It's Later Than You Think: Team MMA Debuts in Europe
Whenever I indulge the delusion that I’m not living in the movie Idiocracy, I quickly turn on MTV to snap myself out of it. What’s Ridiculousness but an Ow My Balls! knockoff? A new sport (team mixed-martial arts) broadcast from Europe surely recalls Idiocracy—at least it recalls the monster-truck demolition derby scene with Beef Supreme. When does MTV, or Spike, buy the rights?
Team Fighting Championship pits two squads of five combatants against one another. The ring announcer claims that the fighters will compete “using standard MMA rules.” But I don’t see guys in the UFC double- and triple-teaming opponents. The referee clarifies “standard MMA rules” by highlighting just three. In his heavily-accented English, surely less decipherable to the Poles and Swedes in the arena, he warns against eye gouging, biting, and something else still unclear many YouTube views later.
The pilot episode pairs the Wisemen, five mixed-martial artists from Gothenburg, Sweeden, against five guys from Poznan, Poland called LPH—in broken English the "L" remains a mystery but “PH” stands for “Poznan Hooligans,” which suggests that the Polish team knows themselves better than their Swedish “Wisemen” counterparts.
They also know team fighting, perhaps from experience on the streets of Poznan, better than the Swedes. An initial charge witnesses ten guys swinging wildly at one another. When one man goes down, the other team gains advantage. In this case, the Poles capitalized on the dropping Swedes by turning team fighting into a handicap match. The wild scene culminates in four guys soccer kicking and hammer-fisting the remaining not-so Wiseman who had wisely reverted to the fetal position. Why not allow brass knuckles, bottles, and nunchucks too?
“I’ve never heard of this before,” a Swedish fighter says before the sanctioned rumble. “I think it will become a big thing.”
I hope not. But then I remind myself: Brawndo’s got what plants crave.