The author of American Shaolin tells a hilarious and fascinating insider’s account of mixed martial arts, the fastest growing sport in the country.
Since the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, mixed martial arts (MMA) has punched, kicked, and wrestled its way into the public’s consciousness. MMA is an often brutal sport that combines any and every unarmed fighting technique with pure grit. Today, the gross yearly profits of Ultimate Fighting Championship-the sport’s premier professional league-exceed that of professional wrestling, boxing, and even the Boston Red Sox. In Tapped Out, Matthew Polly gives readers his on-the ground take of training and fighting in MMA.
At the age of thirty-six, Polly was out of shape and totally unprepared for what was ahead: a grueling journey through leading MMA training facilities in Bangkok, St. Petersburg, Rio de Janeiro, New York, and Las Vegas. After being utterly beaten down and built back up, he fought his first match against a fighter nearly fifteen years younger-and not only won, but sent his opponent to the hospital. Polly intersperses his own narrative with the history and background of fighting and interviews with top UFC stars such as GSP, Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture, and Gina Carano. Evocative of George Plimpton’s classic Paper Lion, Polly’s honest, funny, and eye-opening account of his experiences will appeal to the millions of devoted MMA fans who are as hardcore as the sport itself.