Sunday, March 4, 2007

Feel the love: UFC just added another huge fan

By Gregg Doyel

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The president of UFC would kick your ass.

His name is Dana White, he's a former amateur boxer and he's planning soon to fight one of Ultimate Fighting Championship's baddest men -- former light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz -- in a private sparring session. Why? Just because.

The lead referee of UFC would kick your ass. His name is "Big John" McCarthy, he goes 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, and in his spare time he's an LAPD officer who trains other officers how to kick ass.

If this is the president and a referee of UFC, then you know the fighters of UFC can kick some major ass. Late Saturday night and into Sunday morning, I saw it for myself when "UFC 68: The Uprising" came to Nationwide Arena. More than a million homes bought this fight for roughly $40 each on pay-per-view, but I watched from just outside the Octagon -- close enough to get hit by the flying blood.

I'm hooked. And if you've read me at all, you know I'm not hooked by much of anything. Show me a sport, and I'll make fun of some part of it. The unethical coach, the egomaniac player, the stupid GM. I don't like anything or anybody. I'm proud of that.

After taking in my first UFC event, I can still say I don't like anything. Because I don't. I don't like UFC, either.

I freaking love it.

Read on, please. But I've got to warn you. I'm going to write longer than I normally do. We have a lot to talk about.

• • •

The Gizzard was willing to die in the Octagon, and he almost got his wish.

The Gizzard, a pasty Indianan named Jason Gilliam, was fighting Jamie Varner in the first bout when he found himself on the wrong end of a choke hold. Choking is legal in UFC, with fights called off when a fighter taps his opponent or the mat in submission.

The Gizzard did neither.

Whatever window of time Gilliam had between surrender and consciousness came and went without any tapping. Finally the referee -- not McCarthy -- ended the fight with The Gizzard maybe 20 seconds from death. How do I know he was 20 seconds from death? I don't. But his face was purple. One of his feet had been crammed almost completely through the chain-link fence. He wasn't moving. He wasn't breathing.

(Read More)

No comments: