For someone who is mostly a couch potato, last weekend was quite the sporty one.
Not playing it, unless you count dawdling to the polling booth while chatting on the phone and drinking a juice as sport, just watching it–and doing it in style.
Saturday night I hit Suncorp Stadium to watch the Reds vs Blues (rugby union) in a corporate box as a guest of XXXX, and Sunday morning I backed up for the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) Fight Night out at Boondall, as a guest of Fox Sports.
With a dad and brother who are both a bit sport mad, I’ve watched a few boxing matches in my time (both live and televised) but this was my first UFC.
I know the first rule of fight club is that you never talk about fight club, but I’m going to be a rebel and talk about some of the cool things I learned about UFC.
Much like a professional boxing match, it’s all about the hype and it’s definitely a “lose yourself in the music, the moment” type affair.
Backed up by an ever growing level of athleticism in the sport, mixed martial art fighting require elite and versatile skills and the fighters at Brisbane’s Fight Night were all pretty well sculpted.
The original UFC event was conceived as a way to match styles against each other to find which was best and while the various styles of fighting take place in different kinds of rings or mats (boxing in a square, wrestling is in a circle) the UFC has the Octagon.
The eight-sided cage was designed to avoid giving any one martial arts discipline an advantage as the wider angles (as opposed to the corner of a boxing ring (which is actually a square), there is little chance for a fighter to get stuck in a corner with no way out.
And the mat, which measures 30 feet across and is made of canvas, is custom painted for each event and then never used again.
We arrived in time to catch Brisbane girl and mother-of-two Bec Rawlings, 26, take on Korean Seo Hee Ham, winning by unanimous decision, to the roar of the crowd.
UFC President Dana White once said women would “never” be in the UFC because audiences would want to see them getting beat up and broke, but these days the names Rhonda Rousey, Holly Holm and Miesha Tate are as well known, if not more, than some of their male counterparts.
It would have been hard to not know about last year’s Women’s Bantamweight Championships clash in Melbourne; billed as the chick fight of the century, reigning champ Rousey was tipped to beat former 18-time boxing world champion (across three weight classes) Holm.
Rousey recently spoke of the loss at a Reebok event and her comments were something I think we can all take note of for any challenges we face in life.
“When it comes to challenges, I honestly believe that things happen for a reason. At the time yes it’s hard on a personal, emotional level and it’s hard to look past what’s happening to the future, but you have to believe in yourself because down the line in two, five, ten years’ time you’ll look back and think that was actually the best thing that ever happened to me,” Rousey said.
“Every single setback it’s not the end of the world, it’s just the beginning of that lesson. That had to happen for me to learn these certain things and it’s not about being completely infallible, it’s about getting better and there’s no room for improvement in perfect.”