There are times in every person’s life that are bound to affect them for the rest of their lives, to carry on through the years and become stories that are passed down to children of the next generation. These moments encapsulate the very essence of humanity, the little things in life that many often take for granted or are too busy to stop and reflect upon. It has been said that great art is one of the truest ways to express such moments, to create a living time capsule that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Truly powerful art can evoke great emotion from its audience. It can make them laugh, smile or even move them to tears. It is the great art that is relatable and can transcend just being art, but become a way of life and have a serious emotional impact on the audience. For many, Mixed Martial Arts is simply a sport, a vehicle for fast, furious and brutal entertainment of a visceral common denominator. For other fans, though, it has become a true form of art and expression.
Gary LaPlante is one of these fans, whose life has become intertwined with that of the fighting careers of men whose fights have not just entertained him, but touched him on a deeper level. “PRIDE Never Die” might be a phrase that some fans will use with derision, a form of ridicule for fans who hold on to the heroes of PRIDE FC’s past glory. Gary instead chooses to embody it, for him it has become a way of life. A strong, inseparable bond has grown inside of him towards his heroes and his unwavering support is public, unabashed, for the world to see.
The achievements of fighters like Fedor Emelianenko, Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua are much more than simple battle scars and a win or loss on an official record to Gary. Instead, their passion and dedication for their art of fighting has become something more, forging this bond for him and creating memories that will live on with him for the rest of his life. They have moved beyond the realm of athletes or entertainers to him, and in to the history books as true titans and heroes in an era where imagination and heroism are all-but dead.
This video that we are presenting to you is not just another video that you’d find on the internet while surfing around, instead this is a brief look inside of what true passion and fandom are. It is a look into what Mixed Martial Arts can be and how it can move beyond the traditional boundaries of fandom and become so much more. This is an uncensored and unedited look at just how delicate life can be, chronicling one fan’s earnest reaction to watching one of his heroes competing in one of the sport’s most gripping contests to date. This is Gary.
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Photo by Bauzen.