There’s a common misconception in MMA that fans in general are meat head idiots that masturbate to hip hop while shooting steroids directly in their eyeballs. Companies exploit the fact that the big money spenders are desperate to live the “fighter lifestyle” of fast cars, fast women, and crazy Vegas parties. Now, although it’s true that there is that element, the scene is slowly being taken over by hard core nerds, operating in secret out of shame that they might be found out.
In our travels, Ryan and I have met a lot of fighters, and we’ve shared candid conversations with them. Most of the time, the subjects of conversation ranged from video games to comic books to science fiction. All of these conversations were emphasized to be private, and we were not to discuss who said what about Mace Windu or any other nerd trivia. Their motivation was simple; they believed that if fans found out about their secret nerdy lives, they would all abandon ship.
A couple years ago, Vin Diesel came out of the nerd closet by admitting that he played Dungeons & Dragons. Vin’s devotion exceeded what most casual fans expected; one of his tattoos is actually his characters name. The reaction from everyone was surprising: not only did most of his fans not care, but a surprisingly large nerd cult following soon followed. It turns out that nerds also have money, which they were more than willing to spend on Diesels projects (including a pretty kick as video game, actually). In return, these young men with unlimited disposable income wanted to idolize someone strong, successful and much cooler than them.
My message here is simple: stop being ashamed of who you are, guys. The fighter lifestyle is a fucking lie. It’s a fabrication that is insulting to our intelligence. There’s no need to keep perpetuating the ridiculous stereotype anymore, and you’ll find that once you step out of the nerd closet and embrace your affection of all things geeky, your fans will love you even more for being as human as they are. Drop the act and be yourselves, for the love of Picard!