Oh, the shame.

Please, let me explain.

I live in Las Vegas, where betting on MMA is legal. After a disastrous evening where I placed a significant amount of coin on Nate Marquardt to defeat Chael Sonnen, I don’t personally bet anymore. I do still maintain about an 80% pick ratio, however, and my friends, associates, and coworkers come to me before placing their bets. I’ve been wrong any number of times, but I’ve done well enough that they keep coming back for more advice.

I told you that story so that I could tell you this story:

I’m a fanatic when it comes to MMA. I grew up in martial arts, and that obsession continues, now, in my thirtieth year. I do with MMA/ UFC what many people do with football and baseball stats. When a UFC card is on, I request the day off from work, claiming it as a religious holiday. Seriously.

My four-and-a-half-year old daughter, who loves me so much that she can’t bear to be six inches away from me, watches all of them with me. She actually follows them: She has her favorite fighter (Clay Guida, who has “Cool hair”), and is diligent and eager when I teach her jiu-jitsu. She was mad at me when I went to the UFC expo without her, the other day, and devastated when I ended up with tickets to UFC 148, and didn’t take her as my “plus 1.” Literally, she bawled, and wouldn’t speak to me.

Fortunately, four-year olds have the attention span of a butterfly.

My daughter and I play a fun game during each fight, and the latest UFC on Fuel TV event was no different. She watches, and says, “Daddy, who do you pick?”. I make my educated guess, and she picks whoever she likes. Sometimes she agrees with me, sometimes she goes the opposite direction.

Imagine my chagrin, then, as I watch these fights with a keen eye in preparation for any articles that I may write, that my daughter out picked me.

Me                                                                         London

NJokuani                                                             Dos Anjos (w)

Dillashaw (w)                                                     Dillashaw (w)

Carmont (w)                                                      Carmont (w)

Simpson (w)                                                       Simpson (w)

Beltran                                                                 Te Huna (w)

Weidman (w)                                                    Munoz

At the end of the card, she approached me, asking which of us had won. It was with maturity and stoicism that I told her that she had triumphed. She proceeded to dance around the room, singing “I win! I win! I wiiiiiinnn!

At this point, I considered taking Forrest Griffin’s approach, and retiring from life. It took a moment to remember, I’m Daddy; I always win.

So I sent her to her room, and smiled while she cried her way up the stairs.