Rockers trump fighters

GERRY MODDEJONGE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

The 2009 Roar of the Rings got underway yesterday during a weekend that turned out to be pretty big for sports fans in Edmonton -- albeit at the opposite ends of the sporting spectrum.

It was fight night on Friday and Saturday, with a pair of mixed martial arts promotions at the River Cree Resort and Casino and the Shaw Conference Centre.

At first glance it might not look like there could be any similarities between curling and ultimate-style fighting. But a closer look reveals not only ways in which they're similar, but also areas in which both sports could make some improvements.

- When first walking into an event, whether it's curling or MMA, the first thing you might notice is that a lot of fans wear toques.

MMA fans do it because it's the unofficial gear of the sport -- usually accompanied by a black t-shirt which, if it actually still has its sleeves attached, covers so many tattoos they would look like sleeves anyway.

In curling, fans wear toques out of necessity after spending the whole day in a cold rink.

Point: curling

- When the athletes make their entrance, curlers come in as a team while MMA fighters enter the cage with an entourage of trainers, coaches, sparring partners and people who might not have much to do with anything other than just trying to look cool.

It might not make much sense, but at least they do it with style and flare. Not to mention loud music.

Point: MMA

- Both sports have the element of danger, to some degree anyways.

In one, that's intentional. In the other, it's accidental (hey, ice is slippery!).

And they both have a shot called The Hammer.

Point: a draw

- Curling is an Olympic sport.

Point: curling

Game, set and match.


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