Day was knocked out in the 10th round of his bout against Charles Conwell and subsequently underwent brain surgery. It is with the deepest sadness that I share the following statement on Patrick Day. He was treated on the canvas for several minutes before being removed from the ring on a stretcher, and underwent surgery that night.
By Staff Sgt.
Mixed martial arts made its network television debut at the end of May when the EliteXC organization had a fight card on CBS, highlighted by internet sensation Kimbo Slice.
But it is hardly a new sport. Its origins can be traced all the way back to the Romans and the original Greek Olympics.
But it got its first shot at making it big when the Ultimate Fighting Championship debuted in , pitting fighters with a variety of different combative backgrounds such as boxing, karate, kickboxing, and jiu jitsu in a tournament setting.
Royce Gracie won the first UFC and was by far the smallest fighter in the first event. His style of getting someone down on the mat and submitting him with either an ankle lock or a choke hold made him a force in the sport.
After the first UFC event the sport gained a fan base immediately following. To see a pound man whoop up on a pound brute was awesome.
There were no rules. Anything went and there was something very real about that.
The Gracie family even taught military leaders the art of hand-to-hand combat and that is now the standard for which Soldiers train prior to deployment. The goal of bringing in sports fans and establishing the UFC started to evaporate in the late 90s and it was becoming nothing but a brutal backyard brawling show under big lights.
While nobody ever has got seriously hurt in the UFC, it was having a hard time gaining respect in the sporting world. The first thing they did in the UFC was regulate the sport.
The guys running the league instituted rules such as making gloves mandatory, eliminating shots to the back of the head, and establishing weight classes. The weight classes were vital since it gave a whole crop of underground fighters the chance to fight on pay-per-view cards and help the league grow.
Then the second thing they did, that was in my opinion a stroke of genius, was developing The Ultimate Fighter television show. The reality show pits 16 MMA athletes, usually all up-and-comers, against each other in a tournament-style setting. They divide into two teams at first and are coached by a UFC superstar.
They live and train together for eight weeks and whoever wins the live finale earns a three-year, six-figure contract in the UFC. The best part of the show though is getting to know what it takes to be an MMA fighter. It shows how hard the fighters train on a day-to-day basis and thus it proves what the sport's founders always wanted—that they are athletes and not goons.
These guys put it all on the line to chase their dream of being a professional MMA fighter. It is now currently in its seventh season and has huge ratings on cable television.
The health of the sport is shown in the amount of pay-per-view buys the UFC gets for every fight they put on. It easily surpasses boxing and fake wrestling events and veterans like Couture, Shamrock and Ortiz have passed the baton off to new faces of the UFC such as B.
Penn, George St. Pierre, and Rampage Jackson. Now with CBS showing live EliteXC fight cards on a temporary basis for now , the sport has an excellent chance of going through the roof.
The exposure of network TV is sure to bring in even more talented MMA fighters and also some of the UFC's top dogs to their league and create healthy competition. Why has it taken over boxing as the top combative sport in the U.
Well for me, it's very simple: it's real. It is not fake and it is not fixed. These guys are usually well-spoken, talented athletes who never get in trouble in public and enjoy promoting the sport.
Boxing has received so many black eyes in the past decade that it is in serious trouble. Who is in line to take over the sport with Floyd Mayweather retiring and Oscar De La Hoya a year away from doing the same thing?
Therefore I am confident to be present, with you in Iran, for your next edition, or in another occasion, whenever you would invite me. We all wish to reinforce our efforts and cooperation for the future.
Boxing's glamour division, the heavyweights, hasn't had a known fighter since Lennox Lewis called it a career. While the sport has been around forever, the UFC, and all of MMA for that matter, is just getting started and mixed martial arts is a real sport ready for the big time.