The explosion in popularity of mixed martial arts has led to a perfectly correlated explosion of complete and utter douche bags in gyms across America. Affliction tee shirts, Tapout shorts, an attempt to cover up a lack of physical fitness through excessive consumption of kidney-destroying energy drinks and frequent assuming of grappling stances. The asshats come in many sizes and appearances, but generally speaking the following are signs that you are dealing with a mixed martial arts wannabe poseur:
Drinking furiously from a Monster, Red Line, or other energy drink that is completely detrimental to overall body health
Inability to run a sub 10 minute mile or perform any other indicator of good health
Frequently overheard referencing the “Octagon”
Seen standing in a semi-circle around a heavy bag, awkwardly kicking at it
There assholes are a dime a dozen today. There is, however, a huge exception currently seen “working out” at XSport Fitness Piper’s Alley in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. He is of very average proportions. Approximately 5’10″, maybe 175lbs. He keeps the hair short and the gear is minimal. So minimal in fact that he doesn’t work out in shoes. Completely barefoot. And I don’t mean Vibram 5 Fingers or any other barefoot simulator. I mean he walks around the gym, barefoot. And what lets you know he really means business is that he walks into the gym like that…..barefoot. I don’t know how he gets there, but he walks in the front door sans shoes. He fell out of the Russian tree and hit every fucking branch on the way down. He has sinister scars on his head and body. He doesn’t speak frequently, and he would kill you in an instant if you caught him smiling. He doesn’t tote energy drinks or water bottles. He does things to the heavy bag that make you recoil in horror. He does not need to wear Affliction tee shirts because he is Affliction. I guarantee that there were certain years during the first decade of this century that this guy killed more Chechens than he ate hot meals. Every time I see him I wait for the inevitable meltdown when he thinks he is deep in Caucasus Mountains, and stabs some unsuspecting gym patron in the lung and whispers “It okay, now you sleeps” in their ear as they bleed out in his arms. That is what I fear. However, what I wish is for him to go completely off the reservation and mistake a group of MMA poseurs at the heavy bag for a group of Chechen terrorists plotting to blow up the Kremlin and murder all of them before the first one can even scream.