Posts Tagged ‘UFC’

UFC 116 just happened… and for those of you either don’t in the know or in the care, it was off the chain! Great fights, good drama and one intense heavyweight championship in which a former WWE superstar arrived as an MMA powerhouse, Brock Lesnar.

Oh, sorry?

Does my rah-rah session of mixed martial arts shock you? What is a fire-baptized, spirit-filled child of God (and martial artist of almost two decades) doing watching MMA?

Easy. Thoroughly enjoying it.

Once a Power Ranger now an MMA Hero

Who needs white armor when you have all that ink

And I’m not alone according to this story in the Houston Chronicle about a man with not a familiar name, but definitely a familiar past and now he is making a mark for Christ in the world of the UFC, Strikeforce and MMA.

Meet Jason David Frank (yeah, this cat), the owner and creator of Jesus Didn’t Tap, a reference to “tapping out,” or forfeiting a fight.

His line of Jesus-branded MMA merchandise is on display on his studio walls, on the backs of his young students and even on cars across the country.

By the way, Frank famously fought evil villains with white metallic armor and a talking saber as Tommy on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. (Parents everywhere along the wall just became interested in this story. Whatever works.)

For Frank and his Christian fans, Jesus Didn’t Tap is more than just a logo; it’s part of their philosophy. “Jesus is the only one that truly didn’t tap. They say, ‘Oh, he was nailed to the cross so he couldn’t tap.’ Well, you can verbally tap, you can verbally cry, ‘I quit! I give up!’ That’s not what he did. He got crucified for all our sins,” said Frank, 36, who wears the company’s logo tattooed across his forearm.

No sport is perfect. And whether we are viewing and cheering the bone-chilling tackles on a football field or a sweet rear-naked choke in the Octagon, it is still sport… and I can still be saved enjoying it.

This is not a Christian world, folks. Therefore, in the midst of it, we should just strive to be the image of Christ in this world for everyone to view, enjoy and want to emulate. That’s precisely what Frank is doing as he positions “Jesus Didn’t Tap.”

And this “trend” isn’t going anywhere.

Think about it? You got some dude jacked up on machismo and bitter from some so-called Christian who scorched his earth. Is there anyway he comes to church via your invitation? Uh, no. However, invite the guy for some UFC or Strikeforce pay-per-view and he is in there.

Fighting ministries help churches reach out to men, who are less likely to attend services, believe in God or consider religion important in their lives, according to a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

And you aren’t crazy about that statistic, consider the Bible and Paul’s final words to Timothy:

But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. (1 Timothy 6:11-14 NLT).

Jesus is alive in the world of MMA

MMA meet WWJD

Fight. I know, I know. It’s not showing the turn the other cheek mentality. Consider, we “wrestle” not against flesh and blood. Besides, I have actually had someone to whom I was witnessing try to kick my blessed assurance.

And yes, I turned the other cheek… because he sucker-punched the first one. So, in the name of Jesus, I had to throw down my “I must protect this house” card and proceed to stomp a mudhole and walk it dry.

Then, I shared the Good News of Christ. It worked too… he’s saved today.

Wall Watchers, we need to pray for brands like this that want to be all things to all men, all Paul professed.

Several MMA sites sell Jesus Didn’t Tap gear alongside top secular brands like TapOut and Affliction. Their shirts depict Jesus fighting the devil (and winning, of course) and slogans like “Jesus loves me and my new tattoos” and “Putting the Jew in jiu jitsu.”

On the real? Jesus didn’t tap… and neither will any of us in these last days. Praise God for the real face of Christianity that despite what the world thinks of Jesus, we can turn that cheek too and introduce them to another side of a complete God.

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Back to the football theme, this week in video evangelism is a classic – and one I never knew existed. Thankfully so, I should say because my heart can’t take much more.

I’m laughing so hard my chest is burning.

In the Super Bowler, “Big Game” spirit, please enjoy this song claimed as the only “Christian Football Waltz.” Ya’ think? Please enjoy “Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)”

No, really. I know I’ll look at the game differently now that I am part of “his master game plan.” Excuse me. Have. Tears. Fighting. Must. Keep. Composure.

Catholics in Palm Beach, Fla. are creating a national stir thanks to some popular shirts taking design and artistic license a bit far.

If you are an MMA fanatic (like me), an aficionado of the UFC (again, me) or just like sweet graphic tees (yup, me too), click on the link and view the video. So, what could I be discussing?

Not quite your mama's idea of religion

Not quite your mama idea of religion

Anyone see those UFC shirts, or other brands with nice graphics such as Affliction, Xtreme Couture and Tap Out? Sure who have, because even Christian retailers are trying to grab the gusto with NOTW, Lion, Truth and anything else found on sites like C28.com. (Cheap plug, but hey, I shop there).

Well, they went too far (as noted in the aforementioned video and this stark pictoral) as the Virgin Mary is no longer holding the Christ child, but rather the sacred winged skeleton?! Huh?

Brooke White, Nordstrom spokeswoman, said store employees began pulling the Affliction T-shirts after a Palm Beach Gardens customer complained. “It was a mistake on our part to have ordered them in the first place,” she said. “We’re fortunate we had a customer complain so we could get them off the floor as soon as possible.”

Ya’ think? Does this pecunious retailer need a Cardinal from the Vatican to issue an edict of non-Catholic-compliance to figure into this decision? And what lovely spin control that is. It took a customer to realize this sanctimonious travesty. Good times.

If it were up to your jaded buyers and um, staff, relics of Christian antiquity would have been thrown into the fire like books on “Footloose” and all to sound the clarion call of the holidays, “Ka-ching.

I suppose there is a reason why my lil’ Wall Watchers tell me to stray from “ugly boney faces” on t-shirts. Good for the UFC. Not so good for religious buyers. Happy HOLY-days.

This is a post of a personal nature, but one that HiScrivener (hiscrivener@yahoo.com – some folk just don’t like posting comments) has received ample questions about, “Can a Christian enjoy MMA and still feel like that is a biblical thing to do?”

[Shout out to my man, Mike, who writes on a blog of a more serious nature but is a sterling MMA fan in his own right and is largely the impetus behind doing a post on this issue.]

In a word, Y.E.S.!

The Wall has chronicled a couple of posts on a terrible incident involving a former UFC champ and a lighthearted, jammin’ post on Jesus not tapping, but this is not a story in origin, rather from opinion (And a bricklaying shout out for MMAWarehouse.com on the pic.)

To the haters and legalists, do you enjoy those football games on Sundays after you race home from Sunday service? If you answer, yes to that, then riddle me this? What happens to end a play? Some 6’4″, 210 lb. dude yanks a flag out of the wide receiver’s back pocket? No, he hurls all his weight at the catcher and tackles him so hard he feels it the following week!

And what’s not that violent about that? How about the quarterback who gets hit so hard by an oncoming freight train known as a pass-rushing defensive end that he gets a concussion? All the while, you jump out of your seat, cheering and wailing at the top of your lungs (unlike you probably do in church) and possibly using your Bible as a coaster.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Cowboyser, football too. But I also fancy the friendly confines of the Octagon as well. And so what? Is this a sport Jesus would have watched? I don’t know, but then again, I don’t know how he would feel about most of the sports today. Heck, he seemed to be more of a wildlife kind of guy, so perhaps he would have spent his free time watching Animal Planet.

So… MMA? WWJD?

Isn’t that what this is all about? Some pastors run from this issue. Others embrace it and create men’s fellowship night around PPVs.

If these UFC combatants publicly exclaim a true faith in Jesus Christ (not the ubiquitous Grammy acceptance speech, “I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior, without whom this wouldn’t be possible. What, what.”), shouldn’t pastors laud them for proclaiming Jesus after a win and give UFC a chance?

No sport is perfect (save maybe Baseball, IMHO). After a bone-shattering tackle, there isn’t a quest to lay hands for a faith-healing, but there could be prayer on the field. And so, during an episode of “The Ultimate Fighter,” one may catch a few eff bombs being launched and others refraining from it because it’s not with his faith. This is not a Christian world, folks. We should just strive to be the image of Christ in this world for everyone to view, enjoy and want to emulate.

That said, why can’t I be a child of God and enjoy some raucous UFC? Serious christians like the aforementioned and great Matt Hughes and Quentin Jackson are highly visible and successful in the UFC. Isn’t that grounds to celebrate the free pub for Jesus in the sport, rather than turn up a nose and around your back on those that appreciate it?

It’s the bridge between the art of pugilism that used to be found in boxing and the melodrama scripted in wrestling. This is a sport that keeps it real, is sanctioned by each state its in, heavily monitored by referees who don’t allow anything to get out of hand, entertainment at its peak and oh yeah… every once in a while, if you are watching, Jesus is glorified.

Pastor, if you are toying with this, I DOUBLE-DOG-DARE YOU. I assure you it’s not hooliganism and thuggery. It’s sport, much like the games you watch on the weekends. People of all kinds watch it, salty language can happen and violence could ensue.

But wasn’t that Jesus dealt with back in his day as he walked the streets?

You would be amazed the viral marketing for your church, public invites of first-time guests and the fellowship men can have while huddled around a TV yelling for a kimora or a noma plata can be pretty exciting, and sanctified all at once. Not a bad way to spend an evening, eh?

Now back to the news.

Full disclosure here: HiScrivener is a PPV-watchin’, TUF-recordin’, Jesus-didn’t-tappin’ MMA fanatic.

Oh look! It's Chuck Liddell's truck.

Oh look! It's Chuck Liddell's truck. Isn't it?

So, when I see this tragic story about former light heavyweight champ Quentin “Rampage” Jackson, I get a little distressed.

You see, here’s Rampage. He just lost the belt in a wonderful fight (and yes, Jesus Freaks can enjoy and participate in MMA. Don’t get me started… yet), so you would expect him to be a little downtrodden.

One lovely SoCal night, CHiPs get a report that a pickup fled the scene of an accident. So here comes Ponch and Baker trolling down the 55 near Costa Mesa searching for a peculiar pick-em up truck.

Then they notice THIS FRIGGIN’ RIDICULOUS THING IN THE PICTURE!

Yeah, Rampage fled an accident driving a dang billboard screaming down the highway, “Hi, I am an MMA fighter and this is my Glamour Shot!” Is one of the best strikers in the business really Forrest Gump? I mean if this isn’t the epitome of “Stupid is as stupid does,” I quit my day job!

Anywhoo, he gives chase when he sees the cops, heads into one-way traffic, hits another car and then stopped. Seriously? It lasted awhile but then Quentin figured, “Where would I ditch it without them knowing it’s my truck?” So, he stopped, got taken to the pokey and was ostensibly released on $25K bail (that’s it?) And you ask…

Well, the lady he hit was 16 weeks pregnant and she miscarried. Here’s the story, thanks to the Newport Beach Daily Pilot. Not good.

Holli Griggs, 38, was driving her 2007 Cadillac Escalade in the left lane on the southbound 55 Freeway just south of Bay Street on July 15 when Jackson’s gray-and-green pick-up truck sideswiped her as he drove along the median lane at about 45 mph, California Highway Patrol officials said. Prosecutors have yet to file charges against Jackson, a former light heavyweight champion for the Ultimate Fighting Championship who remains free on $25,000 bail. Prosecutors would not comment on any potential charges due to Griggs’ miscarriage.

So, why is this on the Wall? How is this a note for the Church? Note this separate (and related) story about his trainer’s [Juanito Ibarra] angst and this conflicting with his faith. Both he and Quentin are faithful Christians. (Note: Christians are nowhere near perfect. Just trying to worship a perfect God, so read without prejudice).

“I’m devastated by what he’s been through and some of the things I’ve heard,” said Ibarra. “I’ve not sat down with Quinton to this day to discuss things. I pray for his well-being, and if I helped Quinton out a little bit with his growth in the sport, then I’ve been very blessed and honored to do that. I love this kid with all my heart, and I wish him nothing but the best.”

In conclusion, a MEMO is needed to Quentin, his road rage and evident lead foot: What the eff, brother?

Yes, you got scared. Yes, you were thinking, “I’m famous. I hit her. She will sue me like mad.” Yes, you didn’t want to give UFC the bloody nose Forrest Griffin gave you. But, dude! You have to stop… look at that truck!

Aside from that, you are a child of God. WWJD? Hello? McFly? Render aid. Ensure her safety. Do what my lil’ Wall Watcher says, “It was for accident.” And then smile really big. When you take on the title of “Christian,” the world is watching and the enemy is plotting. If this was a test, you didn’t pass. Pray Quentin. Pray like you train – hard and often.

And before you ask, no we aren’t saying, “Baby killer!” If anything caused that lady to miscarry, it was stress. Albeit, stress you caused, but all of this could have been avoided – the accident, the issues with her, the arrest, the innuendo, the embarrassment – if you just thought about the one sticker that remarkably isn’t on that gaudy truck of yours, Quentin, “WWJD?”

UFC has no comment, nor should they when you read what Griggs’ fiance said, “No amount of money will bring back my son.” Yeah, they knew. And now, so does the whole world.