Every big sport draws media. Every news medium has a team specialized in covering each of the big sports. It could be no other way with Jiu-Jitsu and its offspring, MMA.
When Carlos and Helio Gracie challenged fighters in Rio de Janeiro, during the first half of the 20th century, their fights were meticulously narrated on the pages of Brazil’s major newspapers the next day. Many years passed and for the sport to win over the electronic media in Brazil, even its denomination of “vale-tudo” (no holds barred, in Portuguese) was changed to MMA.
In Abu Dhabi, where the sport has official backing, the media quickly pulled together an articulate team to provide proper coverage and best inform television spectators. More than a year ago, Abu Dhabi TV began using, as a commentator, someone who is probably the Arab Emirates’ foremost expert on fighting: Mohammad Al Housani.
Housani, 25, the son of a diplomat and a teacher, is a founding member of the select UFC Fight Club, practices Jiu-Jitsu and keeps a video and photo archive from every installment of the ADCC. He commentated for all the matches from the inaugural World Pro Jiu-Jitsu Cup, the Asian Cup and the Ramadan Games. All these tournaments reached spectators in over 40 countries.
It wasn’t without reason that the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization chose him as commentator for the maiden event in Abu Dhabi.
And here’s the big news. All his commentating will be done in Arabic, and for the first time in UFC history will be broadcast simultaneously on two TV channels, one in English and another in Arabic. In our world understanding may be hindered by the disparity of languages spoken, but, when it comes to entertainment, our sport definitely brings people together.
Ferrari World, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Saturday, April 10, 2010
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