Fight Club …on 60 Minutes; Exclusive Video Only on Yahoo! News
It’s been likened to a street corner brawl: two men fighting, very few rules, and the last one standing is the winner. It may be brutal but “Mixed Martial Arts” is also one of the fastest growing sports in America. Scott Pelley talks with the man behind the “Ultimate Fighting Championship” and goes toe-to-toe with some of the top fighters in the sport today.
Now its pay-per-view buys are approaching one million and Spike TV’s Ultimate Fighting Championship, the nation’s most popular pro league, outdraws baseball and basketball among the 18 to 34 crowd, which is the most highly desireable advertiser’s demographic. In fact, many have speculated that cage fighting, with its hyper-quick action and colorful characters, will replace boxing as the nation’s choice bloodsport.
The UFC was to be based upon a version of Brazilian vale tudo fighting. Often violent and brutal with minimal rules, the UFC’s brand of vale tudo, initially known as no holds barred fighting, allowed fighters of various disciplines to prove which martial arts style prevailed above others in realistic, unregulated situations. Early UFC fights, while accomplishing the goal of determining which style was best, were less sport than spectacle, which led to accusations of brutality and “human cockfighting” by opponents. Here is some video from that period, which was eventually banned on Pay-for-View, until it was re-vamped with 31 rules.