While mixed martial arts fans still love to bathe in the sport's macho image, few forms of entertainment can match its emotional heft.
It inspires a different kind of investment. You aren't only watching two men or women fight when the bell rings, but a set of warriors baring every aspect of their soul. It's not just a grappling exhibition, but the true depths of human character, with spirit, willpower, and heart all pushed to breaking point and beyond. You're buying into a human being and their struggle. Thus, when they win, you feel every drop of their elation, but it goes the other way as well.
Machismo will always be prevalent in a sport where leather is thrown and limbs are twisted, but even the most hardened UFC viewers have felt an emotional twang or two. Though few will admit it, it can be hard to keep it all bottled up when a favourite fighter eats a knockout punch, announces their retirement, or suffers a devastating injury in this cruel, unforgiving environment.
Perhaps you've never bawled like a baby while watching UFC, but admit it: these moments at least had you stifling a sniffle...