Monday, April 2, 2007

Bodog all over New York! 'Fedor and Lindland Face Off In Times Square'

Article by: Fernando AVILA
Photo by: Nick McDONELL

Street Fighting Men

Not since the glorious days of the 90’s New York noise scene have I seen so much Rock n Roll styled postering in the cleaned up version of Gotham. Nor since Spike TV advertised TUF 2 has there been anything like it. Everywhere you look in New York City right now you see the face of the top MMA heavyweight in the world, Fedor Emilianenko. But even more peculiar is the banner flying high along with this now famous MMA character, BodogFIGHT. Like the flag of a pirate ship, BodogFIGHT is swimming into the public consciousness by putting on MMA fights in some of the most lush and extravagant settings worldwide. Not only have they gone from Costa Rica to Canada to St. Petersburg and Japan, but they are also bringing women’s MMA to another level of exposure, having perhaps the top roster of female MMA talent.

I first noticed it on the corner of Houston and Ave. B, right where the mural of a former Pope and Celia Cruz (or something like that) used to be. In a 500 x 500 square foot area (152 sq. meters) are posters of Fedor and Matt Lindland wheat pasted in perfect symmetry. The wall next to it is also covered from head to toe with these posters. They are impossible to miss, and even the newly arrived Lower East Side model like babes and yuppies can’t ignore them. As I take the F train to Broadway Lafayette, ascending through the huge station there emerges a tremendous banner at least twenty-five yards wide. (Approx. 23 meters) In boldly printed red and white is the name bodogFIGHT advertising the April 14 St. Petersburg event.

It doesn’t matter where you go, if you get out at Union Square, Grand Central, or West 4th, you can’t avoid Fedor’s teddy bear like grin and Lindland’s ears and fists poised for battle. It’s everywhere you look in New York City in every single borough from Brooklyn to the Bronx, not to mention the real kick in the ass, Times Square. As suburban commuters rush in and out of Penn Station or Grand Central, even if they don’t know who they are, they will remember those faces and that logo which is everywhere.

As MMA is becoming an everyday event in the Cable Television culture, this new organization is making a big splash and taking it to the streets, the way the Ramones, and Sonic Youth once did (but with big bucks). As a matter of fact they’ve taken it way underground into the subway stations, and as I get into the train back to Brooklyn, I enter a train car covered entirely with BodogFIGHT St. Petersburg. Approaching 7Th Ave Matt Lindland keeps staring out ready to fight while Fedor is in repose. Now the question is, will he pull off the upset of the century? After all, anything can happen in MMA, just as in life.

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