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This is what the UFC crowd was cheering for

July 12, 2009|T.J. SIMERS

FROM LAS VEGAS — I gave it a chance and here's what I now think about Ultimate Bore & Gore.

It's the 7-Eleven's Kid's birthday, back home there are reports Sam the puppy has lost his baby teeth, and I'm here. Amazingly, it's the guy in the octagon who has the hole in his head.

The blood is gushing out, Mac Danzig painted red, just a beautiful sight for the UFC 100 crowd, the folks here in Mandalay Bay screaming with hunger for even more.

A NBA player gets a dab of blood on his uniform and they stop the game, a guy with white surgical gloves looking him over while officials make him change jerseys.

They wring the mat out here with all the blood spilled at the end of the night, and the blood banks in Las Vegas will be restocked.

The night has just started and two fighters have already been left unconscious, guillotine choke moves they tell me, both heads though remaining attached to lifeless bodies.

Jon Jones' opponent taps out, and a TV reporter says, "Jones is an animal," visiting hours at the zoo just beginning.

Tom Lawler, the same guy who appeared at the weigh-in a day earlier with "just bleed" painted across his chest, enters the arena with dog leash in hand, pulling some guy with red hair on all fours and a bone in his mouth.

Keep in mind this is a "sport," as UFC President Dana White contends, the resemblance to pro wrestling just a hint of what is to come in the finale.

A few minutes later Mark Coleman is taking his own bloodbath, an expert they say at "ground and pound," one forearm or elbow after another to a fallen victim, and is this entertainment?

Kicks to the head are also very popular with the fans. And if they really want to make everyone happy, bring all the fighters into the ring and have them just pummel announcer Bruce Buffer until he shuts up.

As for Coleman and his rearranged face, the pay-per-view announcer is telling the folks at home he has stayed away from his daughters the last 70 days to train for this.

"Daddy's coming home," Coleman screams into the camera when the fight's over. "You're my life, baby."

Great, that now leaves the two daughters at home to duke it out in an effort to determine who Daddy was talking about. Maybe UFC 101?

It's time for the pay-per-view audience to join the festivities, getting replay after replay as Alan Belcher delivers a kick squarely to the middle of Yoshihiro Akiyama's red trunks and doubling him over in pain. I haven't been around the sport enough to know what Akiyama's plans for a family might be.

When it's Dan Henderson's turn, he not only throws a right, knocking out Michael Bisping, but jumps off the tip of his toes so he can deliver another bomb to Bisping, who is flat on his back, already unconscious. Some sport.

The extra pop is "just to shut him up a little," Henderson explains. Huh? The other day White insists the No. 1 thing about this sport is the sportsmanship shown between competitors.

Those who love it probably just loved it. Anyone with a shred of decency with no stomach for brutality and animal behavior probably wasn't watching. Pin the tail on the donkey would have been so much more fun.

The people here, of course, couldn't get enough. They spent money to be here, getting past the metal detectors and the age requirement, everyone seemingly under 40 and wearing T-shirts featuring various skull designs.

There are another 4,000 outside in 100-degree temperatures by the Mandalay pools watching the show on big-screen TVs, violence having just an amazing pull on people.

It's pounding song after song here, and maybe if someone could tell me the name of the tune that includes "Worcester sauce," I'd better understand some of this.

The music is so jarring the press table shakes, the reverberations going deep to the stomach, much like the wife's chili, a bathroom break right now is not a bad idea. It's obvious Holly Madison and I think much alike.

Hef's former girlfriend, who is appearing in "Peepshow" here in Las Vegas, walks around the octagon in briefs to tell everyone what round it is, apparently the folks who follow this sport having a hard time counting to three. No other reason I can think of why she's here.

She lasts one fight, three rounds and she's gone. She's maybe the smartest person in the room, the night going to end with the main event a dud.

Brock Lesnar, playing the WWE heavy to perfection, lies on top of Frank Mir for almost two rounds, the fight ruled a knockout when Mir, like everyone else, closes his eyes because he can no longer watch.

Lesnar raises the middle finger on each hand in saluting the paying customers, the WWE finish with Lesnar urging the crowd to boo louder, one more reason why this so-called sport is still a long way away from qualifying as mainstream fare.

Now I like White and his drive to make this violence appear respectful. "No one has died," White's quick to say, but give the sport time.

Lesnar and Mir aren't much different from any other athletes seeking competition and big paydays.

But what does this say about us, people screaming with glee because blood is running down someone's face and he's still in there punching? What does it say about violence's voyeuristic appeal, the sight of someone being choked into unconsciousness reason for howling approval?

It's hard to believe public executions wouldn't do well. And just think of the reality TV show that's sitting there waiting to be done, instead of the weigh-in, the final meal.

When you watch something like UFC 100, there's really no reason to believe there are limits to what might entertain people.


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