UFC 204 is coming to the UK in early October, but fight fans got a glimpse of some scrappy action in advance today, as Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May clashed over grammar schools.
Round one was a tentative affair, with both Corbyn and May staring each other down over a convoluted table. Words were exchanged, to the effect of “I think grammar schools are good for kids!” (May) and “Well, I disagree with you.” (Corbyn) but there was surprisingly little action.
Between rounds, though, something changed. The atmosphere. The feeling in the air. Corbyn, having long been booed, even by his hometown crowd, started to get cheers. It has been a long time since Labour were united against a divided Conservative bench, but this is exactly what happened.
Round two began with May knowing she had to make up ground. The fighters were done measuring each other and May came out swinging with an underhand insult. Corbyn, though, managed to slip past it, and landed a takedown by suggesting grammar schools were not the best way to solve the problem of a convoluted and overly reform-hit education system. He maintained top control for the rest of the round, working as passing and getting a submission, but never quite finding it.
Still the crowd cheered him.
Round three saw May come out with more underhand insults, as well as some low kicks and a lot of trash talking. But Corbyn, with the crowd behind him, found his feet yet again. Cries of ‘ad hominem’ from May’s corner were ineffective, as she could not get the technique off as Corbyn tied her up in the clinch and went toe-to-toe with the domineering Premier. Maintaining his control with technique, good points, reasonable opinions and the ever important support of those behind him, he showed himself a capable fighter.
All three judges scored the contest 29-28 to Corbyn, as he won by unanimous decision. After the fight, Corbyn told colour commentator Joe Rogan “It was a tough battle. All credit to May, she’s a warrior, but there was only ever going to be one winner when I have the crowd behind me. I wanted to get the finish, of course, but it just wasn’t there. She’s very tough. I only hope this performance is enough to ensure the PLPFC (Parliamentary Labour Party Fighting Championship) do not cut me in 10 days. I think I’ve shown what I can do and wish everyone could get behind me.”
CM Punk was unavailable for comment, on account of his current humble-pie eating contest commitments.