Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The UFC aficionado oldest is 88 and lives in Las Vegas

Fill in the blank with the correct number:
The oldest UFC fan I know has __ years old.

63? 67? 72?

Stop thinking you know. I sure will win.

I am convinced that the man with the record older fan of the UFC live here in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas.

A native New Yorker and a veteran of World War II, has worked extensively as an advertising executive, painter and sculptor. And in his spare time television taste has led to his wife, who has 62 years of marriage, many nights I asked: "Why are you watching this again? ".

"Because it's the best thing on TV!" Replied in a friendly tone, invoking humor as the main ingredient of their long marriage.

This peculiar superfanático born in 1923, is called Sam Chinkes and has just 88 years. While the main demographic of UFC fans is made up of men between 18 and 34 years, Mr. Chinkes is living proof that, even though the sport has also attracted a surprising number of women, older men are not immune to the attraction that cause the qualities and skills of the fighters in the cells. After all, the fascination with fighting is part of the DNA of every human being.

Chinkes that he has religiously watched the UFC since the beginning of the nineties. From the time that the UFC Royce Gracie put on the map with wins against Titans incredible 250 pounds.

"My wife is not interested," says Chinkes. "But she has her own TV." I look (CFU) whenever I can and most of the time I find it the best you are giving ... except for some of my favorite old movies. Watch mafia movies all the time. Is that I'm from New York. But sometimes I prefer the UFC instead of my films because I have already seen some many times. I make sure to find all the statistics before each fight. I'm crazy about the presenter Bruce Buffer. It is excellent! Very dramatic. A real pro. "

In his day, the fort was the foot race Chinkes, although he always felt drawn to boxing. As a child and growing up in the Bronx, he and some friends produced a punching bag using a bag of chips to beat him and prove their skills. They wore gloves and boxing without damage trained under a ladder fire.

"We never golpeábamos hard - but once I saw the stars", Chinkes said. "I'm not a fighter. Never in my life I was involved in a fight. But if the UFC had existed when I was young, I would have liked to train to fight. I am absolutely sure I could have done. I would have understood my fighters, was a good strategist. I am a survivor of World War II, so I reason that way. "

"I've always loved sport. He's athletic. There is an art of maintaining balance, and hit at the same time to avoid being beaten. The strategy that implies is most impressive. It is also a mental challenge for anyone who enters the ring or the Octagon. "

I asked Mr. Chinkes to name their favorite UFC fighters.

"The guy from Canada ... what's his name? GSP ... "he answers himself. "The guy who defeated heavyweight champ recently ... the heavyweights ... Brock Lesnar! Yes He liked me for a while, but I saw that however hard it is and however great, can not withstand a hit. Or am I wrong? ".

Extra Material: As (accidentally) met Sam Chinkes

Good stories, like $ 100 bills allegedly miraculously do not fall from heaven on your skirt. A cosmic fate caused my path crossed with that of Mr. Chinkes. I was reading only, which seems the last bookstore in the world when a man sat at the table near me. As I recall, I always had sympathy for the elderly, particularly those with positive energy always see the glass half full. The man next to me, very relaxed but confident, gave this description. I asked him what he was reading and conversation went on from that moment as if he had known for years.

He seemed very attentive, proving to be a very agile mind.

"You must read a lot," I guessed.

"In fact, not much," he replied.

That led us to an area even more interesting: He has been married for 62 years with the same woman. 62 years! What else other than food, water and a toilet you can enjoy a relationship of 62 years?

Always fascinated me the most, by the knowledge they have accumulated and could save the suffering of learning at the expense of our own mistakes. I always resented the way apparently, and in my opinion, society treats the elderly as second class citizens. There are other cultures in which the elderly are revered. Here we treat differently, like all senile everyone, something that does not want to be.

And always, always, always fascinated me the people who manages to make her marriage work for long. 30 years. 40 years. 50 years. And freedom from the marriage, but enjoy it. When I was a divorced, married me arouses interest when long share their secrets and tips.

"Want to know the secret?" He asked. "Humor. We laugh all the time. I used to think that years of youth were the best. But the truth is that years old are best. We laugh more now than ever. "

Then he asks you to guess his age. I focus on his face and build. Always possessed an incredible (and totally useless) ability to guess the weight of someone with a margin of error of two or three pounds. It comes from my background as a wrestler. The old people always cost me, because some age prematurely and others do very well.

"76", I told Mr. Chinkes.

My mistake amuses him.


We talked some more and somehow we started discussing the television programming. I live in a house with four rooms and I have a 20-inch television that never, even once, I turned on or looked at. My friend looks pretty instantaneous.

"You know what's best on TV today?" He asks rhetorically. "The UFC".

I did not react immediately. I did not make the connection. UFC ¿? Should be the three initials of an organization for the elderly.

You could be referring to the UFC that I know and my passion - Ultimate Fighting Championship.

But for sure ... "What do you mean UFC? It does not refer to the UFC fights in cells, right? ".

"Yes, fighting in cells! I love ".

And he did. Apparently each demographic group in the world is susceptible to the UFC, which is one of the few places where you get to the top in its own right. Unlike in other areas. The UFC is not the industry to-know-who. Nor the one who has more money, or the best lawyers, or the prettiest fool. It's a heads up. The best man win. Sam Chinkes "understands" reminding me - reminding us all - we must learn to evolve and keep our minds open while we are alive.

I accompanied him to his car. I wanted to show something. Open the trunk of his car. There are dozens of black shirts. Lift one: The picture of a fighter giving a front kick to the face to another. Reminiscent of the technique used to knock Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort that we all took away the breath.

"I drew it from memory in just seconds," said Chinkes.

Chinkes Sam gave me one of the shirts. And I admire so much in this extraordinary fan, and love for the UFC, I wrote this story about him.

Sam has never been to a UFC live event. The UFC and I'll change that soon.


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