Saturday night I went to a sports bar with a friend to watch the Stanley Cup – if you can’t be in attendance for a hockey game, the next best thing is being with a group of hockey fans. The problem was, we were it. I won’t give the name of the sports bar, but let’s say that in years past I’ve gone to this place to watch several games of each Stanley Cup, and there has always been a crowd of hockey fans.
But this year, nada.
There was, however, a large group of folks gathered to watch some of that Ultimate Fighting thing. Okay, it was actually Elite something, but the same concept. And as 8:15 hit, most of the TVs were switched over to this thing. They left the Astros on, which meant I could continue watching them lose, and they left the Stanley Cup on the TV I was watching, so I could continue watching the Penguins lose. But just about everything else went to the ultimate fighting thing.
Look, I’m in my forties. I know I’m getting old, and that once I start getting old I’m not always going to catch on to this newfangled stuff you kids like. But could someone please explain the popularity of this MMA stuff to me?
No, really, I’m serious. I don’t get it. And it’s not that I plan to become a fan and continue watching, but I’d just like for someone to explain to me why it is becoming so successful. And I’m open to the explanation. I don’t like soccer, but I understand the popularity, and I can see the grace and beauty. I’ve never been much for horse racing, but I get that. Same with NASCAR – well, actually, no, I still don’t understand why a bunch of rednecks making left turns for three hours is so entertaining, but that’s a different post.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
I just want to know why MMA/Ultimate Fighting/Elite is so popular. When the Astros game ended, the sports bar flipped that TV to the NFL Network, which was showing a football game from early in the decade between the Broncos and Raiders. And when hockey ended, the news came on, then a repeat of SNL. I’d try to watch the fighting, but all I would see was some big guy named Kimbo pinned on the mat by some guy with this huge ear, and I remember asking my friend, why doesn’t he just hit the guy in the ear? Instead, for two minutes, they just grappled. I found myself more interested in the football game, and I knew how that ended.
Finally, what seemed hours later, the Kimbo dude won his match. And he won the match by hitting the guy in his ear and causing blood to squirt everywhere. This is what I thought the Kimbo should’ve done from the start.
So, someone, please, this Ultimate Fighting, why? I really want to know. -- John Royal
P.S. And if someone knows of a good sports bar to watch the Stanley Cup with some real hockey fans, would you please let me know? Thanks.