Could MMA Thrive If Humans Accepted Their Primal Nature?

Alexander MetalisContributor IIIJuly 13, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24:  UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida (R) battles with UFC Light Heavyweight challenger Mauricio Rua (L) during their title fight at UFC 104 at Staples Center on October 24, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  Machida retained his title by way of unanimous decision. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

MMA is a wicked bumpkin, treated with scorn or disinterest by the majority of "sophisticated" sports fans.

I can’t envision MMA ruling the sports kingdom. Alas, there are a heap of obstacles choking MMA’s potential. The fight game isn’t wholesome enough to enjoy the biblical esteem of baseball—quite the contrary. MMA is somewhat gladiatorial. 

So shouldn’t MMA appease our natural human blood thirst? You would think we would celebrate Octagon warriors.

Humans are programmed with primal rage. In response to that rage, a few of us murder. Some of us engage in drunken brawls, and most of us live vicariously through fake action heroes and fighters.

Personally, I often daydream about being Anderson Silva or Jon Jones beating up a cavalcade of ninjas.   

Fighters gain a deified, heroic status among fight fans (I daydream about being them for Neptune’s sake). They are gladiators; the Octagon is their coliseum. We experience their triumphs and we erupt. We experience their downfalls and we sink. The drama is ripe. MMA harkens back to a brutal, more honest time.    

So, reckoning everyone enjoys a taste of consensual violence, I introduced MMA to my new friends. They are typical masculine dudes. As they beheld Stipe Miocic rearrange Shane del Roario’s face, they shrieked and recoiled. Their fear was tangible. It was like they were witnessing a lion maul a baby in the Octagon. We haven’t discussed MMA since.  

I was puzzled. The Octagon isn’t the coliseum. MMA is a tactical match, peace bound by a mountain of rules and regulations.

My friends didn’t see a safe, controlled event. They saw two ogres trying to kill each other. They were repulsed, and they aren’t alone.   

It seems humanity hasn’t embraced its appetite for violence—for proving dominance in an evolutionarily sound way. This widespread failure to accept fighting as human nature dampens MMA’s hopes of universal acceptance, when seemingly everyone should appreciate it.

What’s more, some politicians have taken a firm stance against MMA, coining it “human cockfighting”. These zealots carry on, infecting more zealots with their polluted idea that fighting in unnatural.   

This subject is nebulous. I suppose many people think that sanctioned fighting isn't righteous, which demonstrates how much society has changed since Roman gladiators and the like were revered as gods.

By nature, humans are the same as they were thousands of years ago, back when men would battle lions in front of thousands of spectators, and Aztec priests would murder hundreds of ballplayers in a single ceremony.

Since then, our barbaric ways have been suppressed by a cloud of rules and morals. MMA is a civilized, placid update of the bloodsport of centuries past.  

I abide by the indifferent laws of nature—fighting is human, fun, and cathartic. Long live MMA.