Top positive review
Blood, Guts, Muscles, Dollars and Politics!!!
Reviewed in the United States on December 24, 2002
I had a tough time putting this FACTUAL account of MMA history down, and didn't get enough sleep over the two day period it took me to read it. An enthralling volume which for the first time offers specific details about the early years of the new Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitions--including the "behind the scenes" maneuvering between politicians, promoters, crooks, and media profiteers. Erich Krauss and Bret Aita offer a bout-by-bout description of the first Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) in 1993 to 1995. We can also read about the first several International Fighting Championships (IFC) from Kiev and the dangers promotors faced by the Ukranian criminal syndicate! Perhaps most interesting though, between descriptions of MMA events taking place at the time, are Krauss and Aida's blow-by-blow analysis of what was going on in the political arena as Senator John McCain, an ardent supporter of boxing (go figure) led the push to ban the "barbaric" sport of MMA.
The battle moves from the ring, where skilled athletes contest one another, to the halls of state athletic comissions and congress as MMA fighters and promoters battle to save their sport. Here for the first time we can read a clear account of the events which led to a decline in the availability of MMA events on cable for a time. I'll paraphrase the opening paragraphs of Chapter 12 (pg 147): Leo Hindley, Jr., friend of Sen. John McCain, dropped all MMA events from the roster of cable giant TCI--to shield children from violent t.v. content (they still aired boxing, pro wrestling, and violent movies!!). TCI, Time Warner, Request, Cablevision Systems, and Viewer's Choice/On Demand followed TCI's lead. Through it all, fighters kept training, promotors found other countries in which to host MMA competition, and we are treated to match-by-match reviews of later MMA contests, the gruelling training regimins the MMA fighter endured, and MMA survived. Want to know the dope on Frank and Ken Shamrock, what makes the Gracies so great, how did a kickboxer (Maurice Smith) take MMA by storm, and who the future of MMA rests with (arts, athletes & promotion companies)? This book will answer your questions. There is waaay too much info for me to even begin with all the names and events this volume covers. Very worth the $, a long-awaited gem for the literary martial arts world.