International Fight League (IFL) competitor Jamal "The Suit" Patterson (4-1) helped bring the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) one step closer to mainstream acceptance on Wednesday with an in-depth profile by the New York Times.
Patterson, like so many of today's fighters, has a "normal" life consisting of a full-time day job (hence the nickname) and a loving family.
I know that may come as a shock to many MMA critics who would ordinarily see Patterson as nothing more than bloodthirsty Neanderthal who spends his downtime frothing at the mouth.
Here's a snip:
In a way, the corporate life made him fight. Transferred to the Midwest, friendless and spending evenings watching TV at a bar, Patterson said he took up jiu-jitsu to reclaim his athleticism...As Patterson intensified his training under the Brazilian champion Renzo Gracie, he was recruited into an International Fight League team called the New York Pitbulls, since rechristened Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu New York City. Since December 2006, Patterson has won four of his five fights, beating opponents with moves described as choke, submission and guillotine.
Patterson is preparing for his upcoming title fight against IFL light heavyweight champion Vladimir "The Janitor" Matyushenko (20-3) at this Friday's New Blood - New Battles event at The IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ.
Kudos to the New York Times for presenting the article in a fair and balanced manner. Who would have thought we would see the day where a major publication examined the sport of mixed martial arts without the use of adjectives like brutal, savage, or barbaric.
And not one reference to human cockfighting. Go figure.
Click here to check out the article.