Generally speaking, I have a hard time settling on an idea, so I sent an email to my brother, an MMA fan like myself, asking if he might provide a prompt for me. He gave me eight, and rather than write one, I decided to write all of them (or none of them, depending on how you look at things). Thus, notes for eight articles about "the UFC in 2012."
Has Twitter Been Good/Bad For MMA in 2012
- One fighter has already been s-canned (short for shit-canned) in close relation to some very poorly conceived, rapid-fire comments.
- Ronda Rousey never responded to all my clever, pun-heavy tweets about armbars.
Obviously mixed martial artists shouldn't be admonished to stay off Twitter, but the UFC's financial incentives may encourage certain people to pipe up a little more frequently, and quickly, than they normally would.
Why GSP's Comeback Is Exciting (or not).
In terms of raw pay-per-view numbers and gross earnings, St. Pierre's absence this year has been sorely felt so, sure, exciting. And in terms of knee-jerk reactions, also, sure. But: have I actually missed watching him fight this past year? Maybe not.
note: St. Pierre's decision-heavy streak isn't as bad as it looks. The oft-cited Fitch and Koscheck fights were compelling for several reasons, and the only truly mind-numbing, teeth-gnashing, tear-my-god-damn-hair-out-GSP-what-the-hell-are-you-doing performances came against Dan Hardy and Jake Shields, the lattermost due in large part to a severely molested eyeball (St. Pierre's eyeball; Shields did the molesting).
St. Pierre's tendency towards sterile, if pristine, performances have often been dismissed (by me as much as anyone) as a sort of a necessary evil, an intermediate step en route to his complete evolution as a mixed martial artist. Yet, this year, the likes of Anderson Silva and Jon Jones seem to have redefined to a great degree what exactly "evolution" looks like. In appreciable contrast to GSP, Jones and Silva have shown that, whether across 25 minutes or two and a half, whether by turns effortless (as in Silva's second victory against Sonnen) or exacting (Jones's opening round with Belfort), evolution can be consistently fascinating to witness.
Questions: how has what I've seen this year changed the view of GSP's recent performances? Were we seeing evolution or stagnation? Do I as a fan need GSP as much at the end of 2012 as I did at the beginning?
Why TUF Should Be Fully Marketed As A Comedy.
Because you have to laugh to keep from crying.
"As Schadenfreude As It Gets."
"Why Tito Didn't Pick Me?" [sic]
It's worth pointing out that in his email to me, my brother ended by saying "Maybe these are not that interesting (except for the Tito one)."
I'm not sure what the hell kind of article this would make. Anyway, remember Ed Herman's constant, agonized lamentations upon being passed up by Tito Ortiz during the third season of TUF? His televised sense of abandonment has been our source of mirth for these many years. We often use the phrase to describe someone exhibiting an excessive, persistent sense of outrage, like "Boo-hoo I was picked last in fifth grade gym class." (I was picked last in fifth grade gym class all the time, and some of my best friends were picked last in fifth grade gym class, so I can say that).
(This is relevant to the topic because Herman is part of the UFC and it is 2012 while I am writing about him).
"I don't understand why everybody likes Bas Rutten."
This, also, is a common sentiment among the Lee brothers. If you catch either of us in the right (or wrong) mood, you will be treated to a litany of reasons why Bas Rutten's general popularity as a commentator and personality is inconceivable and undeserved. Imagine with a gradual increase in volume, physical agitation, and discharged saliva:
- Rutten and Quadros's fine reputation as a commentating team is wildly overstated: frequently insisted that submissions were sunk in when they obviously weren't; called for fighters to execute maneuvers that would be obviously alien to them (i.e. Rutten insisting that Japanese pro-wrestlers go for the liver shot); Rutten was as prone to bias as Rogan is today just watch your PRIDE DVDs why don't you JUST WATCH THE DVDS!
- Rutten's constant fidgeting and hammy facial expressions while conducting interviews are annoying and I hate them.
- Six years ago I saw Bas Rutten at a comic book convention and when I came up to say hello and tell him I loved his fights, he was all like "Oh, yeah, uh, thanks," and kind of made like I was being a real bother or something even though he was just standing there so I don't think he's that nice and I don't want to hear about how nice you think he is okay so let's just drop it. Incidentally, the phrase "Why Tito didn't pick me?!" applies perfectly here.
This is relevant to the topic because Rutten fought in the UFC, and I am still complaining about this stuff in 2012.
Athletes Should Be Allowed To Take PEDs. Discuss.
A continuing problem. Jake Shields, Alistair Overeem, etc.
By idealistic, romantic standards, no PEDs. Fair play, purity of competition, and so on.
However, practically speaking: the ban on PEDs kept Overeem out of the cage this year. Will his suspension really change any of his habits beyond how conservatively he cycles? Will his next opponent get his ass beat any less severely? Theoretically yes, but in practice I doubt it.
Dude, don't retire.
His decision to retire doesn't bother me so much as all the enthusiastic support for his retirement that was going around ahead of the Silva fight. I don't get it. Wins over Pokrajac, Sosyznski (so many consonants...) and a surging Kingsbury are all solid accomplishments, and I'd be perfectly content to see him fill the roll of a showcase fighter versus Vera, Maldonado, Franklin, and Griffin.
I once ran into him at a Best Buy. He was wandering around the CD-Rs for like thirty minutes. What was that guy doing?
He doesn't get enough god damn credit.
Maybe Just Something Simple Like the 10 Best Fights So Far
This is a deceptively complicated prompt to fulfill.
Do you favor excitement, relevance, or sentiment? For example, in terms of raw competitiveness, Silva vs. Bonnar might not rate, but to the extent that it essentially salvaged a fight card and served as Bonnar's final turn in the Octagon, I'd say it's one of the best.
Things get more complicated if you start getting clever with the definition of "fight." For example, Silva vs. Sonnen II might trail directly behind The UFC vs. Injuries (Injuries by armbar).
1. Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo
BONUS PROMPT: FELLOW BJJ STUDENTS, PLEASE STOP ACTING LIKE EVERY CLASS IS AN AUDITION TO BE IN "THE UFC (IN 2012)."
Specifically, the white belt class at the Renzo Gracie Academy. It's as if they think Renzo is in some back room studying a hidden camera feed, and going "Whoa, that guy right there, beating the shit out of Rainer during warm-ups, what a talent! Assign him to my special squad of BJJ phenoms!"
Ailments I've suffered this year as a direct result of guys acting like they are auditioning for "the UFC in 2012" include:
AC Slater tear
Asymmetrical Limb Syndrome
A Dark and Soggy New York City