MMA’s new Dark Ages

Why limit five-on-five to basketball? Why limit fighting to one-on-one?

Most people could come up with a whole list of reasons, but that hasn’t stopped Team Fighting Championship from lining up five-man teams to do battle in the … well, it’s not a cage. It’s sort of a ring, but it’s basically a mat with some loose ropes and tires.

The first question: Is it safe? In the interview linked above, the founder says yes. They have one ref for each pair of fighters, which certainly separates this from pro wrestling. The downside: It’s a format that encourages fighters to jump opponents from behind. That leaves fighters defenseless. In every other fighting format, the fight is stopped when one fighter is defenseless. Maybe refs can be sure fighters aren’t “surprised,” but that didn’t seem to be the case in the footage they’ve posted so far.

The next question: Is it interesting? And it’s really not. The human eye can’t follow five fights at once. And then when one guy taps or is knocked out, it’s over — the other team can then double-team a guy to wipe him out, and so on.

The last question: Does it feed stereotypes of MMA fighters as bar-brawlers or soccer hooligans? Yeah, pretty much.

Simply put, the “why not?” answers are more compelling than the “why?”

Published by

Beau Dure

The guy who wrote a bunch of soccer books and now runs a Gen X-themed podcast while substitute teaching and continuing to write freelance stuff.

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