For those of us who enjoy a touch of disgrace with our mixed martial arts, this past Spring has bestowed a windfall of weirdness and shame on our confused, collective head. Press on, dear reader, and lay them peepers on this season's best worst mixed martial slag.
Anglo Gentleman of Means Releases Afro-Rhythmic Musical Programme of Rhyme and Fancy
Jared "Skala" Shaw, son of former EliteXC figurehead Gary Shaw, may be most famous for blowing his top on national television after the referee halted the disastrous bout between Kimbo Slice and Seth Petruzelli. With EliteXC collapsing soon after, there followed an exodus of fighting talent and an opening on CBS for any fight organization with enough savvy or interest. That's a lot of balls in the air, but, guys, was Jared Shaw not the biggest ball of all? "What about Jared Shaw?!" we all screamed. No one could stop it (the screaming). "What's to become of the poor little guy?" and "Will we ever hear his sweet voice on a rap album? Please Lord God let him release a rap album before the apocalypse wipes us off the face of this Earth."
Sure enough, Shaw the Younger did turn to poetry in the wake of the EliteXC tragedy, and has ingeniously paired his verse with notes most musical. A snippet, from a lusty little ditty titled "Main Girl," reads thus:
Take the door to the one,
Now times that by three,
Maybe four, maybe more [!]
In this verse, the bard has provided us a riddle. Does he live on the first floor, or the fourth? Or is it twenty-and-seven? Or mayhap Shaw has used the guise of a numbered apartment building to stand in for some finer, erotic point. Such as wiener length or something. At any rate, if you wish to find your way to the end of this winding stair of sexual innuendo, you best make a diligent study of your mathematics, because a true understanding will require that you "times" one integer by another.
Known Maniac Blows a Gasket, World Follows Suit
"If Nick Diaz went crackers, would you go crackers, too?" Somehow, the answer turns out to be "Yes."
When a victory speech by Jake Shields devolved into a bench-clearing brawl (due in part to Shields' middleweight rival Jason Miller cutting into the interview, and in part to Shields' teammates going berserk), it seems nobody knew just what to do, so they all decided to make the worst of it. Commentators Gus Johnson and Mauro Ranallo couldn't stop apologizing for a dust-up no more serious than those witnessed semi-regularly at baseball or hockey games. Making matters worse, Johnson tried to dismiss the whole thing as par for the course: "Sometimes these things happen in MMA." But of course, they don't. With the exception of the Hammer House vs. Chute Boxe fracas of four years ago at a PRIDE event, such lapses in judgment are rare to non-existent.
Unfortunately, lapses in judgment happen to be one of the internet's signature characteristics. CagePotato.com's Mike Russell found himself in the mix after he sent an inflammatory email to Strikeforce president Scott Coker. The message, laden with thinly veiled insults and loaded questions about Johnson (an employee of CBS, not Strikeforce), found its way to the beleaguered commentator, who in turn called Russell's house. A transcript, since removed from Cage Potato's website, documents a conversation that eventually led to Johnson inviting Russell to hop a plane so they could settle their differences mano-a-mano. The last time I heard such a challenge, I was being verbally assaulted by a 14-year-old from a far-flung corner of this great nation thanks to the wonders of online gaming.
As for Strikeforce proper, things didn't fair much better. In anticipation of a ruling by the Tennessee Athletic Commission, Coker and Co. opted to suspend Nick Diaz and Jason Miller from upcoming fights due to their involvement in the post-fight antics.
And while their intentions here are respectable, the fact remains that, in cancelling the appearances by two of their most popular fighters, Strikeforce is thinning an already anemic roster. One can't help but wonder if the problem might not have just faded away had everyone not so promptly lost their marbles.
There is one guy who walked away from that mess without looking like a total goof, and he also just happened to be the saltiest dude in that ring. For Dan Henderson (who lost to Shields that night), I guess the urge to dog-pile and kidney punch someone into oblivion on national TV is just something that fades with age.
I Spent a Couple of Hours Watching King of the Cage
On March 26, 2010, I decided to take a look at King of the Cage "Legacy," which aired on HDNet. Next thing I know, I'm half-awake with drool on my shirt, and I've sat through the entirety of Tony Lopez's championship fight with Tony Johnson, Jr. That's 25 minutes I could have spent comparing shampoo ingredients, petting an animal, becoming acquainted with the King James Bible, or washing myself (with actual soap). Why did I do it? Maybe it's Tony Lopez's braided hair. I guess this is more of a personal problem than anything else.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do Jared Shaw things happen to any people?