Thursday, December 4, 2008

Of Zombies and Dark Magic

Rumors are circulating that ProElite is very close to being bought, and that Zombie EliteXC will rise to shamble around and give us more MMA bouts, so MMA Journalist would like to talk about the concept of zombies and the dark magic that creates them. First, a little history: in 2000 the UFC was owned by Bob Meyrowitz and his company, Semaphore Entertainment Group, and as everyone knows the organization was close to death - so close, in fact, that Meyrowitz was interested in selling and (supposedly) people like Monte Cox and promoter Jamie Levine were considering pooling their dough to buy it. Why? The UFC had grown into a brand, which meant that it was a potentially viable product with solid public recognition, and given the right guidance it could, at some point, make money. Of course, we all know that Zuffa came in and turned the whole organization around, but the thing to take away from that is branding can give something a life of its own - a soul, if you will - and sometimes death will hold little sway over it. Well, with EliteXC's Showtime and CBS contracts and its roster of fighters and other assets, the damn thing developed a soul. After all, the number one and number three most-watched MMA bouts in US history took place in EliteXC's cage - the public knows it as a product. Death, or bankruptcy, will ultimately hold little sway over it, and all it should take is a little dark magic (in the form of some decent lawyers, a buyer and a strong staff) before EliteXC rises from its grave to chomp on us again. Personally, I will relish the bite.

Observations from My Couch: WEC 37

  • Joseph Benavidez and Danny Martinez did not impress. But I guess that's why we have a fast-forward button on our DVR, right?
  • You have to have a real solid grasp of jiu-jitsu and submission grappling to have appreciated Wagnney Fabiano's chess match with Akitoshi Tamura - which is a shame, because it was a great fight to watch in that regard.
  • Based on his performance, there's no question Fabiano is going to give Mike Brown, Urijah Faber and Leonard Garcia a tough time.
  • Did Brian Bowles earn a title shot against Miguel Torres with his defeat of Will Ribeiro? I hope not. Bowles showed he's got nothing Torres need worry about.
  • Not only did Torres beat Manny Tapia convincingly, but he beat Tapia convincingly at Tapia's own game. Now THAT'S what a champion is made of.

TUF 8 Analysis: Episodes 11 & 12

The last two episodes were aired back to back, and they featured the final four match-ups to decide who makes it to the finale. Stankie more or less remained on the back burner for them, which is just as well, as Junie Browning was there to satisfy the "crazy" quotient.
  • Ryan Bader is nonstop excitement and in his bout with Eliot Marshall he showed a wide range of mixed martial arts skills.
  • Good Lord am I kidding. That performance was all suck, all the time.
  • How well-rounded is Phillipe Nover? After tapping George Roop out with a kimura, he gave Roop a post-fight medical examination in the locker room - and then prescribed him pain medication for his shoulder!
  • Krzysztof Soszynski introduced an interesting formula. He stated that one punch turns a jiu-jitsu black belt into a brown belt, and one combination can turn that same fighter into a white belt. What does a kick turn that black belt into? A purple belt? What about a knee to the midsection? A judo throw? An elbow to the jaw?
  • I don't know what's worse: Browning's disgraceful actions in the house or Dana White's disgraceful decision to let him stay.
  • The episode ended with coach Nogueira shaving coach Mir's head. This little bit of hairstyling coupled with White's "beat him off" comment is why TUF night is huge in gay bars across the nation.