Friday, October 30, 2009
- His royal highness/ Dana White hates amateur/ MMA. Screw him.
- Lesnar is sick, now/ UFC 106 sucks./ Ha! It did before.
- Roxanne Modafferi/ on CBS-Fedor card./ Yahoo! You go girl!
- Massachusetts is/ close to sanctioned MMA. /Bye-bye grassroots shows!
- Ultimate Fighter/ tryouts had the skilled and inept./ Guess who's getting picked?
- Shogun, Machida,/ Cecil Peoples and judging./ Please, God, let it die.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
At what point does a douchebag become a douchebag? Is it ever cool to be a douchbag? How far can a douchebag go in being a douchebag and still succeed? If a douchebag falls over in the woods and no TUF cameramen are around to film it, did it actually fall? All these questions and more are addressed on this week's episode of VH1: Behind the Music's "Ultimate Douchebag - The Early Years". But first...
Still in full-on Red Bull-induced hysteria mode, Quinton Jackson engages in a verbal sparring match with Rashad Evans, the former imitating the latter's knocked out form after he fought Lyoto Machida, the latter pointing out that the former ain't no coach. That's right, Evans has said it: Jackson ain't no coach. The words hang there in the air, rendering the atmosphere in the TUF training center thick and gloomy and unpalatable to those stuck within the confines of this godforsaken competition. Jackson's team has lost every match-up thus far and the Pride veteran doesn't give a crap anymore, doesn't even want to show up for his fighters' bouts or comfort them in the cage after they've inevitably lost. Jackson has checked out, has moved on to his next role (as Othello in Martin Scorcese's "Othello the Moor", check your local listings), and this stint on TUF 10 is just something to pass the time.
"I'll kick your ass," says Jackson.
"Costa Mesa Police Department," says Evans. "Let me see your license and registration."
And at that Jackson crumbles, a whimpering, cringing wreck, reflexively lying face-down on the floor while muttering, "Don't tase me, bro. Don't tase me."
Now it's time for the fight selection, and as Team Rampage has lost everything even remotely resembling a competitive combative sport contest, Evans still gets to choose. He selects Scott Garbage and Matt Minestrone. Our journey of douchebaggery begins!
Back at the TUF house Matt Minestrone hands Scott Garbage a note. "Dear Scott: I love you," it reads, and the other members of the house are scandalized.
"What a scumbag!" declares Mike Wessel. "It's 'douchebag'," a producer whispers off-camera. "What a douchebag!" says Mike Wessel, correcting himself.
At the TUF training center Team Rashad informs Evans of the note. Evans calls Matt Minestrone into his office and chastises him. "Look, you can love anyone you want, but you need to fight first."
"I know what I'm doing in my own head," replies Matt Minestrone. "I hear voices, but fighting silences them. Also, I can make phone calls telepathically."
Evans stares at him like he's a giant pigeon that just took a dump on his car. "You are both wierd and a douchebag."
The TUF house, and now Matt Minestrone is drinking orange juice. Apparently it's not his, apparently John Madsen went out and bought it himself with his own damn money and the juice was not provided by the show's staff, because John Madsen gets all bent out of shape. "You're a douchebag. I should slap your pretty face," he says. Matt Minestrone doesn't like that, so when they're back at the training center and the two suit up for sparring, Matt Minestrone actually spars.
"Wah! You're being a douchebag!" says John Madsen, and Matt Minestrone storms off to the office. Again, Evans confronts him.
"What the hell is wrong with you? You haven't even fought yet and you're creeping people out with your douchebagness. Save it for your opponent!"
"What a dirtbag!" declares Mike Wessel. "It's 'douchebag'," a producer whispers off-camera. "What a douchebag!" says Mike Wessel, correcting himself.
Once more we're back at the house, this time by the pool, where an audience of castmates have gathered to watch Matt Minestrone shoot some hoops on the basketball court. Oh, and also, Wes Sims is apparently a ninja, and in his ninja garb he stealthily stalks the oblivious Matt Minestrone... to hug him. That's it. All he does is sneak up on Matt Minestrone and hug him.
"You're doing it wrong!" screams mulleted ex-ninja Scott Morris from his trailer in Des Moines, and he emphasizes his disapproval by tossing a half-empty can of Schlitz at his television.
"Duh, I am going to punch him in the face," says Scott Garbage, but real slow, like he's developmentally disabled or something.
"What a dingbat!" declares Mike Wessel. "The line is, 'What a douchebag!'" a producer whispers from off-camera. "What a douchebag!" says Mike Wessel, correcting himself.
Fight time! But prior to everyone wrapping their hands and warming up, Matt Minestrone informs coach Evans that he's telepathically called his wife.
"My wife?" says Evans. "Man, you are a total douchebag."
Referee Josh RosencrantzandGuildenstern starts the action, "action" the operative word here, and Scott Garbage and Matt Minestrone engage in the sloppiest, ugliest, most cardio-lacking, technique-lacking brawl to ever grace the Octagon. In between rounds Dana White exclaims it's the best fight ever - a sure sign of its suckage - and when the fight resumes it only gets sloppier and uglier. Matt Minestrone wins the decision, "win" the operative word here.
"Homestar Runner dot net," says Mike Wessel. "I mean, dot com." "Cut!" shouts the TUF producer from off-camera.
And Jackson wrecks a door.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Though the the Asian portion of the crowd sat stoic and silent throughout, the American portion of the crowd seemed to love every minute of it. And why wouldn't they? The fights were entertaining. Plus, Team USA kicked ass.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
- The decision in the Lyoto Machida/Shogun fight wasn't just bad, it was heinous. Heinous I tell you!
- Cain Velasquez is a beast.
- Ben Rothwell is whatever a zookeeper feeds a beast at its designated feeding time.
- All this time in the sport and Josh Neer still hasn't learned how to avoid takedowns? What does he do with his time? Drive under the influence or something?
- Spencer Fisher, I think you're an exciting fighter. However, it might be time to retire from the Octagon.
- I sure wish Anthony Johnson had made weight. I really wanted to be impressed with his performance. Instead, I'm stuck with the notion that the dude is just a cheater.
- Ryan Bader is a big pile of UNIMPRESSIVE.
- Pat Barry looked good. Antoni Hardonk looked like he took a bad hardonk to the head.
- I don't know who that Chael Sonnen was wrecking Yushin Okami, but he should stick around. He's much better than the Chael Sonnen we're used to.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Also this weekend is the World MMA Expo at the Jacob Javitz Center in Manhattan. MMA Journalist will be liveblogging that one.
Asylum Fight League XX is on Saturday night at the Trump Marina in Atlantic City. The AFL is always a good night of fighting, but as cloning technology isn't quite up to par yet, MMA Journalist is going to miss it.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
After realizing that Kimbo's fight was the high-point of the season and it will only be a suckfest from here on out, Darrill Spoonodor attempts to find solace in a bottle of booze. Actually, many bottles of booze. And beer. And sangria. And Bartles & James wine coolers. And Boones Farm. "Blimey, Darrill fancies ter missin' link a hoppin' pot ov de booze, innit?" says James McSweeney.
Anyway, Team Rashad gathers for practice, Darrill by now intoxicated out of his mind, stumbling about and muttering something about "Winky-Dinky Dogs". Coach Evans ignores him, even when his heavyweight ward vomits on assistant coach Mike Van Arsdale, and the ex-champ introduces guest coach Kru Phil Nurse, who teaches Team Rashad about greasing and other anti-grappling techniques. Immediately, Kru Phil Nurse begins rubbing everyone down with Vaseline.
Team Rampage, meanwhile, is having a hard time coping with their nonstop string of losses, and coach Jackson, on day nine of another sleepless, Red Bull-fueled bender, begins to hallucinate. The focus of his hallucinations: Darrill Spoonodor's chest, which in his addled mind resemble "titties". "Titties!" Jackson calls out to Darrill Spoonodor's chest. He attempts to suckle, but the drunken TUF contestant rebuffs him. "Titties!" Jackson cries.
Then everyone lines up for the "Which Rampage Fighter Is Going To Get Beat Next?" ceremony, and as Team Rashad has the ball, coach Evans gets to choose. He picks Darrill Spoonoder to face Zak Jensen, wildly believed to be the weakest link of Team Rampage - nay, the entire TUF house - nay, the entire world. Zak Jensen is purported to be a delicate flower, capable of much love and caring and absolutely zero fighting. At that point Darrill Spoonodor begins shouting at a heavybag and gesticulating wildly. "You son of bitch, you've been staring at me all night. You think you're tough? I'll kick your ass!" Except Darrill Spoonodor is pretty far gone at this point, so when he talks it sounds like his cheeks are full of bar pretzels. And maybe they are.
"Titties!" wails Jackson. "Titties, titties, titties!" He begins waving around dollar bills in a vain effort to get Darrill Spoonodor to dance for him.
Back at the house and everyone is counting down the minutes until Zak Jensen crumbles. Wes Sims starts a pool, marking off on a calendar each housemate's guess. Some wager sooner. Some wager later. Zak Jensen himself even marks off a day on the calendar, then returns to his poetry in the bunk above Wes Sims.
It's training time, and again we're treated to more reasons as to why Zak Jensen sucks. But when he's accidently cut above the eye during a scramble, we're given hope: could this be Kimbo Slice's opening to re-enter the competition? Sorry, Kimbo, no way. If you were going to fight, this episode would have garnered another massive bombardment of SpikeTV press releases hyping the show. And that obviously didn't happen.
Hijinks at the TUF training center! While coach Evans has brought in Kru Phil Nurse to help out his team of upstarts, Team Rampage assistant coach Tiki-Tiki-Head (yes, his head his a giant wooden Hawaiian statue of a head. Word? Yeah, word.) has brought in a cartoonist. Hmmmm... If Team Rampage members keep losing by submission and their coaching staff consequently provides them with a cartoonist, what would the coaching staff have provided if they kept losing by strikes? A violinist? A giraffe? Anyway, the cartoonist draws caricatures of the various members of Team Rashad, with Darrill Spoonodor in a bra.
"Titties!" Rampage implores, and he begins dry humping a nearby stationary bike.
Thankfully, it's fight time, and Zak Jensen and Darrill Spoonodor enter the cage. By now Darrill Spoonodor is so shitfaced he can barely see, and he's moving like Daffy Duck after Daffy's been hit with a tranquilizer dart, i.e., soooo slowwwwwww. But it doesn't matter. He punches Zak Jensen in the face, and when Zak Jensen takes him down, he slaps on the slowest triangle choke known to man - a triangle choke Zak Jensen does nothing to avoid. Eleven minutes later and Zak Jensen is asleep. Darrill Spoonodor again vomits, and grabs a nearby production assistant and snuggles with him in a corner. "You sure look pretty..." Darrill Spoonodor says to the hapless man before drifting off into alcohol-induced unconsciousness.
"Titties?" Jackson says, the hurt and confusion in his voice clear as day. "Titties, I - I loved you."
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
- Lyoto Machida will win. He's been drinking his own urine, and that's some serious karate right there.
- I'm really aggravated that Yahoo! Sports used my "Is Cain Able?" line before I could get it up. That kind of witty Biblical analogy is this blog's bread and butter. Dammit.
- Ben Rothwell: the man, the myth, the buffet killer.
- I don't know who's going to win between Gleison Tibau and Josh Neer, but one thing is for sure: somehow, some way, Neer is going to wind up pissed off.
- Spencer "the King" Fisher is going to out-point Joe Stevenson, but the California State Athletic Commission will change the result to a "no contest" when they find out that Fisher is not, in fact, a king.
- Anthony Johnson by pure, unadulterated blackness.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
October 16, 2009: The October 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings have been released. These rankings are independent of any single MMA media outlet or sanctioning body, and are published on multiple web sites.
In addition to the numerous MMA web sites that publish the Independent World MMA Rankings, you can also access the rankings at any time by going to www.IndependentWorldMMARankings.com.
Some of the best and most knowledgeable MMA writers from across the MMA media landscape have come together to form one independent voting panel. These voting panel members are, in alphabetical order: Zach Arnold (Fight Opinion); Nicholas Bailey (MMA Ratings); Jared Barnes (Freelance), Jordan Breen (Sherdog); Jim Genia (Full Contact Fighter, MMA Memories, and MMA Journalist Blog); Jesse Holland (MMA Mania); Robert Joyner (Freelance); Todd Martin (CBS Sportsline); Jim Murphy (The Savage Science); Zac Robinson (Sports by the Numbers MMA); Leland Roling (Bloody Elbow); Michael David Smith (AOL Fanhouse); Joshua Stein (MMA Opinion), Ivan Trembow (Freelance); and Dave Walsh (Total MMA).
Note: Joachim Hansen, who was previously ineligible to be ranked due to 12 months of inactivity, has regained his eligibility to be ranked as a result of his recent return to competition.
October 2009 Independent World MMA Rankings Ballots collected on October 13, 2009
Heavyweight Rankings (206 to 265 lbs.)
1. Fedor Emelianenko (30-1, 1 No Contest)
2. Brock Lesnar (4-1)
3. Frank Mir (12-4)
4. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-5-1, 1 No Contest)
5. Shane Carwin (11-0)
6. Brett Rogers (10-0)
7. Randy Couture (16-10)
8. Alistair Overeem (29-11, 1 No Contest)
9. Junior dos Santos (9-1)
10. Fabricio Werdum (12-4-1)
Light Heavyweight Rankings (186 to 205 lbs.)
1. Lyoto Machida (15-0)
2. Quinton Jackson (30-7)
3. Rashad Evans (13-1-1)
4. Anderson Silva (25-4)
5. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (18-3)
6. Forrest Griffin (16-6)
7. Gegard Mousasi (26-2-1)
8. Dan Henderson (25-7)
9. Thiago Silva (14-1)
10. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (17-3)
Middleweight Rankings (171 to 185 lbs.)
1. Anderson Silva (25-4)
2. Nathan Marquardt (29-8-2)
3. Dan Henderson (25-7)
4. Yushin Okami (23-4)
5. Jorge Santiago (21-7)
6. Vitor Belfort (19-8)
7. Demian Maia (10-1)
8. Robbie Lawler (16-5, 1 No Contest)
9. Chael Sonnen (23-10-1)
10. Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1, 2 No Contests)
Welterweight Rankings (156 to 170 lbs.)
1. Georges St. Pierre (19-2)
2. Jon Fitch (19-3, 1 No Contest)
3. Thiago Alves (16-4)
4. Jake Shields (23-4-1)
5. Josh Koscheck (13-4)
6. Matt Hughes (43-7)
7. Mike Swick (14-2)
8. Paulo Thiago (11-1)
9. Carlos Condit (23-5)
10. Marius Zaromskis (12-3)
Lightweight Rankings (146 to 155 lbs.)
1. B.J. Penn (14-5-1)
2. Shinya Aoki (22-4, 1 No Contest)
3. Eddie Alvarez (17-2)
4. Kenny Florian (11-4)
5. Tatsuya Kawajiri (25-5-2)
6. Diego Sanchez (21-2)
7. Gray Maynard (8-0, 1 No Contest)
8. Frankie Edgar (10-1)
9. Joachim Hansen (19-8-1)
10. Mizuto Hirota (12-3-1)
Featherweight Rankings (136 to 145 lbs.)
1. Mike Brown (22-4)
2. Urijah Faber (22-3)
3. Jose Aldo (15-1)
4. Hatsu Hioki (20-3-2)
5. Leonard Garcia (13-4)
6. Bibiano Fernandes (7-2)
7. "Lion" Takeshi Inoue (16-3)
8. Wagnney Fabiano (12-2)
9. Raphael Assuncao (14-1)
10. Mackens Semerzier (4-0)
Bantamweight Rankings (126 to 135 lbs.)
1. Brian Bowles (8-0)
2. Miguel Torres (37-2)
3. Takeya Mizugaki (12-3-2)
4. Masakatsu Ueda (9-0-2)
5. Dominick Cruz (14-1)
6. Akitoshi Tamura (14-7-2)
7. Joseph Benavidez (10-1)
8. Damacio Page (12-4)
9. Rani Yahya (14-4)
10. Will Ribeiro (10-2)
The Independent World MMA Rankings are tabulated on a monthly basis in each of the top seven weight classes of MMA, from heavyweight to bantamweight, with fighters receiving ten points for a first-place vote, nine points for a second-place vote, and so on.
The rankings are based purely on the votes of the members of the voting panel, with nobody's vote counting more than anybody else's vote, and no computerized voting.
The voters are instructed to vote primarily based on fighters' actual accomplishments in the cage/ring (the quality of opposition that they've actually beaten), not based on a broad, subjective perception of which fighters would theoretically win fantasy match-ups.
Inactivity: Fighters who have not fought in the past 12 months are not eligible to be ranked, and will regain their eligibility the next time they fight.
Disciplinary Suspensions: Fighters who are currently serving disciplinary suspensions, or who have been denied a license for drug test or disciplinary reasons, are not eligible to be ranked.
Changing Weight Classes: When a fighter announces that he is leaving one weight class in order to fight in another weight class, the fighter is not eligible to be ranked in the new weight class until he has his first fight in the new weight class.
Catch Weight Fights: When fights are contested at weights that are in between the limits of the various weight classes, they are considered to be in the higher weight class. The weight limits for each weight class are listed at the top of the rankings for each weight class.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This week we're introduced to two new members of the TUF house - Matt Minestrone's shoulder and Zak Jensen's jizz - with the additions getting an inordinate amount of camera time... time that could be better spent on Kimbo!
Team Rashad is training and everyone is all smiles and love and tender affection while they jog around the training center, occasionally dropping to do a forward roll or pausing for an awkward cartwheel. But beneath that veneer of idyllic happiness lurks something dark. Something unsettling. Yes, Matt Minestrone's shoulder wants to make its presence known, and it does it in the form of complaints ("Ouch, that push-up is going to hurt. Maybe you should give me some ice? Ouch, hitting that heavybag is going to hurt. Can I get a shot of heroin?"). Matt Minestrone brings his shoulder over to coach Rashad Evans and Evans listens to the shoulder drone on.
"Heroin? Really? Man, that's a short-term fix for what could be a long-term problem," says Evans, trying to reason with the shoulder. "Why not just tweak your nipples?"
But Matt Minestrone's shoulder will have none if it, and it points out the fact that it's just a shoulder and it doesn't possess nipples.
Over at Team Rampage, things aren't going too rosy for Zak Jensen in practice. Apparently he sucks, and everyone takes a moment to describe in colorful terms his suckiness. "There's suck, and there's suck," says Scott Garbage. "Zak is SUCK."
"Man, he suck," says coach Quinton Jackson.
Jensen agrees. "Yeah, I really suck."
Back at the house and we're introduced to Zak Jensen's jizz, which is taking a shower when teammate Wes Sims tries to join it. "Zak Jensen, your jizz won't share the damn shower!" Sims bellows. Later on, Jensen retreats to his room to write in his diary. His jizz, meanwhile, joins the rest of the housemates downstairs, and the group shares a laugh at Jensen's expense. "Holy crap does Zak suck!" Zack Jensen's jizz proclaims. Everyone cracks up.
At that point incomprehensible Brit James McSweeney says something into the camera, but outside of those intoxicated and watching in pubs, no one understands him.
Back to Matt Minestrone's shoulder, which is chilling in the pool casually shooting basketballs into a hoop. Women in bikinis prance around. A midget shakes a bottle of Moet champagne and the ensuing spray fills the air. At one point it looks like Matt Minestrone's shoulder is filming a rap video.
Later on in the training center, Matt Minestrone walks up to coach Evans. "I don't think I can punch today. My shoulder needs ice."
"Yeah," Matt Minestrone's shoulder chimes in.
Evans looks at Matt Minestrone, at Matt Minestrone's shoulder, then back at Matt Minestrone. "You two are weird," he says.
It's time to choose who's fighting who, and as Evans' team has been kicking ass, Evans gets to make the pick. He names Wes Sims and Justin Wren as the next two warriors to grace the cage. What? Why the hell did we have all this drama involving Matt Minestrone's shoulder and Zak Jensen's jizz? Why aren't the shoulder and the jizz fighting?
Some quick backstory on Sims and Justin Wren: Sims is tall and goofy, trains with the Hammer House but cannot wrestle, fought Frank Mir in the UFC twice, and was homeless prior to getting into the TUF house. Justin Wren is both Greek and Roman and he wrestles.
Close up of Kimbo sitting on a couch. "I just want to fight again," he says. Yes, Kimbo. And every employee of SpikeTV from the executives on down to the night cleaning lady wants you to fight again, too.
Sims lets everyone know that he wants to make an impression by winning big or losing big, and though he'd prefer to win, he's not afraid to make a statement by losing. As an exclamation point, he stands up and flexes like a pro wrestler.
At the official weigh-ins Sims and Justin Wren strip down to their underwear, "underwear" a subjective term and in this instance a distant relative to the purple monstrosity and the butt-flosser we're forced to look at when Sims and Justin Wren step on the scale. Everyone hoots and hollers, including Matt Minestrone's shoulder and Zak Jensen's jizz.
And then it's fight time, and after the two engage along the cage and Justin Wren gets the takedown, Sims gets his wish re: making an impression. Thanks to an arm-triangle choke, the tall and goofy UFC vet is left unconscious on the canvas. It takes paramedics 20 minutes to revive him.
Just like in the last episode, coach Jackson refuses to come to the aid of his fallen fighter, and afterwards Evans confronts him in the hallway. "That's some crappy coaching-style you got there," he says.
Matt Minestrone's shoulder and Zak Jensen's jizz walk by. "Yeah, man," they say in unison. "You suck."
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
- What a war Ben Henderson and Don Cerrone had, eh? I had no problem with the judges' decision - Henderson took the first three rounds and Cerrone creamed him in the last two.
- Scott Jorgensen is very disconcerting.
- Rich Crunkilton dished it out to Dave Jansen. Whoever that judge was that scored it 30-27 in Jansen's favor not only smokes crack, but deals it from the passenger seat of their minivan.
- No freakin' way did Yves Jabouin win a single round against Rafael Assuncao. Whoever that judge was that scored it 30-27 in Jabouin's favor not only shoots heroin, but scores it from that sketchy homeless dude who sleeps under the bridge in the park.
- Who the hell is Mackens Semerzier and how the hell did he catch Wagnney Fabiano in a triangle choke?
- Damacio Page pretty much ate Will Campuzano for dinner.
Friday, October 9, 2009
- "Junie Browning Flips Out, Tries to OD on Drugs and Assaults Hospital Staff" - No way! I never saw this coming. I mean, he seemed like such a stable guy and not white trash at all.
- "Junie Browning Fired By UFC" - What? Since when is substance abuse, arrest, mental instability and a violent rampage worthy of UFC termination?
- "Mark Coleman Injures Knee, Bows Out of UFC 106" - The aged wrestler Mark Coleman hurt his knee in training? Unpossible!
- "Japanese Ref Helps Japanese Fighter Win Japanese Event" - Say what? A Japanese organization not on the up-and-up? That's crazy talk.
- "Gina Carano to Appear Topless in Magazine" - Never in a million years would I have predicted this one. Never in a million years.
- "Urijah Faber Signs Multi-Fight Contract with Zuffa" - Pfft. Why on Earth would they want to keep the WEC's most popular fighter on the payroll? That makes no sense.
- "TUF Ratings Down Now That Kimbo Has Fought" - Really? That can't be. The strength of the show's concept and the magnetism of the remaining competitors should be more than enough to keep viewers coming back for more. Seriously. More than enough.
- Cerrone is going to out-strike Henderson on the feet with his keen Muay Thai and take advantage of him when it hits the ground. But midway through Round 2 the duo is going to pause, look around at the AT&T Center and realize the vast majority of the audience is preoccupied with their IPhones and BlackBerries. That's when Cerrone and Henderson will shake their heads, say "Screw this", and walk out.
- Dave Jansen is going to control Rich Crunkilton with superior grappling and work to secure a submission. When Crunkilton finally taps out, Jansen will rise, stick his hands in the air and exclaim "Yes!" The lifeless venue will echo with the sound of crickets.
- Rafael Assuncao will get Yves Jabouin down and begin to work his jiu-jitsu magic. The referee will halt the action temporarily when a lonely tumbleweed makes its way into the cage.
- Will Campuzano will lose to Damacio Page. But no one will ever know, because no one will have watched it.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Can a fight show survive after its earth-quaking Kimbo Slice wad has been shot and everyone, from producers to production assistants to cameramen to sound guys to fighters and coaches and athletic commission officials, are struck by the sudden urge to smoke a cigarette and see what's munchable in the fridge? Can the show go on? And will viewers have a reason to tune in?
After an extended recap of Kimbo's noble and valiant effort against the evil Roy Nelson, we're treated to more of the former backyard brawler talking intimately with his TUF house roommate, Abe Wagner. "I don't feel like I've been eliminated," says Kimbo.
The battered Wagner - whose ass got stomped first this season and is now just counting down the days until he can go back home and manage that Walgreens - stares at him incredulously. "I think this is your coping mechanism for having lost," Wagner offers up, but if he says more, his words are lost once Kimbo starts flexing his biceps and stroking his beard, two actions that elicit "oohs" and "ahhhs" from the off-camera production crew.
Will Kimbo re-enter the competition? For that to happen, one of the remaining contestants must drop out, an idea that induces SpikeTV execs to begin stocking the TUF house with poisoned food in boxes labeled "NOT FOR KIMBO". But before any of the tainted food can be eaten, ex-NFL player Marcus Jones is stricken by a bad case of ZEROTALENTTHISSEASON, a disease that suddenly drenches him in sweat and prompts Kimbo to perform CPR on him. At the prospect of Kimbo getting to fight again, cheers erupt from the crew, cheers that fade when Marcus Jones recovers.
"Let me step up," Kimbo says to the camera. "Tag me in and I'll guarantee SpikeTV so many viewers, the network's ad sales will get ridiculous." And outside, an executive in a three-piece suit hides in the bushes with a lead pipe, ready to kneecap the first fighter he sees.
At the TUF training center coach Rashad Evans is putting his wards through their paces. He begins to narrate, describing the fighters' strengths and abilities as if he were the leader of a commando unit and these were the soldiers chosen for the upcoming mission. "Justin Wren is a master of demolitions," he says. "He also likes long walks on the beach and can juggle while riding a unicycle." Cut to Brendan Cottonswab, who's lying on his stomach, carefully lining up thousands of dominoes. "Brendan is a sniper. He can also speak old Latin and once crocheted me a sweater out of saved pocket lint." The camera switches to Matt Minestrone. "Matt throws knives. He's also an Italian, tomato-based soup comprised of vegetables and either pasta or rice."
Coach Evans has his fighters join him and his staff in private to discuss their match-ups. Justin Wren is told he'll be facing his superbestbestfriend Scott Garbage. He initially says yes, but then changes his mind. "He's my superbestbestfriend," and Justin Wren lifts up his shirt to reveal a tattoo of a heart with the words "Scott Garbage - superbestbestfriend" in purple letters on his chest.
"That... is very weird," coach Evans admits.
Cut to coach Quinton Jackson. It's his turn to narrate while his fighters have their training montage. "Scott Garbage? He big," says Jackson. "Demico Rogers? He big, too." A series of clips of Marcus Jones stepping on bugs. "Marcus Jones?" says Jackson. "He very big." And that's that.
Back at the TUF house and Matt Minestrone blabs about the match-ups coach Evans has in mind. Somehow this is a big deal. Maybe because no one could've come up with these logical match-ups on their own, or maybe because there are so many fighters in the house and so many match-up permutations available that no one in a million years would've ever guessed that Fighter A would have to face Fighter B. Who knows. Anyway, Matt Minestrone's teammates give him grief about blabbing.
In coach Evans' den of unknown trainers, Matt Minestrone apologizes for letting the cat out of the bag. Evans' accepts his apology and dismisses him, but once Matt Minestrone leaves he ponders aloud, "Is he dumb?"
"No, he's just a tomato-based soup comprised of vegetables and either pasta or rice," says one of his assistants.
It's time to announce the match-up for the next fight, and coach Evans picks Brendan Cottonswab to face Demico Rogers. To prepare for the bout Brendan Cottonswab walks around the cage with one of the team's assistant coaches telling him how awesome he is. "You're so awesome," whispers the coach. "You're so awesome, you are the yardstick by which 'awesome' is measured. Go to Wikipedia and type in 'awesome' and it links to a picture of you. Dude, you are both 'awe' and 'some', which, when mixed together, makes a volatile elemental compound known as 'Awsm'. When you add water to 'Awsm', it explodes in pure 'awesome'."
On the Team Rampage side, assistant coach Tiki-Tiki-Head (yes, he's a giant wooden statue of a head - awesome, huh?) advises Demico Rogers to "explode all over his opponent's face." Sigh.
It's almost fight time now, and in the Team Rashad locker room there's hooting and hollering and Brendan Cottonswab is showered with streamers while chicks in bikinis sing karaoke. In Demico Rogers' locker room, coach Jackson is nowhere to be found. Instead, they sit around gloomy and morose, reading old 'Sandman' comic books.
Then they fight. Demico Rogers takes the reins initially with a takedown and some ground and pound, passes guard to drop more leather, and gets greedy and tries to attain mount. Brendan Cottonswab reverses him, slips on an Anaconda Choke and taps him out. Demico Rogers is distraught, and remains on his knees with his head bowed in the Octagon. Coach Jackson ignores him, or perhaps forgets that he's actually one of the coaches this season, so Evans kneels down and consoles the defeated warrior.
Afterwards, Jackson gathers his staff in a room. "Guys, I don't feel so good. We keep losing."
"Really?" says Tiki-Tiki-Head. "There's a bad case of ZEROTALENTTHISSEASON going around. Maybe you have it."
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Speed knockout of the night goes to the ever-improving Kris 'Savage' McCray, who ended previously undefeated Igor Almeida's night in 49 seconds with a brutal mix of stand-up and wrestling. Yes, a lot of skills showed in a short time frame. Another devastating knockout was delivered by Kyle 'I need another nickname besides Alley Cat' Baker, who devastated a tough, heavy-handed Tommy Truex with body shots. 'Balboa' is a much better nickname in my opinion - just look at his face and the way he fights. He chops his victims down like Rocky and I think I may have heard him cry 'Adrian' after the fight. I can't wait to watch him fight again.
Ryan 'The Rhino' Sturdy sure lived up to his last name but never should have been sent out for Round 3 as Timothy 'Rashad' Woods took him to Poundtown for two rounds and he could barely walk due to 14,754 brutal leg kicks. Woods is a monster and could have finished the fight earlier, but appeared to respect the Rhino's power and stayed at range. 'Tick Tock' McClintock has serious skills and totally outclassed the other (also very tough) Baker brother.
Not worth noting are the judges, who were either 1) drunk, 2) paid off, 3) bitter at Chase Beebe for skipping his last fight at the 11th hour, or 4) bitter at Chase Beebe for showing his ass crack all night. Easton fought hard as always, landed some nice kicks and a few punches, but spent 15 minutes with a world-class wrestler on his back. I don't think choke-out-avoidance wins a title match.
Fight of the night was Dodson versus Runez. Dodson is one of the most entertaining and skilled fighters in the sport. And while he often brings on boos for dancing around the ring, his footwork is amazing. Runez, after getting caught and nearly finished, showed some tremendous conditioning and won the last three rounds. I was exhausted simply watching this fight - these guys never stopped.
Reported crowd was under 5,000, which I think is the second largest for the UWC at the Patriot Center. With more cards like this, the crowds should keep getting bigger."
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Kimbo Slice is going to face off against Roy Nelson in the Octagon - let the damage control begin!
Fade in to the TUF House, to Kimbo relaxed on a bed and waxing poetic to his teammate Abe Wagner about life, love and facial hair. "My beard is actually named Kimbo, yo," he says. "My real name is Kevin Ferguson, but everyone assumes Kimbo Slice is my alias." He shakes his head, his white Muslim skullcap moving back and forth on his Charlie Brown pillow atop Snoopy bedsheets. "My beard is the one named Kimbo Slice. We're like two different entities. It's even got its own Social Security number. Know what I'm sayin'?"
Abe Wagner looks at the camera and mouths the words "What the fuck?"
Kimbo, this time alone, speaks of existentialism. Of the duality of man. He kneels beside his bed and prays, then talks of the world being his enemy. His "inner me" being the enemy. The world needing an enema. Himself needing an enema. Of Def Leppard's 1987 single "Animal". The world needing rock anthems. Himself worshipping the Egyptian god Anubis.
The cameraman steps in front of the camera, stares into the lens and mouths the words "What the fuck?"
Cut to the housemates ruminating on what a great fight Kimbo vs. Nelson will be, and how it could be on pay-per-view. From behind a closed door Nelson can be heard weeping at paydays lost and all-you-can-eat buffets gone untouched. "Goddamn TUF contract..."
At the TUF training center Team Rashad talks of their great strides with Nelson, and how he at first resisted the infamous "nipple tweak" fans often witness a Greg Jackson-trained fighter doing before he charges into battle. But they've broken down Nelson's barriers, these coaches who know one knows, and now Nelson will tweak his nipples freely and fervently.
Keith Jardine, Coach Rashad Evans' mate from New Mexico, shows up to shake hands and steal gym supplies. Evans greets him with affection, tweaking his nipples and directing him to Quinton Jackson in some misguided attempt at mind games (Jardine lost to Jackson when they fought at UFC 96 - how is that supposed to mess with Jackson?). Regardless, more jovial words are exchanged between the two coaches, soft insults wrapped in smirks and grins, no doubt prompted by Dana White offscreen, who must remind Evans and Jackson daily that they're supposed to generate heat and conflict for this season or else they'll end up with an audience indifferent to their pairing (like last season's Dan Henderson/Michael Bisping escapade). At that point Evans' other mate, Brit James McSweeney, chimes in, but no one understands him and his words are lost.
Back to Kimbo, who is training hard-ish for his upcoming bout. Assistant coach Tiki-Tiki-Head (yes, he's a giant wooden Hawaiian statue of a head - crazy, huh?) instructs the former backyard brawler on the finer points of having bigger men hug you and lie on top of you, and implores Kimbo to "do whatever comes natural." At that, Kimbo - mounted by a teammate - reaches into his waistband and pulls out a handgun. He fires four shots into the teammate's stomach. "Excellent! Great job!" says Tiki-Tiki-Head.
Kimbo's wounded teammate, guts in hand, looks at the camera and mouths the words "What the fuck?"
In a set-up for the next or perhaps future episodes, we're introduced to another ex-NFL player. He likes flowers. Also, his knee hurts. Could he be bow out of the competition to allow someone who lost another chance? Stay tuned!
As Kimbo's perspective has dominated the airtime of this episode, it's time for a little back story on his foe, IFL heavyweight champ Nelson. "My name is Roy Nel-" And then the camera goes back to Kimbo, stating why he believes his beard deserves a Nobel Prize.
Fight time, and Rampage has shaved his head so his hairstyle mimics that of his fighter. Kimbo's beard growls. Nelson, meanwhile, seems a little peeved the cameramen have been swarming around Kimbo like flies on a chocolate cake. Other than Jacob "Stitch" Duran doing a quick sketch with crayons, the rotund Nelson has gotten zero attention.
"I'm so excited for this fight," says Dana White. "On the one hand, Kimbo sucks - like I said when he was fighting for other promotions. But on the other hand, he's the greatest fighter that ever lived. Especially now that he's a UFC employee."
And then it's on. From their corner, Team Rampage shouts vital instructions and advice, like "Knock him out, Kimbo! Knock him out!" or "Knock him out, Kimbo! Knock him out!" But Kimbo ignores them, instead opting to lie on his back with Nelson's gigantic belly in his face, Nelson all the while patting him gently on the head. This goes on well into the second round (as Kimbo is unable to reach the handgun tucked into his waistband with Nelson pinning his arms), and finally referee Herb Dean Jellybean has seen enough. The best, most experienced fighter in the TUF House has won via TKO.
Dana White rises to his feet, applauding. "That was fantastic! Kimbo Slice looked like a warrior, and I can't wait for him to headline a UFC pay-per-view!"
And the entire cast and crew turn to the camera and simultaneously mouth "What the fuck?"