Finally, he has come to a conclusion. He will say no. He will tell all the promoters wanting to sign him that they must find someone else. He will thank them for their interest. He will recognise their disappointment.
But his conclusion is clear.
Cage fighting is not for him.
To be clear. FB is of the opinion that boxing is brutality with rules and there should be no place for it in the cannon of sport or the Olympics. There are too many instances of fighters suffering brain damage. However he is aware enough to know that banning it will simply make things worse by driving it underground where participants will be less protected physically and financially. The organised sport is the lesser of the 2 evils. Organised cage fighting just seems a stage further towards barbarism than boxing - there is a huge symbolism that it takes place in a cage. But underground versions would be, and are, worse.
FB of course is soft beyond soft. He therefore does not really understand why or how anyone would put themselves in fighting situations voluntarily. He does not understand why the audience would not prefer a string quartet to serenade them. But his long experience of captaincy tells him it takes all sorts.
But if he thought of a type of person less likely to be a cage fighter it would be a former captain of the England cricket team. This seems to be a role to be undertaken by a higher class of being. For example it seems beyond he realm of possibility that Colin Cowdrey or Mike Brearley, or David Gower, or Ted Dexter would see that their time at the crease could usefully be followed with a no holds barred mixed martial arts encounter.
|Adam Hollioake then - about to grapple with Steve Waugh|
|Hollioake now - having his forward defence exposed.|
Hollioake played 4 Tests for England and 35 ODI, including 14 as captain. He captained Surrey from 1997 to 2003, winning the Championship in 1999, 2000 and 2002. Altogether Surrey won 9 trophies under his leadership, making him one of the most successful captain of all time. He made his cage fighting debut last week at the age of 40.
FB wonders whether there was any hint of this later career choice in his success as a captain.
Did his players perform for him because they were concerned that if they failed with bat or ball, they would get a hard smack in the mouth or be pinned to the floor in an agonising wrestling hold?
Perhaps the players in FB's All Star Fourth XI should be relieved that FB opted against the new career opportunity.