Hello everyone. My name is Tim Burke, and I'll be handling the duties of covering fantasy MMA here at Fake Teams. As Ray stated in his previous post, I am currently a writer over at Bloody Elbow, an SBN site that covers news and offers opinions about the world of Mixed Martial Arts. I've been writing there full-time about six months now, and have previous experience writing for another SBN site called Head Kick Legend, and penning an MMA blog for Tucker Max's Rudius Media. I've been a fan of the sport for many years, and it is approaching hockey as my favorite sport in the world (I'm Canadian, so it's still unlikely to move into first place - Go Canucks!).
I have also been a big fan of fantasy MMA for a long time. I've been a stats fiend for as long as I can remember, even dreaming of being a statistician for the NHL when I was a kid. Seriously. Who cares about being an astronaut or fireman when you can crunch numbers for the best sports league in the world? That was my logic when I was 10 years old, and it hasn't changed much since. Once I got addicted to MMA, naturally I got interested in the numbers side of things as well. It has taken a while for statistics to gain any traction in the sport, but it's coming along quite well and while it will never be as complex as football or baseball, it does have enough going on to make it a viable candidate for fantasy gaming. And that's what brings me here.
Over the course of the next week, I will introduce you to the wild and wacky world of fantasy MMA. Some of it is quite simple in theory - just picking who will win each fight on a card, and trying to predict the round the fight will end in (fights are usually three rounds, five rounds for title fights) and the method used for finishing the fight (knockout, submission, or decision). It seems easy at first - there are only two guys competing against each other, so how hard could it be to pick a winner right? Well, MMA is a very, very tough sport to predict due to the complexity of skills and how fighters based in different disciplines (wrestling, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, etc) match up stylistically. Even the best fight-pickers in the sport struggle to get 65% of the winners correct. And that doesn't even include trying to select when or how a fighter will win.
That might sound dull to people used to fantasy baseball or football, where you're dealing with a ton of stats. That's definitely understandable, and I agree with it myself sometimes. It has led to more complex games popping up recently though, which is a good thing. It's a relatively young sport so things aren't as refined as they are with the major mainstream sports, but it's getting a lot better and that's why I'm here today. To offer information, advice, and help get more people interested in Mixed Martial Arts and the fantasy gaming side of the sport.
In my next piece on Tuesday, I'll go into more detail on where you can participate in fantasy MMA, the different types of leagues and games available, specifics on the rules and regulations involved, and some background on the sport itself. Until then, I offer you a Youtube video below the jump to check out if you've never watched MMA before (or even if you have). It's my favorite MMA fight of all-time - Nick Diaz vs. Takanori Gomi from 2007. Enjoy.