Today is the UFC’s 15th birthday and in celebration of that, Jordan Breen has put together a nice little history piece on the sport and it’s growing pains over the years. While the agony of UFC 33 is a close second place, my favorite part of the article is how Breen got into the sport:
I was in a local convenience store — strangely called Michael’s Market, despite being run by an Iranian named Bill who only in my maturity did I realize was a dead ringer for Chemical Ali — and was trying to be as 007 as possible in sneaking glances around the ever-adversarial shower curtain that acted as a force field for the adult entertainment section.
As luck, and perhaps fate, would have it, the sports-related videos happened to be an unexpected neighbor with the XXX genre, and my eye was caught by a host of UFC box covers. I decided to be an intrepid renter rather than a futile porno peeker, and I grabbed copies of UFC 6 and 7. It was truly a more beautiful time, before Blockbuster devoured the rental universe, when a precocious 10-year-old could acquire Tank Abbott’s exploits without any form of scrutiny or certification.
This story calls out to me because it’s similar to my first exposure to the UFC. When the Super VideoTron got the first two UFC tapes in I quickly rented them up, hoping the heavy plastic clamshell cases and a copy of Wrestlemania 9 added in would allow me to sneak the ultra-violent videos past my mom and the dude working the counter. My dad had already stopped me from renting UFC videos once (along with Eddie Murphy movies because of the language … he was a hard ass sometimes), so I was quite proud of my subterfuge and used the same methods for the next few years to keep up with the sport until I got a job at 16 and started ordering the tapes from MusicWorld for 15 bucks a pop. Yep, I just pulled a “When I was a kid, UFC videos cost a nickel” story out of my dusty ass.
Those were the days … I had no idea what the fuck I was watching. All I knew was that it looked like it hurt and I was quite happy to sit two feet from the television in awe even for the boring-ass Ultimate Ultimate, waiting patiently for pain to be dealt out.
Share your oldschool and/or TUF noob stories in the comments below! How did you become a fan?