Synopses & Reviews
On November 12, 1993, eight men met in Denver, Colorado, to decide who was the greatest fighter in the world. They fought one-against-one in an octagonal cage where they could punch, kick, knee, elbow, head butt and choke. "There are no rules!"proclaimed the organizers. The Ultimate Fighting Championship was born-and the mystique of traditional martial arts had died.
For thousands of years, the fighting arts had been shrouded in mystery and deceit. Secrets were jealously guarded, while blood-curdling claims were made of lethal techniques and even supernatural powers. Each style or system asserted that it was the best, its masters unbeatable.
By matching experts in different arts against each other, the Ultimate Fighting Championship exploded many of these myths. Black belts and flashy moves proved no match for the skill and technique of a new breed of athletic warrior.
In just over a decade, no-holds-barred fighting-otherwise known as mixed martial arts-has gone from a novelty spectacle to a worldwide sport. It has produced its own superstars like the Gracie family, Ken and Frank Shamrock, Maurice Smith and Randy Couture. It has also attracted massive condemnation from the media and run the gauntlet of police raids and banning orders. Its critics labeled it "human cockfighting."It was pursued from state to state, excoriated by campaigners and banned by politicians. Through it all, the sport has continued to thrive, spreading across the globe.
Author and journalist Clyde Gentryhas interviewed more than 100 key figures to produce the definitive account of the world's most controversial and misunderstood sport and of the fighting men who dare to enter the octagon.
Author and journalist Gentry has interviewed more than 100 key figures to give the inside story of the world's most violent and controversial sport. 40 photos.
About the Author
Clyde Gentry III is a martial arts journalist and previous author of "Jackie Chan: Inside the Dragon."