All about cauliflower ears, broken noses and missing teeth

Ahhh. There’s nothing quite like the sights and sounds of the time-honoured, noble, blood-soaked sport of people beating up on each other.

Ahhh. There’s nothing quite like the sights and sounds of the time-honoured, noble, blood-soaked sport of people beating up on each other.

If you’ve been out of the loop by being in a coma, or living on a distant planet for the past several years, you may not be familiar with the rapid rise in popularity of the phenomenon known as MMA — which sounds like a college business degree but actually stands for Mixed Martial Arts, aka People Beating Up On Each Other.

This has resulted in TV reality shows, mega “sporting” events, and sold-out stadium spectacles called UFC, which sounds like a radio frequency but actually means Ultimate Fighting Championship aka People Pounding the Living Daylights Out of Each Other.

Ultimate fighting is staged in an eight-sided ring called (go figure) an octagon with the combat area surrounded by a thick, high metal chain-link fence designed to protect the screaming fans from flying body parts.

It is also called “the cage” which, based on what goes on in there, is extremely appropriate.

What goes on in there is two people wailing on each other with manic viciousness until one or the other is rendered no longer conscious, although it’s sometimes difficult to tell which one is which, based on the post-fight interviews.

The ultimate fighters are equipped only with thin fingerless gloves, many obligatory tattoos, some sort of gym shorts with advertising printed on them for various chemical training supplements (none of which actually mention the word “steroids” out loud), and a seemingly infinite capacity to take repeated brutal kicks, punches, elbows and knees directly to the head.

Pounding away at each other from a standing position is known, technically, as “striking,” with the goal to create as much blood on the opponent’s face as possible, before one or the other (or both) gives up by becoming comatose and falling to the canvas like a wet noodle.

The second technique in mixed martial arts is known as “grappling.”

This is where two sweaty guys dressed only in shorts and many obligatory tattoos roll around on top of each other on the floor of the octagon (eewwww!) forming various painful pretzel-like contortions designed to fracture an opponent’s limb, dislocate a joint or remove a random body part, until one or the other (or both) gives in by making a quick tapping motion with their hand just before they pass out.

This is called a “tap out” and it is exactly the same as saying uncle back when a bully beat you up on the playground.

Except in the UFC there is a referee who leaps in and stops the fight after a tap out so that the fight doctor can rush in and pronounce the loser more or less alive, and the winner can jump up and roar in triumph while bleeding profusely from various head wounds.

Make no mistake, however, these are tough competitors — especially the conscious ones. They have a grueling training regime that includes being engraved with more obligatory tattoos, and constantly ingesting copious amounts of those unpleasant training “supplements”, “vitamins” and other chemicals that might not even contain steroids.

Also, the fighters undergo large amounts of blood loss on a regular basis, and get many their teeth knocked out.

Their noses are in a constant state of broken.

And their ears have been subjected to so much striking and grappling that they (the ears) look exactly like cauliflowers.

Sometimes though, I must admit, I wonder what it would be like to be that tough. I mean, just once it might be nice to know that you could defend yourself from any hazardous situation or nasty guy if you really had to.

Except the ones with cauliflower ears, broken noses and missing teeth.

You might want to stay away from those guys.

Harley Hay is a local filmmaker and freelance writer.

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read