The Badger could have easily popped out a couple of hundred words on Paddy Jackson’s permanent ‘I’m about to shit myself’ face this week. Or The Badger could comment on the fact that Oscar Pistorius has been released on Bale, as The Badger understands that the Tottenham star isn’t too pleased with the arrangement. Instead, The Badger will talk about fighting.
Now The Badger has been in many fights in his lifetime. Big fights. Does fight night in Madison Square Garden mean anything to you? Well, The Badger has fought people on the street outside of there.
Also, during his brief employment as a talent scout for a prominent Swiss football club, The Badger had to fight charges of paedophilia (in retrospect, The Badger shouldn’t have told everybody that he was “scouting for Young Boys”). So The Badger has a place in his heart for combat sports.
With the removal of wrestling from the 2020 Olympics, combat sports were dealt a blow. The fact is that boxing is not as big a draw as it used to be, while the rest of the combat sports get very little global attention.
The Badger holds a special place in his heart for Greco-Roman wrestling. The sport, invented by Zeus when he accidentally threw a lightning storm at a giant bottle of aggression and testosterone, was one of the original Ancient Greek Olympic games.
It is, in all likelihood, the original sport, and has remained a man’s sport ever since (the female Greco-Roman Olympic finals were the only events in London that didn’t sell out, such was the disinterest). Manly and slightly homoerotic, the sport equivalent of Top Gun, has definite single gender connotations. It’s only appropriate then that last week belonged to women’s combat sports.
The Ronda Rousey-Liz Carmouche fight headlined the UFC 157 Pay-Per View, the first women’s fight to do so. While The Badger transcends all gender, it’s often said that The Badger is male-sport orientated, so The Badger will now adopt a more open view, adopting a Badgina if you will.
However predictable the outcome, with Rousey winning once again by submission due to an armbar, a women’s fight headlined a PPV-card of the biggest MMA promotion on the planet. Female MMA now has a face for the promotion. Hard-working, talented, funny and charismatic, Rousey’s exactly what garners fresh interest in a sport, and let’s not beat around the bush here, it does help that Ronda Rousey is more on The Badger’s side of the sex-appeal-meter than say, on the Snooki end.
Now The Badger isn’t saying that this is a victory for feminism on par with when a recently-thinned Badger burned his bra in celebration and accidentally started a revolution, nor will it make up for wrestling’s exclusion from the 2020 Olympics, however it is a huge mainstream victory for women and combat sports, and that’s not something that occurs too regularly.