The World Is Burning Down Around UFC 205

Fightland Blog

By Jeff Harder

Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA

In a catastrophic failure of the imagination as well as the American Dream, We the People elected a marble-mouthed conman, serial sexual assaulter, bankruptcy beneficiary, reality show star, deep-pocketed crybaby, and bona fide racist with the hallmarks of early-onset Alzheimer’s—who would probably try to throw me in jail for writing this if he could read more than 140 characters—to the greatest office in the greatest nation.

We the People are this: assholes and xenophobes and troglodytes who would take revenge on everyone who tried to explain the merits of critical thinking and empathy and why it's important to distinguish a meme from the fucking A-section of The New York Times and all the American ideals that actually matter, by elevating a human anal gland like Donald Trump as the savior of a country that was already doing well by any objective measure except the ones in your rotten, GED-and-GOP-colored perception of all that is real.

Every vaguely political article on Fightland features a string of humorless, knuckle-dragger-with-fat-fingers-mashing-the-keyboard comments underneath, so I’ll spare you the trouble: I am a biased liberal pantywaist. I wanted Hillary Clinton to win, and for several reasons. The most pressing is that I didn’t want to have to tell my infant son that, even though idiots surround him, he shouldn't give them the benefit of the doubt and empathize with the fact that they've arrived here through circumstances different from his own. Instead, since their thin-skinned, crypto-fascist, race-baiting, cop-loving, know-nothing overlord advocates punching strangers in the face and much worse, I have to teach him how to choke them unconscious for his own survival.

Which brings us to this Saturday’s UFC 205, headlined by Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez, a fleeting afterthought amidst the quadrennial (and maybe perpetual) hell we’ve set ourselves up for. The nexus of the universe this week is Manhattan, site of both Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s post-election and post-defeat celebrations, as well as the UFC’s debut at Madison Square Garden in New York City. I last wrote about UFC 205 with some amount of glee, assuming it held together. It did, more or less: we’re less than a week out, and while the startlingly ripped Rashad Evans had to pull out of his bout with the returning-from-two-years-hiatus Tim Kennedy, we’re pretty much where we were in terms of how awesome Saturday night is going to be.

We have a main event that transcends two weight classes and, by virtue of its booking, calls into question the merits of the UFC's unilateral matchmaking power while assuring a superlative pay-per-view buy rate and an awesome spectator experience. We have a welterweight title fight with Tyrone Woodley, an eloquent champion whose skin color and background would make the average Trump voter recoil, defending his title; the return of Khabib Nurmagomedov, a Muslim who would be subject to "extreme vetting," like that's an HGTV show or something; a pair of Polish women fighting for the title, but they're okay because they're white and capable of being inappropriately groped and stuff; and a ton of good fights underneath.

Photo by Justin Lane/EPA

But there's plenty to atone for in this all-encompassing MMA moment. Let's not overlook the fact that Kelvin Gastelum is in a consolation fight with Donald Cerrone—a main-card fighter who, in his infinite wisdom that in no way reflects the capriciousness and short-sightedness of fighters as a species, endorsed Donald Trump at the same time he voiced his desire to be the face of a fighters' union. Remember that Tito Ortiz, the early 2000s nu-metal ethos jammed inside a 220-pound body and a 600-pound head, proclaimed his fealty to Emperor Trump despite his Mexican heritage. Never forget that UFC President Dana White gave a ringing, non-personal, over-volumed endorsement of Trump at the Republican National Convention, an event that will be replayed for history students in 100 years as evidence of how even a great nation like America could bend over because the dark, roiling ugliness in its guts. And let's not overlook Donald Trump's ties to MMA that are a true embarrassment to the sport we all love.

If there ever was a time for a fighter to elevate himself or herself and get on the right side of history, it's Saturday night with the whole world watching. Imagine Conor McGregor, the most famous MMA fighter of them all who already said Trump can "shut his big fat mouth,” shitting on the new president while holding two belts and blood dripping from his brow. Imagine anyone else on the undercard at 205 doing the same and telling that jowl-faced fuckboy that even hard motherfuckers don't have a taste for bullshit.

UFC 205 is a great event, probably the best ever. It's solace for a protracted, terrible election cycle. But Manhattan is the grimmest place in America right now, and UFC 205 isn't comfort for a reality where I literally just talked with my wife about the feasibility of moving to a Canadian province with which we have some familiarity, so as to avoid the economic, racial, nuclear, and existential threats that a Trump presidency brings to all of us.

Congratulations to everyone who convinced themselves that it didn't matter who you voted for. Your stupidity must be truly comforting. You'll be inured to all the bad shit that's about to come with an Executive Branch, Congress, and Supreme Court, who are all hell bent on turning a place you presumed to be better than anywhere else in the world into a waking nightmare. With only your ballot, you ruined the great American experiment. Before it all burns to the ground, here are some fights.


Check out these related stories:

"Cowboy" Cerrone Is Pro-Union, Pro-Trump, and Pushing People to Vote

Dana White Ignores Trump's Politics in Booming Republican Convention Speech

Donald Trump’s Long, Strange Relationship With MMA