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The Gladiators Of The 21st Century
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The Gladiators Of the 21st Century

If you are into sports it is pretty much a 99% chance that you have heard of UFC or MMA. If not, that is absolutely OK. Then it's just something that simply isn't close to your general interest. Not everyone likes Soccer or Football or Boxing and only very few people are interessted in the annual World Chess Championship.

But why is it, that people are talking more about MMA than Boxing??? What happened to the great sport of Boxing?? What happened to the great days where Marvin Hagler, Rocky Marciano, Henry Armstrong and Sugar Ray Robinson (just to name a few) were the top Athletes everyone wanted to be like. Who hasn't heard of Muhammad Ali and who never wanted to be one of the heaviest hitters like Iron Mike Tyson? Everyone wanted to be like Muhammad Ali or wanted to be like Mike in his prime days.

Go and ask a 16 year old what he would like to be. You are pretty likely going to hear: "I want to be a UFC fighter!"

Now everyone wants to be like Quinton "Rampage" Jackson or Georges Saint Pierre?


Well, like anything else, we have evolved. The fighting sports have evolved and especially the Audience has evolved. Mainly the Audience is seeking new, more spectacular scenes. More brutality, more blood, more injuries. Boxing is just not giving the Audience that certain kick any more like it used to. Only few current Boxer names ring a bell in the minds of sport enthusiast. Can you name at least five current boxers without using Google within the next 30 seconds?

But, what is UFC exactly?

The UFC is short for "Ultimate Fighting Championship" and resembles pretty much the top league fighters that practice MMA. Just like the NBA "National Basketball Association" that brings the top Basketball teams against each other. Which leads to the next question.

What is MMA?

MMA is short for Mixed Martial Arts which is the profession of succesfully combining the variety of different fighting techniques with each other.

Fighters train daily to master supreme skills in...

  • Boxing
  • Thai Boxing
  • Brazilian Jiu jitsu
  • Wrestling
  • Aikido
  • Judo
  • Kick Boxing

But also styles like...

  • Karate
  • Taekwondo
  • Kung Fu
  • Wing Tsun

... are every now and then seen in the MMA.

But the true key is to combine the individual techniques with each other in order to achieve the ultimate fighting perfection. Of course a high level of Physical Fitness is necessary to even improve in these styles. The physical fitness however advances with your training progress when systematically practicing these styles. With the constant rising intensity of your training you will sooner or later become what you have trained for. A MMA fighter with a chiseled body of the gods.

But how is it that MMA is finding more and more followers on a daily bases?

As previously mentioned the audience is changing. With the daily brutality in the news, the video games and movies, it seems that our bloodlust and addiction for brutality is constantly screaming for more and more from generation to generation. And it also seems that the daily brutality is being more and more tolerated.

A older man recently said to me. "These cage fights remind me of the roman slaughters in the Arenas back then."

Hmmm... the old man is somehow right. Back then Gladiators have fought each other in a similir shaped stage and the more blood, suffer and pain was presented to the audience, the more spectacular and arousing it was. The oldschool gladiators also fought until the bitter end. Retreat or surrendering was not an option. It was either KILL OR BE KILLED and before a fight was over, the audience was the outweighing factor who decided over life and death. Thumbs up and the losing gladiator was given a second chance to recover from his injuries and redeem his honor in a new fight. Thumbs down and the winning gladiator would instantly execute his opponent while the crowd cheers.

The roman gladiators were often treated as heroes to that time and represented symbols of strength, honor, fearlessness and indomitability. They were often rewarded with gold, women, luxury and for most gladiators the most valuable... their freedom.

And so it comes that todays MMA fighters somewhat resemble the gladiators of the past and became our gladiators of the 21st century. They are celebrated like the oldtimer gladiators and also follow their profession for the audiance, the money, the women, the luxury, the fame or whatever other reasons.

Of course we haven't made it to the part YET, where our gladiators start slashing each other and cutting of limbs and body parts with swords and other weapons. But you can see it everyday, were the audiance has a little influance on what happens in the ring and how far this sport will develop.

Street Talk

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