My Sunday devotional to the televisual began early this week by taking in "UFC on Fox 5: Henderson vs. Diaz," which was taking place just down the road last night at KeyArena.
I saw four fights. (Apparently bouts were going on all day, starting at 1:30 p.m PT, but coverage on Fox began at 5:00 p.m. PT.) Of those four fights only one ended in a knock out, the first fight. Matt Brown landed two solid shots to the face of Mike Swick, dropping him against the cage of the octagon.
The other fights went the distance but were lopsided. They were all good, all brutal. Rory McDonald dominated BJ Penn with kicks and punches and won by unanimous decision. Penn ended up going to the hospital. The big Swede Alexander Gustafsson looked good landing knees, punches and kicks in his unanimous decision over Shogun Rua. And Benson Henderson successfully defended his lightweight title by completely controlling Nate Diaz.
Mixed martial arts fights are better, shorter -- more honest -- than the boxing I watched growing up during the 1970s heavyweight heyday of Ali, Frazier, Foreman and Norton. In my experience most street fights end up on the ground and don't last very long. MMA emphasizes grappling and most of the fighters seem to be trained in Jiu Jitsu. The visual of two combatants interlocked on the ground, a ball of arms and legs with two heads sticking out, is reminiscent of a Hieronymus Bosch hell realm.