The MMA landscape routinely scores high on the incomprehensible scale, so perhaps we're blessed in our own way to live in a sports world where absurdity is the norm, coherence the exception. Now for a month in review:
When the news broke that Alexander Gustafsson would not be available to fight just days before the UFC on Fuel card in Sweden, it was handled with all the assembled care of a drunk teenager at the wheel of a flintstone car.
First, nobody was sure if Gustafsson was really injured. With sensible questions about the status of the main event in peril, the UFC reaction to the media inquiry was resolved with the type of language you'd expect out of any non-violent situation- "Shut up dickhead"
That was Dana White to Michael David Smith in case you decided to not to click the link.
Pride icon Wanderlei Silva diffused the tension by claiming he was flying out to Sweden to replace the injured Gustaffson, insisting it was no April Fool's joke. Except it was.
April 8th Matt Mitrione's Misguided Eruption of Zen
Finding insensitive remarks in the MMA world is like trying to find a needle of hay in a haystack, and Mitrione was this month's winner, calling Fallon Fox a "sociopathic, disgusting freak". Concerned about Fallon Fox's feelings, and the LGBT community in general, Dana White responded by demanding accountability from...wait for it...Ariel Helwani.
To be fair, Mitrione did receive a suspension(ish), and Mitrione did give a sincere apology. Kudos to both parties. Mr. Helwani on the other hand...consider yourself lucky. You got off light Mister.
April 13th Team Alpha Male Vying for Power in the Seven Kingdoms
Despite only coming in one size, Team Alpha Male continues to live up to its name by being men amongst boys in their division. With Joseph Benavidez, T.J. Dillashaw, and Urijah Faber all enjoying success this month, they continue to be a force to be reckoned with. Only Benavidez doesn't have to worry about their kryptonite: swift-footed Portuguese.
Woman Inherits the Earth
To quote Ellie Sattler above. We've had two female bouts this month following Rousey's title defense against Liz Carmouche. And every fight has been exciting in some fashion. Between the bloody war involving Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano and the swift crucifixion involving Sara McMann vs. Sheila Gaff, it's safe to say the women have more than earned their place in the spotlight. I'd be more than happy to pay for a card that has McMann vs. Tate and Rousey vs. Zingano on the same PPV.
The Ultimate Fizzler
A lot of people really wanted to believe in Uriah Hall. That belief was supported by crushing knockouts that each seemed more brutal than the last. If it wasn't Cella getting killed by a spinning back kick, it was Bubba McDaniels needing a pancake spatula to lift his broken orbital off the ground.
And yet none of that seemed to be enough to defeat a natural welterweight in Kevin Gastulem who is officially moving down. Didn't Phillipe Nover teach us anything?
Matt Brown Steals the Fox Show Away From the 2 Best Lightweights in the World
Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez put on a technical display, but neither fighter seemed to fight with urgency when it seemed like it mattered most in the final round. Could Josh Thomson be the real king without a crown in waiting?
More than any other event in recent memory, 159 will be remembered most for the grisly imagery on display. Yes, Jon Jones won his bout in expected fashion, but at the cost of his big toe ending up in a direction evolution only intended for amphibians.
Beyond that, the night ended being a cautionary tale for (to quote Ben Fowlkes' wife) for the "balls of the face", as no ocular cavity was safe with two bouts ending via eye injury. Rogan wasn't high enough to discuss how dumb nature is to place eyeballs near the brain.
The good news is that Marc Ratner will address this in front of the Association of Boxing Commissions.
Satan's Name is Jerry (or is it Jared?)
Stupid Judges Decision Award
Goes to Michael Bell, Derek Cleary and Edward Collantes for their wizardry in the Francis Carmont vs. Lorenz Larkin bout.
Tips to Being a Well Rounded Mixed Martial Arts Fan Addendum
Chad Dundas and Ben Fowlkes, who are responsible for the only MMA podcast worth listening to, do a segment called 'tips to being a well rounded MMA fan'. This month Chad suggested the documentary film 'The Imposter'. I concur. For nonfiction aficionados, may I suggest Pandora's Lunchbox by Melanie Warner.
Off Topic: NHL Playoffs 2013 Let's Muther*******!
Three Stanley Cup winners in the last three seasons all have a spot in this year's playoffs. Should be awesome. Minnesota is too talented to get swept, but also too inconsistent to stand a chance against the machine that is Chicago. I'm leaning towards St. Louis in the West though. Vancouver, San Jose, and Anaheim (though I predict Detroit for the upset) are frustratingly unpredictable. Elliot is playing well behind Hitchcock's trademark trapping style, so I favor them.
The East is full of teams that either barely made it (Ottawa/New York and New York), or needed to be in a poor division just to be lucky enough to make it. Though to be fair, Ovechkin took half a half-season off, and is one of the most enjoyable world class players to watch when motivated. Still, it's all about Pittsburgh and Boston in my opinion. Unfortunately for Boston they're playing the only team meaner, and tougher (well, if Toronto's goons get some quality playing time) then them in the first round, and might be too drained against the winner of New York/Washington. Pittsbugh's ridiculous depth at offense is just something I can't imagine anyone stopping. It'd be one thing if it was just Crosby, and Malkin and anyone that plays with them, but their acquisitions in Iginla and Morrow have been playing possessed. This isn't just the most talented team in the league. It's also a team built for playoff hockey. Only question mark is goaltending.[/TL;DR]
Dana's Good Deeds
We joke (even within this post) about MMA's oddball culture, and failed attempts at humanity, but this isn't one of them. Dana going up to Boston to write some checks is a nice gesture that deserves attention. Ignore the people using this story to criticize him.
Also, I think this season of Game of Thrones is already better than the last.