At UFC 127, several Australian fighters - including George Sotiropoulos, Anthony Perosh and Kyle Noke (pictured left) - will fight in the UFC octagon. Some of you will recognise Kyle's name from the blurbs of Martial Arts & Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness.
It promises to be a big night of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), with all the virtue and beauty this entails.
On his always-compelling 'Blunt Instrument' column, today author John Birmingham gives a solid defence of MMA. In particular, he takes the time to highlight the intense, immense effort of professional MMA fighters - they deserve esteem, not blithe dismissal as thugs, gorillas. This is the stand-out passage:
Granted, there's enormous volumes of hype and faff that attend every bout, as anyone who's ever had to endure ten minutes of the free-to-air version of UFC can attest. But sure enough, once these guys finally bring out the biff, it's like watching the most brutal street brawl you've ever seen. It is much, much more than street brawl, however. I can't emphasize this enough. I know a lot of readers will just dismiss it out of hand, but the top MMA fighters are elite athletes. Their training and prep for a bout can last many weeks, if not months, and involves working with coaches in multi discipline regimes from all over the world. They deserve respect for their skills and warrior spirit.(Photo: kylenoke.com)