Tagged: UFC

No Holds Barred

No Holds Barred: The Complete History of Mixed Martial Arts in America by Clyde Gentry III, 2/5

Relentlessly packed with names, dates, dry facts and endless acronyms, this book is about as appealing to read as the world’s longest Wikipedia article (a comparison that could be considered a compliment if you account for the fact that it was written before Wikipedia even existed). The author has performed an impressive amount of research, including a jaw-dropping 125 interviews, but unfortunately seems completely incapable of telling a story, even when equipped with firsthand knowledge of the dramatic events and larger-than-life personas associated with the history of MMA. His blow-by-blow descriptions of classic fights are excruciatingly boring and he somehow sucks all the life out of even the most amusing or astonishing anecdotes. Adding to the faults of the original edition is a half-assed update written 10 years later that sees the clumsy addition of multiple-page “sidebars” (literally marked with bars) that completely disrupt the text’s already inadequate narrative flow, two off-focus chapters tacked onto the end, and multiple references to himself awkwardly as “this author” that made me grind my teeth every time they assaulted my eyes. In the preface, the author mentions that this book was supposed to be the first in a series that “never happened” and, after reading it, there is no question why.

Why I read it: A gift from my dad, accompanied with the warning “it will probably be terrible.”

Got Fight?

got fight forrest griffinGot Fight? The 50 Zen Principles of Hand-to-Face Combat by Forrest Griffin, with Erich Krauss, 4/5

This in-your-face manliness manifesto was much, much funnier than the front cover lead me to expect, what with its bashed-up author and stupid title (to which Griffin vociferously objected, to his credit).  What it is: an R-rated, surprisingly witty, expletive-filled, laugh-inducing series of ramblings that are mostly centered on martial arts and dubious advice about being a Man.  What it is not: a martial arts how-to guide or factual account of Griffin’s MMA experience.

[Why I read it: I love MMA and pounced on this after my dad picked it up at the thriftstore.]