1001 Black Men–#339

Do you watch The Ultimate Fighter? I am a big fan of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), including it’s largest promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC); but I had never seen the UFC’s reality show, from which many of its finest athletes were selected, until earlier this summer. Not surprisingly, when I watched the first episode of the current (recently completed) season, I was hooked. I watched the entire season, and I enjoyed every minute. Fortunately, I still had 14 seasons worth of back episodes to watch. The second season I watched was season eight, on which a young contestant named Junie Browning quickly became one of the most notorious contestants in the history of the program. His hair-trigger temper and moody personality became his trademarks, and he was nearly kicked off the show several times. He was what my mother would call “a holy terror.”

Junie Browning is a young white man from a Southern family, and so when I saw a young Black man who looked a lot like him walking around in downtown Oakland, I was more than intrigued. For this drawing, I have dressed the Junie-Browning-looking Black kid in UFC shorts and the same kind of backwards cap that Browning wore on The Ultimate Fighter season 8. If you get a chance to watch even a single episode from that season, you will see how much the young man in this drawing resembles that very memorable MMA fighter.

Ajuan Mance

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