Brian Edelson
Article Courtesy of Brian Edelson

Don't Believe the Hype?

Yes it was meant as a question, as, is what hype am I referring to? If you’ve followed MMA or are new to it I will elaborate. The “hype” I’m referring to is what is built up between 2 fighters that their respective organization is marketing with the hopes of attracting more viewers of course.

Case in point: The Bellator Light Heavyweight tournament that debuted on Spike TV last Friday saw two of its anticipated biggest draws, Mohammed “King Mo” Lawal and Quentin “Rampage” Jackson, win their 1st round respective tournament bouts. “King Mo” with a 3 round lack luster unanimous decision and “Rampage” by 1st round TKO. After “Rampage’s” bout ended he was being interviewed when he started ranting about how he’s basically back, not to be underestimated, and he’s coming for everybody in the division. “King Mo” came into the cage and immediately the “hype” was built. A shoving match ensued with cage officials separating the two. Keep in mind both are actually affiliated with Spike Series “TNA” Professional Wrestling as well as Bellator. The shoving match looked a lot like a pro wrestling style melee thus creating intrigue in the matchup between the two with the winner getting a shot at the title.

If you ask me I think this fight will not live up to the hype. I see it as a “Rampage” Vs “Suga” Rashad Evans from the UFC when both came off their “TUF” season appearances as coaches and their fight was not that appealing to watch. Evans took the decision but the “hype” was much better than the actual fight. I’m sure Bellator will put as much as they can into the “Rampage and “King Mo” match up and it’ll be interesting to see if the fight itself actually produces.

The UFC is building the “hype” with the new “TUF” series Brazil featuring coaches Wanderlei “Axe Murderer” Silva and Chael Sonnen. If you’ve followed these guys you know that they have a high disdain for each other. In fact, both were at a Las Vegas MMA convention last year when Silva got into the face of Sonnen and gave him a verbal beat down. The UFC has already released trailers for the new “TUF” series showing Silva and Sonnen shooting verbal jabs at one another and then a scuffle ensues between the two. This built up “hype” is actually exciting as the styles of both fighters are dynamic. Silva is known as the heavy handed striker and Sonnen as the wrestling ground and pound technician. The UFC will surely keep viewers intrigued in the new series leading up to the actual fight and no doubt they will highlight the genuine disdain between the two and the fight will hopefully live up to the “Hype”.

So you tell me, do you get caught up in the “hype?”

So whatever “Hype” is created, being genuine, or manufactured, it’s good TV, it grabs our attention, and if it’s a PPV, it will grab at our wallet because we got hooked.

Brian Edelson
Article Courtesy of Brian Edelson

MMA and Self Defense

Since the rise in popularity of mixed martial arts in the last several years, we've seen the rise of martial arts studios that pertain strictly to MMA (mixed martial arts) training thriving in our areas, there in turn, bringing thousands upon thousands of men, women and children enrolling to be a part of it.

As a traditional martial artist myself, with close to 34 years of training, I've seen the most traditional of studios conform to the demand of less tradition and more of the mixing of the arts to attract business, thus have increased enrollment and profit. Whatever you desire to be a part of this sport is; competition, physical fitness, self defense, MMA has continued to grow and evolve. MMA even offers on line training to fit your schedule, just as if you were taking on line classes at an educational institution, "Gracie University" for example, offers this.

MMA is on TV, not just limited to once or twice a week, but essentially you can see some type of MMA programming every day. With the UFC recently added to the FOX network, accessible to millions of households, is just one other small part to assist in its rise of popularity. The reality series “The Ultimate Fighter” has now reached out to other countries pitting some of the best up and coming MMA fighters. Now with that avenue various countries have the opportunity to reach the goal of becoming a UFC fighter. We’ve seen that not only the winners of the show receive contracts but some of the fighters that stood out that looked good in their performance get contracts as well.

In closing, as our fondness for this sport grows just as fast as the sport is growing itself, I look at the benefits that martial arts has to offer. I encourage anybody looking to take that step and become a martial artist to do so. Check out a studio in your area and see what type of programs that are offered. Talk with the instructor and see what he or she has to offer. You want to feel comfortable and know your needs and goals will be met. Discipline, perseverance and respect are still an integral part of the arts and you should be able to recognize if a particular studio emphasizes these.

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