The ghost of Mike Kinsley must have been hovering elsewhere for Slate to have published Troy Patterson's conventionally intuitive piece on the UFC.
This isn't meant as a complaint, but perhaps Patterson would have been in a better position to comment on the UFC phenomenon had he watched more than what appears to have been a single clip-show from Spike. His ultimate conclusion might have been the same--and might well be right--but surely there are depths left unplummed here, like, for instance: Dana White's NASCAR-like control of the sport; the evolving standards of rounds, judges, and most important, weight classes; the financial success of the UFC enterprise; and the sports media's continuing insistence on ignoring UFC even while much smaller and more obscure sports (arena football, women's college volleyball, etc.) get column inches in sports sections and time on both ESPN and local news sportscasts.
Again, I'm not rendering a moral verdict here. The UFC might still be little more than cockfighting with homo sapiens. But the story seems more complicated and serious than Patterson has made it out to be. And it certainly deserves more a more serious attempt to grapple with it. So to speak.
Still, Slate should be encouraged, not chastised, for avoiding knee-jerk counterintuition. So good for them.
PS: Galley Sister MAL suggests that the "arm bomb" Patterson refers to was most likely an "arm bar."
10 hours ago