Truth, Justice, and the MMA WayFeatured, Sports — By Jeff Ell on August 4, 2010 at 8:00 am
It’s probably not right for a pastor to watch MTV. Especially when it shows people getting beat up in an eight sided ring by professional cage fighters. So I’m confessing that my favorite show is an MTV reality series called Bully Beat Down. The premise of the show goes like this: guys who have been bullied send in videos documenting their stories. Bullied young men who have had their arms broken, faces scarred and noses bent tell how local thugs have tormented them. They tell stories of being afraid to walk in their own neighborhoods and being humiliated in front of their friends and family. One victim needed anal surgery after a bully gave him an atomic wedgie.
After airing the video, the show’s host visits the bully on his own turf. He shows up with the victim and TV cameras rolling, baiting the bully into accepting the challenge to fight a professional mixed martial artist for a chance to earn ten thousand dollars. The thought of easy money and the psychological pressure of wanting to save face in front of one’s friends are too much for the bully to resist. Time and time again they accept the offer to mix it up with a MMA.
On fight day, the bully steps into the octagon with someone who is completely out of his league—a scarred and inked professional who knows how to punch and choke in a way no amateur could ever imagine. For the next six minutes the bully gets beaten and humiliated. With every tap out and knockout, the ten grand gets handed over to the victim who is watching from the stands.
Invariably, the bullies also have a change in heart: they discover being on the other side of a beatdown isn’t much fun. After they puke, which many of them do, they shake hands with their victims and apologize. Funny how a beating often precedes repentance, how retribution ushers in reconciliation, and how the experience of being bullied improves our vision to notice those who need our protection.