GlasgowLiving takes on UFC
Saturday night will witness something spectacular in the Scottish sporting calendar. An event as unique as the controversial sport itself.
UFC has been gradually gaining momentum for several years now, and with last weeks Conor McGregor fight gaining huge mainstream media time, on this side of the Atlantic as well as across the world, the sport has grown exponentially from its humble beginnings, the first official fight started in 1993.
Little more than 20 years to become the fastest growing and one of the most talked about sports on the planet.
Question the potential of the MMA based sport? When tickets for the 13,000 capacity SSE Hydro were released to the general public, they sold out within 60 minutes. Pretty impressive considering the sport receives almost no mainstream TV coverage. In Britain nearly every fight has either been broadcast online or on subscription television.
With home grown heroes such as Robert “The Hammer” Whiteford, Joanne “Jojo” Calderwood and Stevie “Braveheart” Ray appearing in front of cacophonous home crowd, it’s guaranteed to be a monumental night for UFC in Scotland.
“I hope it inspires people” said Robert Whiteford speaking passionately about the home crowd. “I grew up fighting, and it just so happens that I got picked up by the best sport in the world, who put me on stage and pay me for it.”
UFC may regularly make headlines at both ends of the newspaper for its brutality, there’s no doubting, however, that every single athlete who enters the Octagon ring, is in peak physical condition, many have compared the UFC fighters as a modern day Ancient Greek or Roman warrior battling in the arena. It seems that this is a lazy comparison though, each athlete has conditioned their body into perfect shape and technique, instead of simply being brutally good at fighting.
“Keeping my body and mind healthy” Robert said about his preparations leading up-to Saturday’s fight, “Working hard, making sure I turn up in the best possible condition for the event.” said the confident Alloa native.
Although UFC is arguably known more for its notoriety, than perhaps its sporting prowess, it has quickly gained a substantial audience across the world, with events broadcast in more than 160 countries worldwide, and translated in 22 languages, it attracts some of the greatest fighters from across the world.
Brazilian, Jose Aldo is probably the most successful fighter in UFC history, is top of their rankings and has been reigning featherweight champion since the belt was created in 2011. With the massive popularity of the sport in South America, Aldo has become somewhat of an idol, evidence that it’s possible to start off with nothing and battle your way to success.
To be a fly sitting on the wall of a fighters dressing room minutes before they march toward the iconic octagon ring would be priceless. are they psyching themselves up in the mirror, meditating, only an intimate select few will ever know.
What about the mind frame of a fighter moments before a big fight? Jose Aldo’s countryman Ivan Jorge said “I think of one thing and one thing only, before I enter the ring…And that’s tearing the head off of my opponent.”
With rhetoric like that it’s easy to see why this coming Saturday, Glasgow’s first experience of UFC and their infamous Octagon ring is guaranteed to be an explosive one.
Brutal, bloody, brilliant. There’s only one UFC.
Scotland are you ready.