Friday, May 25, 2007

How the Cage Fury Fighting Championship Will Save MMA

In 1993, the UFC captured our imagination with a ton of violence and a shitload of spectacle. Jiu-jitsu versus kickboxing versus sumo versus boxing – legions of fightfanboys were created because of what transpired within the cage, fightfanboys so numerous they would sustain this emerging combat endeavor until Generation TUF was handed the baton. Yet nowadays there’s little room for the magic that once was. Mixed martial arts is an accepted (and well-regulated) full-fledged sport, and evolution and the passage of time have coaxed the one-dimensional fighter to go the way of the Dodo bird. As millions tune in to watch the virtually homogenous Chuck Liddell and Quinton Jackson slug it out, another nail will be driven into the coffin of the “spectacle” we fell in love with.

But thank God for the Cage Fury Fighting Championship. On June 23rd, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and broadcast live on pay-per-view, when former heavyweight boxing champ Ray Mercer squares off against legendary street fighter Kimbo Slice, every fightfanboy will once more taste what originally got them hooked. Yeah, that’s grade-A spectacle right there. And really, it doesn’t matter who wins or loses that night. What matters is that CFFC has managed to keep that magical spark alive.