When I was a kid I wasn't the most athletic child in the world. I would constantly be picked on and groans could be heard all around when I was picked, last naturally, for any team sports we might have to play. Needless to say this didn't encourage me to watch sports.

But then something happened. I was picked on so much I got fed up with it and enrolled in martial arts. It changed me and from that day on if I wasn't in martial arts I was watching it. First I saw boxing and fell in love with it and the beauty that was unleashed in the ring. Years later MMA would do the same thing to me as I watched Forrest Griffin-Quinton Jackson dispelling all my negative prejudices against the sport.

That left wrestling. I respected what the performers did to their bodies but it wasn't my cup of tea. Until CM Punk came along. He changed the whole face of what I saw "pro" wrestling as. Sure there had been other guys who were great as characters, but his raw ability to do everything his way and shake things up made me want to see more.

Overall I love combat sports and sports theatre because it doesn't mean that the most musclar, genetically gifted guy wins. Sometimes it's the underdog that everyone else has given up on.

And that is why I'm a fan.

Now I want to make being a fan a career and I'm starting here with the bleacher report and all of you. Let's see where it goes.

Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog http://elbaexiled.blogspot.com/ which focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film, and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.

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  • Ian Hill posted 2119 days ago

    Ian Hill

    Thanks for your refreshing and varied forms of writing. From character analysis, to humor, to analogy and more. I miss your unique style.

  • Le Maquine posted 2155 days ago

    Le Maquine

    Disastrous job on your UFC 144 Report Card article today, were you hungover or something?

  • Le Maquine posted 2155 days ago

    Le Maquine

    Disastrous job on your article today "UFC 144 Report Card..." never seen such an inaccurate article in this website. I'm submitting my entry soon and will be replacing you

  • Garrett the Man posted 2167 days ago

    Garrett the Man

    A few days ago, you did the article WWE's 15 Best Animal Mascots of All Time. You should do one called What Would Current WWE Superstar's Mascots Be.

  • Eric Savalas posted 2168 days ago

    Eric Savalas

    Good to see your last article on Sonnen-Brazil got banned.

  • Ben Rosenthal posted 2168 days ago

    Ben Rosenthal

    No problem, man!

  • Rassoull Shabazz posted 2176 days ago

    Rassoull Shabazz

    Hey matt, thanks for replying to my comments it really means a lot. Also, I wanted to know if you had some insight on how a guy can get with a comic book/manga & anime producer, & become a musician at the same time while in the service. I am leaving for basic training in the air force in a few weeks & it would really help if you could give me some insight. Thanks.

  • Tyler Collison posted 2183 days ago

    Tyler Collison

    Honestly, Matt, it's just nice to see you read the comments. Too many times I edit pieces and the feedback seems to fall on deaf ears.

  • Ben Rosenthal posted 2183 days ago

    Ben Rosenthal

    No problem, I see a ton of articles on the Royal Rumble...must have been exciting.

  • Anthony Kang posted 2184 days ago

    Anthony Kang

    Much appreciated for the kind words Matthew. Great to hear.