Hey everybody. Last year I tried to jump on this contest, and I totally kicked all the asses except I'm a fucking idiot so I posted the fucking thing a day late. Here it is, if you want a laugh. This is gonna be a less seanbaby-flavored experience.
This has been a strange, somewhat surreal year. We've seen Anderson Silva knocked out, GSP punched into retirement, a UFC belt go uncontested for two years, and Cody McKenzie maintain employment, somehow. It seems like the major things seem to go across three categories, though.
It started at the weigh-ins. A tense affair in general when Anderson Silva is involved, to be fair. I don't think I'm exaggerating to say that Anderson Silva is like no other fighter before him, and I can't see something like him happening again. Maybe that's for the better. More artist than martial, Silva is a moody, emotional, temperamental, petulant brat who happens to be the most breathtaking striker I've ever seen; a pugilistic demigod on a level with Pacquiao and Mayweather who happens to play with his food a bit much for some people's tastes. And oh fuck here he goes again he just kissed Weidman did you see that shit did you see Chris's nonreaction HE IS IN THAT DUDE'S HEAD THE MASTER JUST BEAT HIM AND HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW HE'S DEAD YET. Weidman's SO boned. So completely F'd in the A. And then...
...Fuck. Well, that ended that. How sadly appropriate is it that the only thing that could truly defeat the greatest fighter of my generation would end up being his insatiable ego? Anderson may win his title back; in fact, I fully expect him to do so in spectacular fashion; but the myth, the legend, the undecipherable puzzle? They're gone. He's King Hippo once you've figured out the pattern, whereas before he was Video Game Mike Tyson. We'll never look at him the same, neither in retrospect nor as his career heads towards its final act.
Guys, I just wanna point something out. As I write this, it has been 811 days since Dominick Cruz last stumbled, stuttered and twitch-stepped his way to a rage-inducing 50-45 scorecard. As much as I despise him (It's a fucking lot, just FYI), I can't help but respect the way he sort of reverse-HUNTO's his opponent, rendering them immobilized and incapable of any violent act and turning every fight into an awkward confusing dance full of sadness. One day, Cruz, Ryan Jimmo and Alex Caceres will meet over dinner and their combined auras will give the entire West Coast of the US Parkinson's. I'm not sure why I've decided this would naturally take place on the West Coast. Because California, I guess. Knowing my luck they would meet in New York. Anyways. Cruz has been a non-factor, which is kinda strange to think about when you consider how long his reign of terror lasted, starting with his destruction of poor Brian Bowles' fists. In the meantime, the division has been taken over by his polar opposite, the ultraviolent Renan Barao.
Barao's interim title, awarded after denying Urijah Faber's 80th attempt at a belt last year, seemed to be a paper title on the level of the interim title given to Carlos Condit after his argument/cardio session with Nick Diaz. (Look, Condit might have won the fight, but you won't get me to claim it wasn't a complete suckfest.) And then something happened. He dominated (a word used to describe Cruz's performances primarily with a smirk or quotation marks) walking cystic acne colony and future 40-year-old virgin Michael McDonald, he of the incomprehensible, curse-like power, and threw some early GSP shit at Eddie Wineland's face. Pretty sick shit. And suddenly, without Cruz having ever lost a fight (except his ongoing fight with his knees), he's become the fake champ, while Renan Barao is the real champ.
Rebirth, or For a Moment We Were Back in 2005 And It Was Awesome.
This is the most baffling thing about the past year for me. Mark Hunt is a legit top ten heavyweight in the UFC. Josh Thompson and Robbie Lawler are fighting for UFC belts and nobody has an issue with this. Urijah Faber is making fools look flat-out stupid. Wanderlei Silva found his chin again and put on a Godlike display of hatred towards cognitive thinking. What the hell, people? Huntooooooooooo should be a gimmick act on the level of Pat Barry. Faber's lost a step and isn't the same guy he was before Brown and Aldo broke him. Thompson is constantly injured/not really that good/just a bad stylistic matchup for Gil Melendez/proof that Gil is overrated. Lawler is just a redneck with a power shot that could kill a yak. Wanderlei was last relevant when Rampage Jackson punched the face off of him.
I'm sure it's all just TRT, but God, it's been amazing to watch. Thanks for the craziness, 2013.
Bonus stuff: Things I'm excited for about 2014
- Felice Herrig given a weekly time-slot to show off her badonk
- Watching Wanderlei do the hand-roll thing one more time, hopefully before hanging it up for good
- Ronda bending arms like an angry kid playing with action figures
- The punchgasm that will be Hendricks-Lawler
- Benson Henderson hopefully getting back to being in fun fights and destroying fools
- Clay Guida hopefully getting back to being in fun fights
- BJ Penn at THE WEIGHT CLASS HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN EIGHT FUCKING YEARS AGO FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK WHY ARE YOU SO FAT AND LAZY YOU FAT AND LAZY FAT LAZY HAWAIIAN FAT LAZY PIECE OF LAZYFAT I WANT TO LIKE YOU BUT IT'S LIKE CHEERING RUMBLE TO DO SOMETHING SMART OR LEONARD GARCIA TO JAB.