Cagewriter - Mixed Martial Arts

Now we've seen it all. Hanging around the media area on Wednesday as things began to heat up for UFC 100, you couldn't miss the group of autograph seekers building just outside the restricted area at the Mandalay Bay. The Las Vegas Review-Journal wanted to do a piece explaining on who watches this crazy mixed martial arts stuff so it spoke with some of those hardcores. Adam Hill stumbled upon blogging gold when he approached Brandon Beals. Beals fits the demo. At 38 years old, he's been watching the UFC for 16 years since UFC 1. He even has a website where he makes picks plus he's throwing a UFC 100 viewing party at his house. Well, it's not really his house. Technically "the lease" belongs to a higher being. That's right, Beal is a Pastor at Canyon Creek Church in Lynnwood, Washington. And he's a hardcore MMA fan, so much so that while he's in Las Vegas for the fights (his fourth live event), he's offering his congregation a chance to watch the mayhem on pay-per-view at the church. As you can see the church is offering the event for just $10 and "dude" food will be served:

"I think it's nonstop action. There's lots of upsets. I think it's also very fan-friendly," Beals said that there's nothing ungodly that unfolds in the Octagon. "If it was still no-holds barred, if it was underground or illegal, then yes. But this is legal and sanctioned. It's got rules. You're talking about stellar athletes, so I don't believe it does at all."

Beals sounds like he knows his stuff with his picks, he says Michael Bisping is overrated and will lose to Dan Henderson. He is very anti-Canada in calling for a Thiago Alves knockout of Georges St. Pierre in the fourth round. And he likes Brock Lesnar to "pummel" Frank Mir.

Ten bucks is a helluva deal at the church. Las Vegas outlets are charging $20-$50 and at some locales if you want a table for four, there's a $500 minimum drink tab! Showing UFC pay-per-views publicly in Las Vegas is a risky deal with the gaming commission. Some bars and taverns are trying to charge patrons an access fee which is technically illegal if they have video poker machines on the premises.

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