I wasn’t planning to watch the fight myself — I generally view PPV as an extravagance I can’t afford, and with regard to boxing, one where the featured fight is often over way too damn quickly to justify the expense on my cable bill, but living in the home city of one of the competitors means just about everyone else I knew did. A couple of my friends were just as bored as I was, and decided to take in the fight somewhere — either paying $10 for the privilege of sitting at a bar table or, fortunately, getting a call at 5:45 and invited over to watch the match with friends and associates in someone’s apartment. For the procurement of alcohol and toss-in to a pizza fund, I took in my first UFC fight on TV, undercards and all.
As for the main event itself: you’ve likely read the recap, and it was a lot of opening round swagger and back-and-forth completed by a first round knockout, made to seem all the quicker because by the time the main event rolled around, I was already sloshed. All I could think of was the back and forth between boxers fearing MMA’s market penetration and high figures in MMA such as UFC Dana White about the legitimacy of the whole enterprise, and wonder why the acrimony — this fight ended as quickly as many of its overhyped counterparts in boxing.
Big-time promoter figure? White is boxing’s Don King, less corrupt, yes, but no less controlling over his sport. Hero and heel? Check and check, in Liddell and Jackson, respectively (and for the first UFC fight to get this much pub, note the incidental of race for both roles — not intentional, by my note, but interesting). Fun undercards? Yep. Enjoyed the early fights, and I like the approach of putting several classes on the same bill and giving the event an all-encompassing number rather than references to the top fight on the card. Could you imagine boxing promoters calling De La Hoya-Mayweather WBC Whatever Number It Was? And finally, a ref calling the fight way too damn quickly, from what I could tell, after a good right hook? The more things change, I suppose.