I know I’m probably gonna get crucified for this, but I have something I have to say: Chuck Norris’ World Combat League isn’t really THAT bad. To put things in perspective, I’d rather watch the WCL than the IFL any day of the week. Of course, I’d rather wash my face with a cheese grater than watch the IFL, so perhaps that’s not all that much perspective. Hmmm.
This all came to me when Luke got all uppity with the WCL again. He’s been on a tear with them since they basically said groundfighting = pussy fighting. And while I definitely question a marketing pitch that alienates hardcore fight fans (and makes totally bogus claims while doing it), I was still willing to give the WCL a chance. After all, this is ‘Fight’ linker, not MMA linker. Any sport where people kick the shit outta eachother is worth a looksie as far as I’m concerned.
So I checked out the WCL’s season opener, New York vs New Jersey, and here’s my thoughts:
The team concept: I’ve never been a big fan of the team concept in MMA, but when you’re burning through an hour of fights with 12 anonymous fighters, the best way to give the story any kind of narrative is through a team setup. So I’m gonna give the WCL here a pass on this.
The fight setup: This is a bit dumb. It’s two three minute rounds, but the rounds are split up so you fight one round and then later in the show you fight the second. So basically you’re fighting the same guy twice in one night. Not only is this dumb and repetitive, but half the time one of the fighters isn’t able to fight again. The 3 minute rounds are pretty ADD, meaning the fights end before they even really get started.
Penalties: The refs give out penalties like porn stars give out blowjobs. You get point deductions for holding, stalling, passivity. Shit, it’s hard to think of things you DON’T get penalized for. But since the fight is only 3 minutes long, it makes sense that you don’t want guys wasting even 30 seconds.
The standing 8 count: Here’s what I had a big problem with … you get knocked out, and the ref gets to decide if you can continue and gives you a standing 8 count. I mentioned before that getting KO’d twice in a row is pretty fucking dangerous, so I’m definately not down with this.
Females fighting: This is a plus. The teams are made up of 6 people, one of which is a girl. I’m always glad to see women included in fightsports, so thumbs up to Chuck Norris for letting them compete.
Danny Abbadi: Yep, he fights for the WCL. And yep, he sucked just as bad in the WCL as he did on The Ultimate Fighter.
Overall the fighters are pretty inexperienced since the ‘sport’ is just starting up. It’d be interesting to see what would happen if they brought over some hard ass thai motherfuckers to battle it out in this system. The fights were pretty entertaining – the short rounds and refs who’ll deduct a point for blinking the wrong way keep the fighters banging it out from start to end, although it also results in a lot of unskilled flailing rather than proper setups showing real technique.
In the end, the WCL is hyperactive eye candy at this point. But I don’t see why there’s not room for a league like this in the US, since K1 has about zero exposure here. I’m probably going easy on them because quite frankly it’s something different and it’s pretty easy watching. Bad MMA can be pretty painful to witness, but most of the fights here are entertaining if they’re not good, and the bad ones are over in three minutes.
And no, they’re not paying me to say this. Although perhaps being left to live is considered payment when you’re talking about Chuck Norris….