UFCThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts organization, recognized as the largest MMA promotion in the world. The UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada and is owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC. This promotion is responsible for solidifying the sport's postion in the history-books.
UFC is currently undergoing a remarkable surge in popularity, along with greater mainstream media coverage. UFC programming can now be seen on FOX, FX, and FUEL TV in the United States, as well as in 35 other countries worldwide.
Twenty years ago, Adrian Mati was an ethnic Albanian who was living in Macedonia, which is not the Greek Macedonia whence came Alexander the Great, but a portion of what used to be called Yugoslavia. When what used to be Yugoslavia began coming apart in slices, the way it had been since the Iron Curtain fell in the late 1980s, and the nation that Josip Broz Tito had cobbled together after World War II had exploded in the ancient racial and tribal hatreds that only Tito's manifest gifts as an authoritarian had managed to keep under control, Macedonia achieved its independence peacefully, at least by the standards of that time and place. But Mati and other ethnic Albanians saw the potential for violence down the road. (Indeed, when the war in Kosovo erupted in the late 1990s, Albanian Kosovars fled the Serbs and took refuge over the border in Macedonia, seriously destabilizing the latter and threatening to draw Macedonia into the general conflict. Adrian had a brother wounded in the fighting.) Before that happened, Adrian, who had served in the Macedonian army, left his homeland and moved to Staten Island in New York.
He made a living teaching boxing, which he had been taught by his father, and also giving lessons in the various unarmed self-defense techniques that he had been taught during his days in the army. It became clear early on that Reshat was going to be his prize student. "I have three girls who are older than Reshat," Adrian says, "and one of them was interested in fighting, but then she became 12 and, you know, girly-girl took over." Reshat showed an aptitude not merely for boxing, but also for Muay Thai and for putting those disciplines together in what has become known as mixed martial arts.
Reshat trains preposterously hard — learning boxing at the gym on Staten Island and then kickboxing under a beetle-browed and ominous Uzbek in Brooklyn, working on both of them five days a week. Now, at 5-foot-2 and 131 pounds, Reshat is a world-champion kickboxer, a national boxing champion, a North American grappling champion, and an all-around jiu-jitsu champion. As he rose through the ranks, winning national championships in all disciplines and at all levels, Reshat even picked up a cool nickname. They call him The Albanian Bear.
I've seen so many of these kids come and go over the years in other fields. You should have seen Ricky Rubio play basketball at his age.
I hope the kid develops into the pro that article evokes in our imaginations, but I won't hold my breath.
Yes, it's always nice to see young talents like them with such a dedication, but as I've written in the other thread, starting full contact competition and training at that intensity at this age unfortunately will probably take it's toll and they will have accumulated already a lot of damage, in particular to their joints, when they get to the age to become pros.
Originally Posted by El Bresko
imo these kids will do some damage, just have to hope they have good chins.
If the little one doesn't start to pivot his foot when throwing a roundhouse kick, he will probably have more problems with his knees at the age of 20 than Mauricio Rua has now.
But in overall I can see kids like those be the future of MMA. As MMA becomes more and more popular, more and more kids will start at a young age, some will be lucky to not have accumulated too much damage. And in contrast to most of todays fighters who only have one discipline as a background, all areas of fighting will be natural to them