MMA fighters take 'skills' to big screen ... and fans cringe
There's a longstanding tradition of athletes eschewing what made them famous to explore their inner muse. And vice versa for some of Hollywood's top stars. There's always something the other side has that, regardless if you're
But for MMA fans -- or maybe just this one -- acting has become tiresome.
On Sunday, it was reported that
Is it too much to call it an epidemic?
Really, it's not the acting bug that's annoying. It's the fights that get put on hold and the fighters who lose sight of how they came to be noteworthy in the first place. If rumors turn out to be true that Jackson forced a delay of his fight against Evans in Memphis -- I still haven't definitively heard that's the plan, but all signs are pointing in that direction -- to focus on filming, UFC president
The camera loves a good fight scene, this won't change. And, if mixed martial artists are skilled and focused enough to excel in the cage and on the big screen, more power to them. However, I've seen my fair share of MMA-connected films, and most of the acting is on par with the fighting from some of the sport's earliest competitors: not good.
Some fighters, like Jackson and Carano, have decided to make the most of an opportunity. It's hard to deny them that, not when the alternative is 80 rounds of sparring in the gym and putting their physical well-being on the line every day; acting has to be an easy payday even if there isn't anything easy about acting.
But what of the cost to a fighter's real career? Can an MMA fighter ever truly be his or her best if they to step out of the gym for months at a time in the prime of their careers? I'm not so sure.
The drive to participate in Hollywood features is as much about money as it is an unmistakable earmark of the importance of celebrity to the MMA world. Few sports have churned out as many pseudo-celebs. Boxing -- to its credit, I think -- never has. If a boxer earned a spot in a motion picture, it usually came in the form of a cameo, long after his best fighting days had past. Yet, so instant is the fame created by MMA (within its own world at least), a fighter doesn't need to be anything approaching an all-time great to earn the privilege.
As far as Carano goes, perhaps she could use the break after succumbing in a bad way to
Count me among those who wish she'd use her skills for more destructive purposes.