Hundreds stood before the venue’s mouth, pumping signs in the air, screaming for an end to MMA—human cockfighting.
The manner in which these social justice warriors rallied online and postured at anyone trying to cross their fence of fiery flesh, it was unclear whether they were attempting to cancel California’s biggest MMA promotion or start up a new fight league of their own.
A long weekend defending territory, skipping meals in hopes of tipping the scales in their favor, and celebrating victory after affecting attendance.
Too bad the band of misguided protestors never noticed their similarities with MMA.
Ben and Diego entered Death Kiss MMA as soft, high school seniors out of curiosity; two years later, each had hardened into highly touted amateur prospects within the local circuit.
The road along the way was paved with several hardships—losses, injuries, problems with coaches or other teammates, and personal issues outside of training—but they always had each other’s back, like MMA’s hard-hitting rendition of Starsky and Hutch.
Much like the two detectives would chase “their guy,” the two continued their journey into the professional ranks, pursuing glory in cages across every continent.
All the talk and hype was over; the next time Phil “50 Caliber” Callaway and Jeremy “Sand” Mann would meet was in the center of the cage for the Heavyweight Title.
The 50,000 attendees inside Mitchell Stadium perched on the edge of their seats when the bell set Callaway and Mann on a collision course.
During the opening round, the two massive frames attempted to make short work of one another, standing in the pocket and launching strikes like scud missiles at one another.
Five-minutes down and Mann, whose eye began swelling shut and blood trickled from his mouth, wore the worst of the damage, and his coach barked, “Don’t just exchange punches and kicks with this guy, take him down!”
Mann left his coach’s advice on the stool.
As soon as the ringing left Mann’s ears and the stars disappeared from his vision, the big guy from Garberville, California promised to be a better listener in the future.