I will give a disclaimer that I’m likely to offend people by this review. If you’re offended, you’re probably one of the people I’m commenting on, and I offer no apology. However, the rest of the population will find it amusing, factual, and will join me in pointing fingers and laughing at you.
I got an email saying I won two tickets to the MMA Extreme Challenge 188 because I had entered some contest. So I wrote the person back basically asking, “Really???” Of course I was suspicious. But the lady assured me I could pick up tickets at the Target Center Box Office the day before. I took off a little early from work and drove downtown. You know when a bad time to go the Target Center Box Office is? Right before a Twins game – right next to the Target Center. So basically to park my car and run in to pick up the tickets was going to cost me $20. Ouch. Thankfully, a nice lady-cop helped me out and it only cost me a dollar. And no I won’t tell you how to make that happen – I’m not giving away my new found secret.
The following night, D.Rough and I headed to the Target Center after hours of deciding what to wear. How would we fit in? Is it classy like a Vegas fight? Is it wife beaters and cut-off jorts? Or is it Ed Hardy D-Bag sparkle shirts with backwards baseball hats and $200 jeans. Turns out it’s the latter.
Let me start by saying the douch-baggery started before we even got into the event. Out in the ticket window area (there were some minor mix ups in the tickets), there was a large group of people with a d-bag father who had bought a bunch of tickets for a group of his kids and his kid’s friends. The handful of tickets were given to the family in the hands of one moronically-dressed two-toned haired whore. She turned around and started handing out the tickets. We heard some of the kids say – wow, we didn’t buy $82 tickets – sweet. Then we heard the father absolutely blow up, insult the window lady, and demand a manager “who wasn’t an idiot” when he didn’t get one of the chosen few $82 tickets and didn’t think to ask his kid’s friends who got the special seats he had bought. He caused a scene and was a complete dill hole about the whole thing. I loathe people like that. L. O. A. T. H. E.
Once inside, the d-baggery continued. I felt I didn’t have enough gold and silver lamé on my shirt – mainly because I didn’t have ANY – and I wasn’t wearing a baseball hat backwards. In fact, the only people who had their hats on the proper direction were the people wearing golf hats and were clearly out of place. Also, my shirt was the proper size. I didn’t choose to wear the same size shirt as I had in Jr. High. Again, I stuck out. I also didn’t have a pencil thin chin strap beard or a soul patch, so I’m sure people thought I was in the wrong venue.
I was amazingly underwhelmed at the crowd at this thing. Seriously, there were 1,500-2000 people there, and that might be generous. The place was barren. They had half of the Target Center curtained off. HALF, and the octagon was in the middle of the floor with whores (the girls that walk around with giant cards telling you what round it is) and d-bags who had paid $200+ for ringside seats – yes, I’m serious. TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS.
The first fight had started right when we got there. They do the amateur bouts first. No knees, no elbows, three rounds. These are just regular joes who like to beat the hell out of each other. Some big, some small, some in shape, some not so much, some scrappy, some monstrous – a wide variety. On top of all this, the ring announcer was completely indecipherable. He basically yelled in a sing-song voice and we really couldn't make out any of the words he was saying. Heck, who knows - maybe the MMA has its own language, or maybe the sparkly shirts are some sort of communication translator.
This is my "Really?" face, seen most of the evening.
The people in the crowd were loud and drunk, even though there was absolutely zero energy in the air. None. I can remember watching AWA and WCW wrestling when I was a kid and despite it looking like it was filmed in someone’s basement with folding chairs, it had a million times more energy in the crowd.
But I did take the opportunity to write down verbatim what some of the drunks were yelling. Mainly because it amused the hell out of me. Here’s some select words yelled by the people around me towards the octagon:
Sock em up! Throw the right! Chop him down! 1-2-3! Shoulda kicked! Pick him up and slam him! Choke his ass out! Right in the triangle! Beat them kidneys! Make him piss blood! Keep it going! He's looking for a triangle! Put it on him! Squeeze! Drop a knee on him! Knee hook! Show him what Superior’s all about! (this was directed to a fighter from Superior, Wisconsin) Pound him! Get that leg out!
D.Rough tried to join in by yelling “neck squish!” She claims it’s a technical term. It was ineffective.
I sort of hated everything at a certain point, so I did what I do best – I went to the concession stand. I mentioned there was no one at the event, right? (1,500 doesn’t fill the Target Center if you’re wondering). I even took a picture of the concourse to show you how busy it is. Seriously, this is during the event. Even Lynx games have more people than this (I had a blast at the last Lynx game I went to, so I’m not taking a shot at them, I promise).
I grabbed a brat and some nachos for D.Rough and I to share and we listened to the concession stand worker complain about the number of people working the booths that night when there was no one there. We looked around and they were fully staffed. FULLY. Not all of the booths were open (no State Fair booth, sadly), but there were like 6 booths open and fully staffed with people literally sitting around doing nothing. All night. Sucked to be them and I felt bad.
D.Rough and I ate some of our food out in the concourse, since it was much quieter out there and no one was going to disturb us.
We went back in right before the intermission and were surprised to see abolsultely nothing going on. I’m used to real sporting events where you get some sort of entertainment during the half time space. They could have taken their cue from roller derby and maybe had little kids come out and show their MMA skillz. Yeah, show all these people that your daddies taught you to beat the hell out of someone until their unconscious – that’s fun, right?
The second half started and was the professional fighters. These guys can use their knees and elbows and they go for five minute rounds – five of them. This part just got long and boring. We had moved seats so we could sit with some of our friends who were actually into the event, but we seriously gave up after the second professional fighter round. Just not very action packed and no one was winning. There was a lot of blood though.
Some things I found amusing, besides the d-bags in the crowd:
- “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins is not really the best theme song to walk out to at a sporting event. It’s a real downer until about halfway through the song. Maybe he was trying to lull the crowd – sadly, they appeared already lulled.
- There is a sound played when there is ten seconds left in the round or the break between rounds. It actually is the sound of an orchestra conductor tapping his baton on the music stand to get the ensemble’s attention. Really a weird place to hear that sound.
- The tables on the main floor were for groups of ten – you HAD to buy ten tickets to get a table – and the seats were $102 each. Not surprisingly, not all of them were full.
- I found it amusing the write-ups for this event were saying this is an inferior league to UFC. People who do well in this league get tomove up to the UFC where the real fighters are at. The main event – that we missed – was between two guys who had fought each other 67 times and still weren’t in the UFC. That’s a lot of brain damage to sustain before getting to the big leagues.
- I feel like this sort of thing is one step from sending lions into the ring and watching people die. It’s not like I’m squeamish or anything. I was just bored. Maybe lions would have helped.
- There was a long-haired ginger fighting in one of the bouts. He came out wearing a karate Gi and had his hair ina pony tail. The guy had obviously never even seen the sun, once that Gi came off. The second we saw that, D.Rough said flatly, “I’ll bet he’s got a lot of ninja swords at home.” Classic, and that’s why I’m marrying her.
- We actually paid $12 for a beer at the Target Center.
My recommendation? Skip the MMA and go to a real sporting event, like Roller Derby. The Minnesota Roller Girls draw 5,000 people at their home season bouts and have a pre-show AND a half time show. All for $12. In fact, all for the price of one large beer at the Target Center.