Competition for attention on the American sports landscape is fierce. The first tier sports like football, basketball, and baseball dominate with their billion dollar television deals and prime placement on Sportscenter.
It's not easy being on the second tier.
Yeah, soccer, golf, and a few others get their occasional day in the sun, but those are sparse. It's up to them to continually innovate and take their game up a notch to compete.
Which brings us to our good friends in MMA.
UFC, the most prominent brand in the MMA world, has experienced massive growth over the last decade or so. Their major events are staples on pay-per-view, they finally got a contract to run events on network television a couple years ago, and they run nearly 50 live events around the world during a calendar year.
Bottom line, UFC and MMA in general are pretty healthy right now.
But resting on their laurels is not an option. Any avenue to keep the sport fresh should be explored, and to that end, I am hoping that someone has forwarded the video below to UFC president Dana White.
Because if someone could guarantee me a five-on-five TEAM MMA bout on every UFC card, I'd be forking out the fifty bucks like a drunk sales guy at the Spearmint Rhino. Yes, you heard me right.
TEAM MMA. It's LPH of Poland against the Wisemen of Sweden. Let's take a look...
There's almost too much going on here to Zapruder second-by-second, so I'll just give you a few of my observations:
1. The gratuitous ass at the beginning (kind of like TFC's version of WCW's old Nitro Girls) rates high in the skank factor, and even higher in awkwardness. The way they hastily jog out of the ring upon the arrival of the ring announcer almost makes it appear like they were uninvited, as if they rushed the ring, started dancing, and hoped the cops wouldn't show up to kick them out.
2. The ring area is surrounded by random stacks of tires, and it's almost like the ring is homemade in one of the fighter's garages. If you've ever made a makeshift ring in your backyard to wrestle your friends when you were in sixth grade, you know what I mean. (Uhm, not that I ever did that.)
3. The ring announcer might be hotter than any of the TFC Nitro Girls, and her foreign accent makes it feel like I'm being spoken to by a female ubervillain in a Batman movie.
4. The vignettes from each team before the fight are a clear indicator of one thing -- TFC needs managers! I'd be way more emotionally invested in this fight if, say, Paul Heyman were the manager of the Polish team. "Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman, and I am here on behalf of my client BBBBUHROCK LLLESNAROWSKI..."
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5. The first two seconds are glorious, with both teams running right at each other and most of the Wisemen leaping at the LPH guys like a bunch of luchadors. This is what the first five seconds of every fight scene in Braveheart would look like if Scotland used MMA to secede from England.
6. We quickly learn the one major flaw in this format -- once one team loses a guy, it goes downhill quickly because this frees up a fighter on the other team to begin double teaming somebody else. As soon as the first Wiseman got the shit kicked out of him, it was essentially over.
7. Riddle me this -- if the Wisemen are so damn wise, then why didn't they realize they suck at fighting before deciding to get involved in team MMA?