Certain things are like clockwork in the mixed martial arts blogosphere. MMA Junkie will break news and Bloody Elbow will run it through the SEO ringer; positive steroids tests will be met with equal parts outrage and mocking of the outrage; Ryan will promise us all something amazing and fail to deliver (I did get my Team Modafferi and Human Cockfighting t-shirts, though); and Josh Gross will get antsy in the middle of winter and attempt to relive Sherdog's battle with the UFC while he was at their helm.
Dear readers, you know I am a powerfully lazy writer, frequently led astray by such petty "real life" concerns as supervised probation, college courses and a job. I believe the last time I put my fingers against a keyboard (when not bullshitting on Twitter or documenting why someone is late on their mortgage) was immediately following the UFC's debut on Fox - an event that was widely clamored for among the MMA media for years before being largely pooh-poohed when it actually happened. I've had similar (read: identical) droughts of productivity (or are they spurts of uselessness?) before, but I'm learning that they're ok during the end of years ending in a 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9.
Immediately following the sparsely-bought UFC 108 PPV headlined by Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva - an utterly cursed card that conjured images of Papa Shango with a UFC-emblazoned skull across the Interwebs - Gross wrote this piece about how this singular event signaled the death knell for Zuffa's no-co-promotion policy (a.k.a their entire business model). To be fair, at the time, Fedor still loomed as an undefeated* #1 fighter outside of Zuffa's grasp (not so much anymore) and the waves from his signing with Strikeforce were still being measured. However, the reactionary aspect of the piece - one poorly-bought PPV = co-promotion forever - compelled me to come to this very site and disagree. That propelled me to Watch Kalib Run's podcast, the front pages of a few SBN sites and a ballot with USA Today. If the trajectory from this piece is similar, I'll be the Republican nominee in 2012 (I respectfully decline).
Today's timing is more weird than reactionary for the piece. The actual material, however, is just short of embarrassing. I feel genuinely sorry for Outside the Lines (one of the few quality offerings from ESPN) and John Barr having their names attached to it. Here's the link. Not only are the actual named sources for disgruntled fighters/managers few and far between, they're essentially limited to Rob Maysey, who is a completely unimpeachable and objective source of such informatio... oh wait, he runs the "Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association," a powerfully weird site that's largely under construction and lists its most recent activity - by Maysey or anyone else - at over eleven months ago, despite claiming over 1,800 (largely avatar-less) members. Hmm.