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Breaking the MMA Lens: Book review – MMA NOW! The Stars and Stories of Mixed Martial Arts

UFC 270: Francis Ngannou or Ciryl Gane?
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I just received a copy of the new book MMA NOW! – The Stars and Stories of Mixed Martial Arts by Brian Sobie and Adam Segal. It’s an 8.5 x 11 incher – or approximately magazine size.

It tops out at 144 pages. The page size leaves plenty of room for pictures and there are lot’s of ‘em. The book is printed on nice, thick, glossy white paper which really lends itself to these color photographs.

Every page has a least one photo and some have more. That’s not to say that this is a picture book; It’s not. It is chock-full of useful MMA information.

MMA Now!
Courtesy Firerfly Books.

A point worth noting is that it is black print on white paper. This may not sound like a big deal, but a lot of these kinds of photo/info books are white print on a colored or patterned background. That gets tired real fast. I want something that’s easy to read and where the pictures jump off the page. Well, this is it.

The photos are top notch and the photographers are obviously real pros. No phone pics or blurry, noisy amateur shots here. There are a number of different photographers’ work showcased so the photo styles are varied, but all are professionally done.

MMA Now!
Courtesy Firefly Books.

Along with the photos, there is plenty of information. Almost too much information, as the print is a bit small for my taste, but this is a minor complaint. Every page is full, no filler pages or a lot of white space. The information provides insight into the many facets of MMA, including chapters on history, past legends, current fighters and rising stars. There are various stats on each fighter, but this is not a stat book. There’s plenty of information about the other facets of the sport.

If you’re a dedicated fan of a particular fighter, this book probably won’t tell you more than you already know about your favorite. It will, however, tell you a good deal about all the fighters that you don’t follow so closely.

MMA Now!
Courtesy Firefly Books.

There’s more to it than just fighters though. Particularly interesting are the chapters on the business and money aspects of the game. There’s even a chapter on general acceptance of MMA and how the internet has changed public perception. I really liked the section on rules. I have been in many pre-fight rules meetings and the rules section is a nice addition. There’s even an index in the back of the book so you can find what you want pretty quickly. This is a nice touch.

The book is easy reading. There are only a few bumps along the way. The writing is well thought out and gives plenty of insight. If I have a complaint, it’s that the book is a bit too pumped in terms of MMA excitement and it seems a like a sell job at times. But there is excitement in the writing and I won’t hold that against them. There’s more than enough positives to this volume that I recommend it as a nice addition to your MMA print library.

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Joe LoBianco
Joe LoBianco writes the photography column Breaking the MMA Lens for MMA Crossfire. New columns on the 1st and 15th of each month.

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