Mixed martial arts fighting is one of the world's most popular spectator sports. It combines the artistic skill of martial arts with the excitement of watching two people try to knock the consciousness out of each other.
The marketing teams behind these leagues are always trying to think of ways to make the sport more popular and tap into bigger and bigger audiences. Perhaps they could pick up a few ideas from the fighting league of the arcade classic Street Fighter II.
Of course, fighters can't do helicopter kicks like Chun Li or turn their entire body into a lightning rod like Blanka (yet), but they could adapt some of their showmanship techniques and incorporate it into their events. That's what former UFC fighter Angela "Overkill" Davis did at the weigh-in ceremony on Thursday in Las Vegas for the Invicta FC all-pro women's tournament.
Hill stepped up to the stage at the Tropicana Lounge in her Dhalsim cosplay complete with the Street Fighter's yellow loin cloth and wrist guards, red-striped headpaint and three skulls dangling from her neck. Then she did Dhalsim's victory dance before stepping on the scale and squaring off against her opponent Stephanie Eggnik in Friday's match. Any Street Fighter II player should be familiar with those moves because his "fierce" punch and "roundhouse" kick can stretch to the opposite side of the screen make him a tough opponent to defeat.
MMAFighting.com captured footage of Hill's memorable entrance and posted it on its Instagram account.
So how did she do? According to Bleacher Report, Hill defeated Eggink by TKO at the 2:36 mark of the second round. The results don't say if Hill used a simple punch to send her opponent to the canvas or set Eggink on fire with her "yoga flame."
This moment got a lot of viral traction because you don't see a lot of video game references in sporting events. There have been moments where real life fighters have made the crossover to video games such as when EA Sports first announced that martial arts icon and movie star Bruce Lee would be available as a DLC character in its first "UFC" game last year and went on to become the game's "most used fighter," according to Gamespot.
If these moments are any indication of the future of professional fighting, then it's probably only a matter of time before we see a holographic Bruce Lee beat the snot out of Anderson Silva in the real Octagon or a virtual Zangief put a spinning piledriver on Ronda Rousey.