Fan Loyalties Torn In Two

Georges “Rush” St. Pierre: UFC Welterweight Champion 

The best way to describe this man would be “class act”.  This is an absolutely elite athlete.  He is ambitious and successful.  This is a man who is well spoken despite language barriers.  He is polite, and cordial.  He is respectful and disciplined.  He is ever improving.  Man can he fight.  This is a champion.

B.J. “The Prodigy” Penn  UFC Lightweight Champion

The best way to describe this man would be “naturally gifted”.  This man is bold, and outspoken.  He is aggressive and confident.  He shoots from the hip and calls it like he sees it with conviction.  His talent level is unmatched.  His character is immovable.  Man can this guy fight.  This too is a champion.

In less than three weeks, these two men will enter the octagon and administer to each other, what more than likely will be, the most difficult test of either fighters career.

These two have met before, and had a phenomenal yet controversial fight.  A split decision win for GSP.  Regardless of the outcome, both men were in different places and times within their careers and lives.  Now, today they have progressed into not only different men, but different fighters.  They have both become UFC champions. 

Both men have almost religious type followings in their fan bases.  Get one fan from each camp on a roll and you may wind up playing the role of Herb Dean and officiating a match between the two armchair contenders. 

These fans know who they love, and are certain of who will win.  No amount of persuasion will change their minds.  They will not be moved.  They will never relent.  Their minds are made up, and their testimony is abundant.  The passion of the fans, rivals that of the fighters themselves.  

Both sides have more than their share of valid points to make about both the technical prowess of the fighters, as well as the character and makeup of the fighters as individuals not just athletes. 

Discussions are found everywhere online, ranging from the men’s personal lives, to their training camps, their practices to their disciplines.  Spike TV is also running the “Prime time” show which depicts interviews, training, and the lives of these fighters while preparing for each other.  The experts are many, the opinions are endless.

Unfortunately the trash talk is more prevalent than ever between these two fan bases.  While the hardcore fans understand the negatives of fighter bashing, and biased opinion compared to the positives of facts and actual fight analysis, there are those casual fans who prefer to simply talk trash.

The mudslinging is less than appealing to anyone other than those slinging it, but it is fun to see all the different perspectives of fans concerning the fight and the fighters.  Both relative commentary and irrelevant hold their value for analysis or sheer entertainment.  No one can challenge nor question the blind loyalty held by either side.

To hear a GSP fan tell it, we might be in store for a GSP that can put forth his hand and suck all the energy out of BJ’s body by way of some mystical hidden power, then proceed to slam him repeatedly on the ground with one hand, followed up with a devastating kick that sends BJ through the fence into the front row, then he will leave the octagon and chase BJ out of the building and on to the Vegas strip.

To hear a BJ fan tell it, BJ may use rocket powered boosters in his UFC gloves to pummel GSP into the mat, pick GSP up over his head  and spin him around until he takes flight like a helicopter, then jump up in the air and bestow to the world an ancient BJJ technique known only to Helio Gracie, and break GSP in half whether he taps or not, then take the pieces home to Hilo with him and mount them on his wall next to Sean Sherk’s derriere.

Of course nothing could be further from the truth.  It is so much more simple than any of us make it out to be.  These two highly talented, highly respected men are going to show up at the MGM, prepare in their rooms, wait for the call, and walk to the octagon and figure this thing out.  No one knows what will happen, no one can predict.  The odds tell us that GSP will more than likely win.  The problem is odds are not a crystal ball, only a prediction based on past results.

Overall, the two sides are set and decided.  I unfortunately live in another world.  A world that allows for an unbiased, unconditional respect and admiration for both fighters.  The reasons are the very same that most of the partial fans hold dear.  Apparently I missed the memo that instructed me to pick a side years ago. 

Many of the fight fans awaiting this match have been staunch supporters of either side for a long time now.  I on the other hand have always thoroughly enjoyed watching both competitors fight.  Never once have I felt ill will towards or against either man, nor did I wish for them to ever lose, no matter who they fought.  I have always been “in the corner” of both fighters whenever they competed.

Now I am in a bit of a quandary.  Two of my absolute favorite fighters are scheduled to do the damn thing, and Im left stuck in the middle.  As a writer, I am going to play the antagonist and support BJ, as I love an underdog. At the end of the day though, a win or loss for either fighter disrupts my rythm in concerns to fighters I root for. 

I’m absolutely torn as to what I want to see, and what I imagine will take place.  As a fight fan, I have always dreamed for the best of match ups, the greatest of fighters challenging one another, the two top tier dogs pit against each other for a universal crown of the best.  We will never see Randy fight Fedor in their primes as we should have.  This is a great substitute of top tier fighters facing off in the peaks of their respective careers. 

My wish has been answered, my request granted.  The very success I have always wished for these two great fighters has come to fruition.  It has them going opposite ways on a one way street destined to collide.  Those victories I so heavily rooted for, have finally put these men back on track to continue what surely will be a rivalry to go down in UFC history as one of the greatest.  Not just a rivalry between two men, but their loyal and respected following as well.   

I got my cake and now I must eat it.  What a drag, what a reward.  I can’t flippin wait!

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