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Space Filler: Salon Review of Wertheim Book

Bloody Canvas After Rough Night
Bloody canvas after a particularly elbow-filled night

Because I don’t contribute very much and it’s been a quiet day, I thought I’d go ahead a post a link to this review of Jon Wertheim’s Blood in the Cage on

The review is at times frustrating:

I don’t find MMA as visually compelling as boxing; unless you have a technical understanding of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, it often looks like two sweaty guys rolling around on the ground. (As a longtime prizefight fan and former amateur boxer, I have to admit a bias.) But the fact that MMA fighters generally aren’t very good at avoiding punches does lead to spectacular knockouts.

While writer Robert Anasi admits his bias, that fact regarding MMA fighters punch-avoiding skills is not fact.   How about the smaller gloves?   Most mainstream articles about MMA get me really riled up, but it’s nice to see more smarty-pants types paying more attention.

I’m not gonna recap the article — I just wanted to bring up the last line:

MMA has yet to find its great scribe, its Liebling, Pierce Egan or Norman Mailer, but it is young. Until that new bard of bloodshed comes along, “Blood in the Cage” will stand as a worthy introduction to the birth of something both awful and beautiful.

Does anyone else wonder who this “bard of bloodshed” might be?   I think about that a lot.   I hope myself to be the Annie Liebowitz of MMA (not stylistically–I think I’m aspiring more towards Clayton Cubbitt).   Until then, I hope as a whole, we all start raising the standards we have for MMA related art and writing, and perhaps we’ll find that saintly scribe right under our noses.