Many years ago, in a drunken, teen, moment of weakness, my pals and I traipsed off to the local multiplex one Friday night to take in a Chuck Norris movie, The Octagon. We laughed our way through it, at first annoying and then entertaining our fellow patrons with our comments. It was a film of such stupidity, and its martial arts, death match, plot so weak, that no one in the theater could take it seriously.
Here we are nearly three decades later and The Octagon has made a return. CBS, the former tiffany network (though that designation gasped its last with the premiere of Two and a Half Men) is airing a mixed martial arts fight this Saturday night. It's billed as a championship of sorts. Two men will duke it out and bloody one another until one succumbs or is knocked unconscious - hey, at least it isn't to the death.
This whole UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) thing has slipped under my radar, apparently. I have seen the various incarnations advertised on pay-per-view and Spike, but always assumed it was a niche. In our day and age, when boxing's fanbase is waning due to an increasing sense of the sport's brutality, I could not imagine a more brutal "sport" making such a splash. It seems wrestling fans, tired of the staged fights and fake blood, are demanding the real deal. So, we have The Octagon. Genuine pummelling, real blood, the last full measure of pain; that's what the public is clamoring for.
So set your Tivo, plan your party. Bread and Circuses are for everyone and The Octagon isn't so damned funny anymore.
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