When real men fight

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Conrad M. Cariño

Conrad M. Cariño

While their fight over the weekend did not live up to the hype, you have to admire actors Baron Geisler and Kiko Matos for choosing to square it off in the ring like real men should.

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When they first got to blows in the premises of a bar, you never heard either of them saying they will ask their gangmates to “reinforce” them, ask a relative in political power to gather the goons, or ask a hitman to settle the score.

Matos even picked on somebody who was known to engage in fistfights elsewhere, while Geisler knew very well Matos was no pushover. And so their “fight” eventually became part of a Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) card over the weekend and their pre-fight antics made it even more interesting to fans.

Alvin Aguilar, founder of the URCC, said during a pre-fight press conference that the URCC can also be a venue for people like Geisler and Matos to showcase their fighting skills, and that settling scores in bar or street fights is not a good example for the youth. I fully agree that brawling in bars or on the streets is not good at all, and there’s the danger of getting ganged up.

But I believe Geisler and Matos did not sign up with the URCC to “showcase” their skills; rather they wanted to settle the score that started from a bar brawl.

And there lies the catch—must professional fight events be promoted as venues where non-professionals can settle their personal grudges and, at the same time, showcase their martial skills? In the first place, most of the professionals who participate in fight cards hardly carry any personal dislike of the other fighter when they enter the ring.

Sure, there were great fights like Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier and Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier where the fighters hated each other. But that is not the norm. Seasoned fighters even do not allow their opponents to “get into their nerves” because that could prove detrimental to them come fight night.

I even doubt it if very popular male celebrities would be willing to get into the ring to square off and get their faces bruised or busted, considering that the norm in the showbiz industry today is for males, especially the young ones, to have a skin complexion rivaling women (It’s as if many young men of today are competing to look more beautiful than women).

And if anybody who holds a white- or blue-collar job wants to try his hand in mixed martial arts and trains hard for it, that technically makes him an MMA fighter. Geisler and Matos do not fit that bill.

So just imagine what would happen if professional fight events end up becoming venues where males with personal grudges deck it out just to settle the score? What will happen to the professional fighters who train hard just to get featured in an MMA or boxing card?

But perhaps there may be a need for men who have personal grudges to settle their differences in a fight that is supervised professionally, if only to avoid one or both protagonists getting killed or ganged up. And with many men pretending to be brave (and becoming bullies) just because they have “resbaks,” have a relative in high places, access to goons or of superior size, the URCC can perhaps be a venue to find out who the real men are.

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