Thread: New York Times article on MMA
6/23/2006 10:37am, #1
- Join Date
- May 2006
- New York City
New York Times article on MMA
Not a bad article at all. I saw it in the papers yesterday but didn't get a chance to pick it up. So here it is for those that may have missed it:
New York Times MMA article 6/22/06
6/23/2006 10:45am, #2
What do you bet O'Reilly found out the New York Times was doing a fairly nice piece on MMA and just had to get Dana and Rich on so he could bash it?
6/23/2006 10:47am, #3
- Join Date
- May 2006
- New York City
I wouldn't doubt it one bit.
Everyone generally knows everyone in the news media field, so I'm sure that word got around fast when Dana was interviewing with NYT and then O'Reilly had to get his ass soon thereafter.
It's entirely possible.
6/23/2006 3:41pm, #4
Originally Posted by Aesopian
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- Mar 2006
- Long Island, New York
6/23/2006 3:46pm, #5
Somebody want to be a hero and paste the article here?
6/23/2006 3:53pm, #6
No Holds (of Kicks, or Punches) Barred - NYTimes
"I guess I'm a dreamer," said Joey Brown, a 39-year-old fighter from Lodi, N.J., who goes by the nickname Knockdown. "It takes a dreamer to do what we're doing."
Brown has a full-time job, a 1-5 record and an assistant manager he pays by helping to baby-sit her mentally disabled daughter. He works days for an auto parts company in North Jersey and trains nights at a gym in Manhattan. From the moment Brown saw the first Ultimate Fighting Championship — "Nov. 12, 1993," he recited proudly — he found a sport that spoke to him.
Mixed martial arts is for anyone who has wrestled, boxed or kick-boxed, anyone who has done jujitsu or tae kwon do or muay Thai. The sport was invented to give those fighters a professional outlet and to determine which discipline was best. Would a boxer beat a wrestler? Would a jujitsu master take out a tae kwon do specialist?
The night before Emelianenko's seminar, 22 fighters gathered at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, in part to help answer those eternal questions. They were all on the card for Mixed Fighting Championship 7, with the main event pitting a former high school wrestler from Philadelphia against a former marine from Canton, Ill.
The wrestler, Eddie Alvarez, had passed up a college scholarship to be a mixed martial artist. The marine, Derrick Noble, had a degree in kinesiology, was working on a master's in athletic administration and had interned for the Chicago Bulls. "I don't really think I can do this for a living," said Noble, 27. "But that's still the goal."
As Noble spoke, Alvarez walked through his makeshift dressing room, and the fighters exchanged hard stares. At this level of mixed martial arts, competitors get their hands and ankles taped side-by-side. They attend the same rules meeting. Female fighters dress next to ring girls, and male fighters dress next to one another. A stretcher stands sentry in the hallway.
"I could have gone to college," said Alvarez, 22. "But I was tired of wrestling because I had to suck weight all the time. I always told myself, 'If I can find a sport that lets me eat, drink and be well-nourished, I'll do it until I die.' "
He peeked out from behind the dressing room at the stands, nearly filled with 2,000 spectators, about half of whom had traveled from Philadelphia to see him. Ringside, businessmen in sport coats sat with dates in cocktail dresses. In the cheap seats, college students wore camouflage T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like, "Fighting is the only option." Beer lines ran 30 deep.
One of the preliminary fights featured Shayna Baszler, a 25-year-old who works at a UPS office in Sioux Falls, S.D. At the end of her three-round fight against Amanda Buckner, Baszler lay motionless on the canvas, dazed by a series of punches to the head. She looked like she might need the stretcher. Moments later, she was back up, playfully asking Buckner, "Why wouldn't you just go down?"
That may be the best question for all of them, considering the many reasons to throw in the towel. "Look, I've played basketball, and I've stood at the free-throw line with a tie game and 0.2 seconds left," Baszler said. "But there is no feeling in the world like being in that ring when they close it up and ask, 'Are you ready?' "
She visualizes the fight in her head, how the smoke clears and the hip-hop starts playing. The first round begins like a classic boxing match, the fighters approaching each other with caution. They throw a flurry of punches. They try a couple of kicks. Then one fighter, usually the one with the wrestling background, drags the other to the canvas. They lie on top of each other, often for minutes at a time. Fans have to stand to see.
"I remember putting on these shows for a few hundred people in wooden-paneled rooms back in Indiana," said Miguel Iturrate, a matchmaker for Mixed Fighting Championship. "There were no regulations, no rules. It was more like a spectacle. Now, it's more like a sport."
Mixed martial arts lives in that wide gray area between the underground and the mainstream. Leagues are regulated by state athletic commissions, and fighters are tested for drugs before each bout. But there is no unifying body.
Some leagues allow kneeing, elbowing or kicking. Some allow those only to certain body parts. If mixed martial arts leagues can never agree on a universal format, the best fighters in the world may never be able to meet, because they are under contract with different leagues.
"It's hard to bring this all together," said Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship. "Could it happen? Of course it could. Should it? Maybe it should. For some fights, it would be a sin if they didn't happen."
Anyone who steps onto a canvas, even for a minor bout, does so with the knowledge that White is monitoring the action from his office in Las Vegas, deciding which fighter he will sign next. Typical Mixed Fighting Championship participants make $2,000 to appear, $2,000 more for a victory and $10 for every ticket they sell. Ultimate Fighting Championship does not pay much more, but it offers the chance to be on television and gather endorsements.
So when Eddie Alvarez knocked out Derrick Noble in the first round at the Boardwalk Hall, then did a back flip off the top rope, it seemed inevitable that he would soon be moving on. "The pinnacle is obviously U.F.C.," said Alvarez, still wearing his belt 30 minutes after the fight. "They are the Nike of mixed martial arts. But they're also a big corporation. I might not get the recognition there that I get here."
In one night, he had made $15,000. He had fought in front of his home fans. And he had received the ultimate honor in mixed martial arts. Emelianenko, in town for the seminar, emerged from the stands to pose with the Alvarez family in the ring. "I want this shot," Alvarez yelled to a photographer snapping pictures. "Make sure I get this one."
Extreme sports need marketable stars, and at this point, mixed martial arts has no better candidate than Emelianenko. He has three nicknames — the Last Emperor, the Terminator and the Cyborg — and only one loss, the result of a cut that did not close.
At 29, Emelianenko is Pride's heavyweight champion and the model for the next generation. While most older fighters tend to rely on skills they have already mastered, Emelianenko blends all the disciplines together, a 6-foot, 233-pound, modern-day Bruce Lee.
The United States could soon get a live glimpse of Emelianenko in action. Pride is planning to hold its first fight outside Japan in October — coincidence or not, it is scheduled to be in Las Vegas, the home of Ultimate Fighting Championship. If Emelianenko's injured hand is fully healed, he may be able to participate.
His trip to Atlantic City was only an introduction to the United States. After Mixed Fighting Championship 7, he took a group of friends to Carmine's at the Tropicana casino hotel and dug into a 28-ounce prime rib. Embarrassed at the size of the steak, he offered slices to anyone else who was hungry.
The fighters, meanwhile, were tossing back beers at the Trump Taj Mahal, deconstructing their bouts and talking about the future. Men who had beaten each other senseless a few hours before were toasting one another.
Emelianenko considered joining them, but he had to be up early the next morning for his seminar. Teenagers across the United States were riding through the night to see him.
"Some of my friends think I'm crazy for doing this," said Chris Fox, the graduating senior from Chelmsford High. "But my mom didn't care."-Jordan
6/23/2006 4:53pm, #7
Score one for the NYT. Usually I don't dig their writing, but it seems they actually did pretty good for once.
P.S. O'Reilly is a chump."Keep a sharp knife, shiny boots and be on time."
6/23/2006 5:23pm, #8
Originally Posted by Aesopian
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- Jan 2006
- Edmonton, Alberta,
I think he bashed it because he thought "Well if the 'liberal' new york times supports this, I must be against it out of principle!"
6/23/2006 8:13pm, #9
I liked the article. It was fair and balanced, as opposed to O'Reilley.