The operative word here is "most." Truth be told, there were those who watched the festivities live who didn't know jack about the UFC. We know of one such "noob," and he wrote this piece on his experiences during the event for all his fellow MMA newbies out there.
After taking in the view of the massive octagon stage surrounded by a crowd of thousands of adoring, pumped up, and testosterone-filled fans, once his ears grew somewhat accustomed to the deafening cheers from the crowd, and as soon as all his envious friends who are real UFC fans were done cursing at him for his undeserved luck, he finally calms himself, gets down to work, and notices quite a few things.
"HOLY SH*T, ANG BABATAK NINYO"
As the fighters with their Herculean-type bodies he wished he knew the names of, walked across, just a few feet away from him, he sits and stares in admiration and fear. Admiration because now he knows that whenever he needs some #fitspiration he can just tune in to a UFC fight and heterosexually admire the chiseled cuts on the bodies of the fighters; and fear because he figures almost all of them could break him and half without actually even trying.
He feels a little bit of both when he gets the chance to shakes hands with Mark "The Filipino Wrecking Ball" Muñoz after his match (yes, UFC fans, you can hate this lucky bastard even more now) as the veteran fighter cuts off the majority of the blood flow of this FHM staffer's hand while cheerfully smiling at him. He still feels the handshake was well worth it.
“WATCHING RING GIRLS MUNCH ON BANANAS IS REALLY FUN!”
A few mental images could top watching fiery Red dela Cruz and sultry Arianny Celeste getting their fill of bananas at ringside. He wonders how all the planets in the universe aligned to provide him with such a magnificent sight.
But "Why bananas?" he wonders at first. Of course they give a lot of energy, nutrition and all that good stuff, and that’s when he realized things like that shouldn’t really be important to him at this moment in time because when you see two hot ring girls nibble on bananas, you just know that you have to enjoy this moment for what it is–because bananas.
“THAT GUY JUST GOT KNEED TO THE FACE. AND HE’S UP AGAIN. IS HE OKAY? *The crowd cheers* GOOD. BECAUSE THAT WAS AWESOME!”
For a guy who watches boxing and pro-wrestling religiously on YouTube and sometimes even on pay-per-view, this FHM staffer knows when a fighter is really getting hurt. He compares what he knows about other fighting sports to what he’s watching right now and he feels really different somehow. He notices that even though MMA has the familiar techniques he is accustomed to seeing, the aggressiveness and determination to show dominance in the fight is on a completely different level.
He learns from his senior editor that the UFC is all about "control." Who controls the flow of the fight, his opponent, and everything else wins. This control leads the fighters to become relentless in their pursuit once they get an advantage. Even just watching makes you feel like you’re losing breath but you still want to keep going to witness more.
“ARE THESE GUYS EVEN HUMAN?”
It would be easy to believe that they’re just fighting machines programmed to destroy any opponent that stands in their way, but when you’re this close to the ring you notice a lot of quirks about these fighters. There were several low blows during the fight, and the crowd would usually "boo" whilst the fighter who got hit was "readjusting" because they felt like he was just stalling out time and resting.
Feeling that this is a serious sport, the FHM staffer didn’t expect the interactions that happen between the fighters and the crowd; especially the "suck on this" motion while holding on to his balls. Special moments like these are the ones that aren’t usually caught on camera; a cheeky smile on a Filipino fighter’s face as a heckler shouts "flying kick naman dyan!" or the cute blush on Arianny Celeste’s face as a fighter checks her on the way to the locker room after the fight.
Having the chance to notice little things like these makes the FHM staffer’s fight night just a tad bit more awesome.
“FILIPINO PRIDE OH YEAH! LET’S GO MUÑOZ! TAPUSIN! TAPUSIN! TAPUSIN!”
As expected, once a Filipino gets into any stage, you know that whoever is up against him is in a lot of trouble—the opponent should know that he’s just not just fighting one Filipino, he’s fighting a whole country. While Filipino pride isn’t always the best thing (see: racist comments about Mayweather that have nothing to do with the actual fight) but when you do see this pride unite to bring honor to the country and help the Filipino triumph over all of his past struggles, it is truly a magical moment.
When Mark "The Filipino Wrecking Ball" Muñoz finally lays down his gloves in the middle of the ring, overwhelmed with the applause and surrounded by the love of all of the proud Filipinos present that night in Mall of Asia Arena and those all around the world watching, this FHM staffer knew that Mr. Muñoz wasn’t the only one teary-eyed.
SO... IS A NEW UFC FAN BORN?
As thankful as this FHM staffer is for such an exciting night, you probably won’t see him posting on Facebook or Twitter something like: "OMG, SO LUCKY TO WATCH THE UFC FIGHT. #blessed #luckyme #pancitcanton." Instead you would probably find him staring at his computer, trying to make sense of this whole humbling experience that was UFC Fight Night Manila as he tries to write a decent article to meet a deadline but instead watches a few UFC replays on YouTube. Oh UFC, another way to procrastinate at work. Damn.