Friend of MMANews.com Robin Black, who co-hosts No Shit MMA with Jonathan Baldock every Tuesday on Thatchannel.com, is on location this weekend for The National Post and is blogging about his experiences during the weekend. You can check out part one of his blog below and be sure to check back over the weekend for more updates.
Greetings blogosphere! My name is Robin Black, and I am a professional fighter and self-proclaimed Fight Nerd. I'll be bringing you first person cage-side coverage of UFC 97 in Montreal this weekend. For a fighter and UFC obsessive like myself, this is the holy grail of writing gigs. I'm excited to share my account of this event with you all.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is arguably the world’s fastest growing sports league, and UFC 97 is the latest sold out event for the combat sports juggernaut.
UFC fans, who we will rub shoulders with in Montreal, come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life – women and men of varied ages, professions, and backgrounds make up the growing legion of committed UFC fans.
Ultimate fighting, also called mixed martial arts or `MMA’, has come a long way from it’s bloody origins. A sport once banned in most states and provinces, and famously referred to as “human cockfighting” by John McCain in 1996, is now a billion dollar industry as mainstream as NASCAR.
If you ask the fans for “the why”, as in why they are so drawn to the sport, the answers are as varied as the fans themselves.
Some fans like the simplicity of a fight, others appreciate the complexity in the details. Some appreciate the violence, many others appreciate the respect and sportsmanship. Some feel the excitement of being present during the early days of a sport’s explosion. Some like to see athletes pushed to their limits to perform. Others just like to see guys hitting each other.
For me, it is the drama: the drama of two elite, superhumanly skilled and freakishly conditioned athletes getting locked in a cage and engaging in the ultimate one-on-one physical/mental/psychological battle against one another. And against their own fear, pain, and limitations. In front of thousands.
My colleague, photographer Glenn Dextras and I will be two of those thousands, and we will do our best to make you feel like you are in Montreal with us.
I humbly hope i can use my experience as a pro fighter and my relationships with some of the athletes to provide you, our readers, with a unique perspective of UFC 97. Glenn, one of the most experienced combat sports photographers, will bring you cage side photos from Saturday night's fights.
We will provide updates and photo galleries over the weekend on Posted Sports, from the weigh-ins to the fights to the after party.
– Robin Black