x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Lamb amid lions

The National's Matt Kwong, city reporter and sacrificial lamb, all 57 kilos of him, has been thrown amongst Ultimate Fighters for a one-hour workout to learn how to "pound and ground". His tale of pain and fatigue will wring tears from a stone.

On April 10, Abu Dhabi will play host to UFC 112: Invincible. The Ultimate Fighting Championship will be a series of mixed martial arts bouts held in an octagonal cage at the Ferrari World arena on Yas Island. UFC 1 was held in Denver, Colorado, on November 12, 1993. It has since exploded into giant Las Vegas spectacles and worldwide popularity. UFC fighters may be proficient in any number of martial arts - boxing, wrestling, karate, Brazilian ju-jitsu, Muay Thai - but they all look the same: barrel chests, bulging biceps, bald pates, beetle brows, lantern jaws, one eye in the middle of the forehead. They have names like The Giant Killer, The Iceman and The Irish Hand Grenade.
Our stone-hearted editors decided to toss Matt Kwong, city reporter and sacrificial lamb, all 57 kilos of him, amid these goons for a one-hour workout to learn how to "pound and ground". His tale of pain and fatigue, published today, would wring tears from a stone. But not our editors.