Recently, I wrote about the ten defining moments of my ten favorite fighters. I know lists like these are nothing new, so my attempt to break away from the norm involved some personal stories of my out-and-out “fangasms” as a Mixed Martial Arts fan. And while some (most) of my reactions to my favorite fighters winning could (should) be considered embarrassing, I had a lot of fun writing that article and I really enjoyed the response it got. So I’ll offer a bit of a follow-up: here are some more stories featuring the moments I’ll always remember as an MMA fan.
A quick note: since my memory is terrible even on a good day, this list primarily consists of general MMA-related stories that aren’t necessarily fighter or fight-specific but did leave a resounding impact on me as a fan.
Elite XC: Turning Me Into A WMMA Fan
As a promotion, Elite XC was plagued with problems. Their spectacular rise and fall was one of the most interesting stories of the last few years, and to be honest, they did more things wrong than right. But the one, big thing they got right was Women’s Mixed Martial Arts. Maybe it was wrong to focus so heavily on Gina Carano, but the resounding impact that Elite XC left on me is that it turned me into a Women’s MMA fan.
The first time I saw a WMMA fight on Elite XC, I wasn’t too eager or involved. But here’s the thing: it was a good fight, and I’m a fan of good fights. When Elite XC started putting on WMMA fights regularly, those fights regularly beat out the other fights on the card in terms of pure entertainment. By the time Elite XC self-imploded, their WMMA fights were honestly one of the things I looked forward to most.
Even today, Women’s MMA struggles to gain (and maintain) a place of relevance in the MMA world at large. But to me, WMMA will always be an under-rated, under-appreciated aspect of the sport that more often than not can be counted on to deliver very entertaining “sleeper hit” kinds of fights.
I still see the potential in WMMA, and I’m still a huge fan of WMMA. But neither of that was true before Elite XC came along, and for that, Elite XC will always have a place of respect in my pantheon of past MMA promotions… despite all the ridiculousness surrounding the promotion.
Next: Tito Ortiz: “Seraldo Babalu”