It’ll be some time before I get the image of James "The Colossus" Thompson’s cauliflower ear exploding on impact after a right cross from Kimbo Slice (below left) in Saturday night’s MMA action on CBS. Only a horror-film director could’ve thought that one up.
Then again, in retrospect, that ear was destined to pop. So swollen was the Briton brawler’s ear that the thing seemed to enter the cage a full minute before Thompson himself did.
All in all, CBS’ first shot at ultimate fighting was promising. Mind you, I watched most of it the way one watches Halloween III–squinting through one’s fingers while anxiously awaiting the bloody killshot. The time between fights was often interminable and the fighters’ nicknames seemed forced, but the bouts themselves were quite good. I found the sight of Gina Carano and Kaitlin Young pummeling each other a bit disturbing–just my two cents–but there was plenty of action, skills were very good and Carano seemed to have a bit of the It factor in her post-bout interview.
The middleweight contest between Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith was an absolute cracker–both guys were wobbling at different points and seemed a punch away from collapsing, but hung on long enough to get their legs under them again. Too bad an errant finger in Smith’s eye ended the fight early.
Then it was on to the big boys. Fittingly, the clip of Slice busting open Thompson’s grotesque ear is destined to be a YouTube phenom; as you heard 42 times this past weekend, Slice made his name in backyard brawls shared on YouTube–some of which have been seen 2.5 million times apiece.
Speaking of cauliflower ears, I was pleased to see the U.S. Super League rugby championship on ESPN Classic Saturday night as well–live, no less. The production was first-rate, the match could not have been closer, and it was a pleasure to not have to schlep to some Manhattan pub at an off hour to catch live rugby on TV.
My only quibble was with my DVR. The match went into double overtime and then sudden death before New York Athletic Club sealed it–lasting well past when my DVR stopped recording.