The fine art sport of mixed martial arts is something of an acquired taste, but when you do pierce the veil you’ll find an array of flavours to try. Within the established fandom that exists, you’ll find sects, casual fans, hardcore fans, old school fans; and from there you’ll likely end up sampling many other combat sports, wondering how on earth you developed such a bloodlust.
It’s a fun ladder to climb down – and make no mistake, it is a ladder going down – when you know what you’re looking for. Of course there are many people scared to begin the descent, ‘heathens’ as they’re known here at the StipeTapped headquarters. You no doubt know a few of these individuals who love a good fight but aren’t invested enough to follow the sport, but instead of getting mad, put on your diplomat hat and sit them down for an evening of violence. Using this handy guide you’ll know doubt have created a new “Just Bleed” hardcore by the time the sun rises.
Cheick Kongo vs Pat Barry
A startling flashpoint of violence, this fight is a perfect beak wetter. In just a few short minutes of combat, this bout managed to provide a more satisfying arc than the entire 8 seasons of Game of Thrones. Perhaps the most famous comeback fight of all time, Cheick Kongo managed to invoke the Lord of Light several times to come back from actual death. Only, in this case, it had a satisfying conclusion, when Kongo knocked Pat Barry the fuck out.
Tony Ferguson vs Lando Vannata
A contest in a similar vein to the previous entry, but with far less notoriety for some reason; this had everything you want from a fight. Vannata; a relative unknown was making his UFC debut as a late replacement against Tony motherfucking Ferguson. A total underdog, Vannata managed to put it on Ferguson and hurt him several times. The 24-year-old debutante even no sold a clean showtime punch. HE NO SOLD A CLEAN SHOWTIME PUNCH. Eventually Ferguson went full “El Cucuy” and did full “El Cucuy things”, but while it lasted this was something else.
Bob Sapp vs Osunaarashi
Now you’ve shown your friend some surface level violent delights, let’s take them further east. At Rizin 13, Bob Sapp ended his historic seven year, fourteen fight losing streak when he bested an Egyptian sumo wrestler in a brutal war of attrition… all for the fun of the viewers. Both men were totally gassed after 50 seconds of unimpressive combat, and it was great. When the crowd are openly laughing, you know you’re doing something right. At some point during this fight please inform your friend that Bob Sapp twice bested Ernesto Hoost in kickboxing. They won’t know what that means, but you can tell them what a ludicrous fact that is.
Don Frye vs Yoshihiro Takayama
Now that you’ve shown them the possibilities, you gotta wow them, capitalise on their surprise. Frye vs Takayama is as technical as a bar room brawl, but with a baying Japanese crowd filling an arena and incredibly enthusiastic commentators gleefully explaining the supreme violence before you; basically, it’s art. If your friend isn’t swayed by this, become concerned.
Michael Chandler vs Eddie Alvarez 1
Now we’re playing with live ammunition kids. No more Mr. Nice MMA fan, the heathen is about to face the pain. Here we have two high level prize fighters, a title on the line, blood, close finishes and an underdog victory. This is wild, and frankly impossible to not enjoy. It has everything you could ask for in a fight. This is a good opportunity to set homework for the heathen. If they like this, they can watch the sequel at a later date. Suggest this, and see what they say. This will be a good indication of how the evening is going.
Robbie Lawler vs Rory MacDonald 2
Okay, we’ve reached the grand finale, the knockout blow. Ladies and gentlemen, if there is a man or woman walking this Earth who is unmoved by what happened in Las Vegas on July 11th 2015, then frankly I don’t believe this little experiment we call society is working out. Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald painted that canvas with blood, sweat, tears and leather, crafting a masterpiece. If your friend is not brought to salty tears by this fight, then not only will they never be an MMA fan, but you should stand up, point at them, notify them of their cancellation and instruct them to leave your property post haste. You can now watch MMA uninterrupted by petty “friendships”. You’re welcome.