For those of you who don’t know me that well, my two favorite sports growing up were surfing and martial arts (with soccer a close third). I split my time between the two becoming a more accomplished fighter than surfer, to be honest. The two are a perfect fit, like Nutella and bananas. With the advent of Ultimate Fight Challenge, a rising tide of surfers have jumped on the Mixed Martial Arts bandwagon. Sadly, MMA sucks. (As your reading this, I’m probably engaged in sub-mortal combat with a host of fiendish, roid-loving, narcissistic, UFC fan club members – And I’m winning.)
Why don’t I like the UFC? Any supposed martial art that trivializes self-discipline, mistakes wrestling with Jiu Jitsu and promotes violence isn’t for me. Granted some truly gifted martial artists — Georges St-Pierre, BJ Penn — demonstrate their expertise in “the octagon,” but the UFC is probably better known for its penance for spilled blood and a reality TV show, which makes The Bachelor seem substantive.
UFC style MMA has permeated the ranks of pro surfers (Jeremy Flores) and surf journalists (Surfing‘s childish provocateur Chas Smith) alike. Burly Hawaiian Sunny Garcia further highlights this trend. Following a stint in prison for tax evasion, the former champ signed with gothic clothing sponsor Affliction, a popular brand among MMA fanatics. Sunny’s punk rock attitude — he consistently denounces the ASP and major surf brands — and awe-inspiring power surfing are commendable. Nobody wants to draw this man in any Triple Crown event heat. But Sunny’s beating of some wiseass Aussie and a random Brazilian amateur videographer is unacceptable.
There’s no need to belabor the circumstances of this event, the mainstream surf media thoroughly reported on the incident (check out these stories on TWS, Surfing and Surfline). But the whole ordeal leads the question: Who’s the best fighter on the ASP World Tour?
Now before you start, I recognize there’s a substantial disconnect between my prior peace, love and surf ramblings and this ludicrous proposition. But it could be fun… I’m obliged to mention that I’ve only ever met a handful of these surfers, I don’t know any of them on a friend basis, and I don’t know the specifics of their training regimes. That said, a series based on speculation is way more entertaining than one on fact.
Stay tuned to RCS! and learn the WT’s top 5 heavies, 5 pushovers and one wildcard.