, not exactly. But I did attend Karaoke Night at the Wilmington Village Pub, a virtual love-fest compared to last Friday, which featured a Mixed Martial Arts (think UFC) competition at George Mason University.

Bryan, from the bike team, originally brought up the idea of going. Jared mentioned I was interested, and they told two friends, and so on. And that is how the four of us (aforementioned, plus Darren) ended up at Friday Night Smackdown. A former NCAA Div. 1 college wrestler, Bryan knows some of the mixed martial arts competitors, including Randy Couture, an Ultimate Fighting Champion whom he apparently wrestled against, and some guy named Johnny, who used to wrestle for George Mason, and was on the card for Friday. Jared is fond of mentioning that Bryan could "easily kill anyone we know" which is an interesting thing to ponder. I try to be extremely friendly and helpful whenever Bryan's around. If you know me, you know that's no mean feat.

The actual fighting was interesting--there were some knock-outs, one bout of twitching by a knocked out person that made the words "traumatic brain injury" pop into my head, a few submissions.

What it lacked, though, was the spectacle of a UFC event. There was no Joe Rogan doing color commentary. No famous people in the audience. One guy kept taking five minute breaks because he'd apparently been kicked in the nuts--and the rules say if you get kicked in the nuts you have up to five minutes to allow them to drop back down out of your abdomen, or something like that. I'm not exactly clear on the details, but the point is, they never include 10 minutes of nut recovery in the UFC videos, right? The ring girls were from Hooters (I'm going to have to deal with that in a whole separate post.) You get the picture. There were a few attempts at spectacle (they kept playing "The Final Countdown" which then got stuck in my head, prompting me to raise my fist every now and again, at random intervals throughout the weekend, and sing "THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!!" Those are all the words I know.) A whole train of people escorted one guy into the ring (think conga line, but more intense) which was kind of spectacle-y, but not all that much.

My recommendations? Well I'm glad you asked. Cheaper seats (the least expensive were $30, the most expensive, $130--that's a joke, right?), free beer (random fights in the stands would definitely add a little something) and maybe let audience members challenge the fighter of their choice. After all, you can't discount the importance of audience participation.