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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier - UFC 145: Why Wrestling Fans should Care
By pen15
Apr 20, 2012 - 12:09:01 PM

UFC 145: Why Wrestling Fans should Care

I contacted a few of my favorite MMA fans on LOP to assist with this column. I wanted to ask other fans of BOTH sports to give reasons why a UFC card would interest the same person who purchased Wrestlemania only 3 weeks ago.

I planned this column out 2 months ago. I didn’t really imagine Brock Lesnar as a WWE star at that time. Now, the attachment to a real sport is an interesting draw for some fans. I hope this capitalizes on the interest of what I think will be the most anticipated UFC card in the PEN15 household of 2012.

I'm 24 years old and I grew up watching wrestling starting sometime in the 90's. I used to watch every show and PPV that aired for the WWE, every show and some PPV's for WCW, and since I lived in Philadelphia until 2001, I had ECW fever by attending a few shows and watching every show that from what I remember used to come on around 11 PM EST at night.

I stopped watching wrestling for a long time, looking back using Google and Wikipedia, I'm pretty sure I stopped watching a little bit after WrestleMania XX. That event happened in 2004, so I was 17 years old when I stopped watching and I started back up periodically at last year's Royal Rumble event when Alberto Del Rio won. I've always loved the Rumble, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I also ordered WrestleMania last year and thought it was decent. I watched a few shows here and there until the CM Punk promo which I was happened to watch live that started the serious hype of Punk. I watched Money in the Bank as well. From there on, I've watched every RAW and I usually skip through SmackDown, but I record it and fast forward through the entire show in probably 5 minutes.

But, this isn't about my love for wrestling, which has mostly returned... this is about my love for Mixed Martial Arts. I began watching MMA on June 12, 2009, and it was a replay of Frank Shamrock (brother of former WWF star Ken) vs. Cung Le, which was a Strikeforce/EliteXC show on Showtime. That fight was awesome and I was instantly hooked. The next day, there was a UFC PPV in Germany, UFC 99: The Comeback, which featured Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva as the main event and also had soon-to-be UFC Heavyweight Champion, Cain Velasquez in the co-main event. I had went to Buffalo Wild Wings around 3:30 PM EST after I found out the show had already started, I told my wife that I'd be back in a little bit, I wanted to watch the UFC show. I arrived at to see 4 fights at an empty bar. I was loving it. My wife and I had went to Wild Wing Cafe to watch UFC 100, which featured Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir as the main event, coincidentally, Brock left the WWE after that WrestleMania XX, around the time I stopped watching wrestling. Huge crowd at the place though, so from UFC 101 on, (except two other PPVs which we went to BWW for), I've watched every PPV at home and become a huge MMA fan.

UFC 145 is the next PPV for the company, April 21, 2012, Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans. Jon Jones has become arguably the biggest star in the MMA world in the past year. These two were training partners who have become probably the 2nd biggest rivalry outside of Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen who have already fought once and are scheduled to fight this Summer for a second time. Jones-Evans is a fight that fight fans have been waiting to see for a while now just because of all the build up and trash talk. This was supposed to happen before, but Evans gotten hurt, which coincidentally, was the reason Jon Jones was ever given a title shot in the first place as a replacement option to fight then champion, Shogun Rua. If there was ever a time to jump aboard as an MMA fan, this is the time. In March, we just had two free events, UFC on FX 2, and Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey, and both events were entertaining, and you must watch the Ronda Rousey armbar on Miesha Tate, which by the way, was only the 2nd time that a main event was headlined by women.

Jon Jones is a guy that I've grown to love during his rise, then loathe. I'll be rooting for Rashad in this fight as Jones' personality and antics have made him a love him or hate him guy. But, please don't misunderstand me, I LOVE to HATE him, so basically, I'm a HUGE fan of Jon Jones. By the way, check out this awesome promo for Jones, sick camera work.

Jon Jones: Believe Your Eyes (:60 version) from JMH Films on Vimeo.

Give UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans a chance, there a fun fights all throughout the card, and if the first event your introduced to is featuring Jon Jones, an electrifying striker with crazy all around MMA skills, you'll be hooked like I was on June 12, 2009.

It honestly reminds me of an old Jimmy Hart stable angle in the late 80s. Didn’t he offer the Nasty Boys title shots to Money Inc, which led to a Nasty Boy face turn?

Anyways, Jones won the title, Rashad quit that gym, and is now the number one contender, facing his old gym partner. Sounds like sports-entertainment to me.

Bones vs. Rashad. Where do I begin?

In many situations in MMA, animosity is manufactured to create hype for a fight (see anything that comes out of Chael Sonnen's mouth). In this situation, however, the dislike between Jon "Bones" Jones, the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, and the number one contender to his throne, "Sugar" Rashad Evans, is very real. Evans doesn't like how quickly Jones has risen through the ranks. Jones jumped Evans for a title shot when Evans was injured, and Evans feels slighted. Jones, on the other hand, feels that Evans has done all he can to make his title reign seem less legitimate than it is. This has resulted in two fighters that will go into the cage on April 21st, 2012 looking to hurt each other. This won't be the misconception that MMA is just two fighters dancing around not doing anything. These two athletes will be swinging to hurt in what will be an exciting contest.

Also on the UFC 145 card is a fight between rising Welterweight prospect Rory MacDonald and Che Mills. MacDonald is very well known as the fighter that took current Interim UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit to the limit, losing at the tail end of the final round. Another exciting fight between two young fighters looking to make their mark, look for MacDonald to look for submissions while Mills while try to stay standing and use his superior standup.

MMA overall is an exciting, fast rising sport that will continue to grow. If you, the viewers of this column, choose to start your journey at UFC 145, you have picked a good time. The sport is only getting more exciting with addition of a new weightclass and more and more fight cards. Give the sport a shot, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

More to Come

And on that note, peace out.

Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.

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