Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fourth of July Fireworks

Saw some fireworks last night, coming back into town on I-40 Westbound. They added a colorful element to the normal explosion of lights you experience on cresting the rise that blocks then reveals the city spread out in the valley below you. Always a nice welcome home.

Earlier in the evening my feminism was tested by the sight of two of the least ladylike young women I have seen in a while. Well, they were not at their most ladylike perhaps because they had to get prepared to fight. Both had their hair braided and pressed tight to their heads, like Swiss milkmaids, but no dirndl and no cow.

They fought a bit less aggressively then the men, but only a bit. It seemed that they would often pick the exact same moment to strike, and then clash. One was from San Francisco, and the other from Albuquerque. You might have given the first couple of rounds to the local girl, but since the fight ended with them on the canvas, with SF smashing her elbow into the side of ABQ's head over and over, I thought SF had the fight. But the officials decided otherwise.

A piece of advice to out-of-town fighters: make sure you get a knock-out or a tap-out if you are fighting a local here. Even if the result of that fight (and another that I thought went the wrong way) was correct, and my judging was flawed (as well it might be) I suppose the advice is still good for a fighter, and from the perspective of a fan too I think.

When ABQ thanked the crowd she acknowledged that her opponent hit hard. While we think of the ability to withstand punishment as a "macho" and manly virtue, it is one inbred in women. These days epidurals and what-not are so common that perhaps we forget, but women are entirely capable of delivering a child without painkillers. Possibly going out on a limb here, since I have neither given birth nor been smashed repeatedly in the face by an elbow (though I have been hit in the face more than once) but I suspect the former is considerably more painful than the latter.

There were a number of occasions last night when I thought "if I hit someone that hard, and they kept fighting, I'd be really worried". There was only one fight in which a single punch proved decisive. The two fighters were pretty evenly matched, the local boy had landed a couple of good blows, but then seemed too determined to press his advantage, and began swinging wildly. The visitor took full advantage of the opening presented by the separated arms, and landed a straight left on an uncovered chin. This being MMA, after the local fell down to the mat the visitor moved to cover him, but was quickly swept off by the diving ref, who then ended the fight by declaring a knock-out.

Another educational bout was between a local striker and the former Arizona State wrestling champion. One would think that the lesson should have been learned long ago, namely that to compete in MMA striking is not sufficient, but it was taught again last night. The crowd was frequently calling on the ref to "Stand them up!" which might have made the fight easier to see, and would have given the local some advantage, but it was clear that the wrestler was controlling and working the situation. Unless I am confusing it with another bout, this one ended with the wrestler working from the mount to the back of his man, and ending in a rear naked choke.

Fittingly enough the night ended with a clean cut New Mexican who serves as an Infantry officer in the National Guard winning his bout with a wrist lock and tap out.

Addendum: I put no names in because there were no programs, and I only just found some of the information on the Casino's web site. Is there a good online source for fight information in Albuquerque?