Paulo Thiago articulates something in this video (with the help of a translator) that I think nearly every MMA fighter believes, but that I think is still completely misunderstood by people who have a visceral reaction to MMA as violent and barbarous: When two fighters step into the cage, they're simply competing in an athletic competition against each other. They don't hate each other, they don't want to hurt each other, they just want to beat each other.
"There's no space in the Octagon for feelings or emotions," Thiago says. "Just technique and strategy and fighting with reason. There's no reason for me to have hate or passion or pity or anything."
It would be wonderful if the Bob Reillys of the world would open their minds just a little bit and hear fighters like Thiago explain what their sport is all about. Thiago's approach to MMA is the norm among those who fight for a living, even if that's not understood by those who decry "ultimate fighting."