MMA is as mainstream as it gets now. It is hard to run into anyone who doesn’t know about the sport and that some of the world’s most skilled martial artists compete for promotions such as the UFC and Bellator. Even promotions outside of the UFC and Bellator feature some of the best athletes and the skill level continues to grow.
The sport has worldwide recognition now, but that wasn’t always the case. There was a time when there were many doubters of the sport. Not just politicians or Boxing promoters, but other martial artists from more traditional backgrounds. This led to one of the most interesting gym fights ever recorded. Back in 2008 before he became a UFC and WEC champion, Dominick Cruz was challenged by a self-proclaimed real-life “Ninja”.
The video is filmed by MMA brand Triumph United and features several of Cruz’s training partners talking about the “Ninja” that has challenged Cruz. Most of them are laughing and are certain that Cruz will easily beat the “Ninja”. Former UFC fighter Brandon Vera is one of the fighters in attendance to watch the gym fight.
The young Cruz doesn’t talk about why he was challenged or what exactly led to the gym fight, but when the action starts he doesn’t seem a bit worried. It seems like just another day in the gym for the former UFC champion. He shows how well rounded his game is as he mixes in some ground game and some striking to basically make this a one-sided affair and to make sure no “Ninja” ever decides to step up again.
One thing to note is the respect that is shown in this video. The “Ninja” had no one in his corner and the man refereeing asks Brandon Vera to not coach Cruz as the “Ninja” has no one in his corner to coach him. Everyone is respectful even after the final result and there is no rub it in your face attitude by anyone. This is truly what martial arts is about, respect.