Greetings once again, you awful bunch of Zuffa Zombies, unwashed miscreants, ignorant churls, basement-dwelling trolls, "writers," mark-ass marks, trick-ass marks, and of course the miserable, self-hating scumbags. Welcome to the Haters' Guide, an occasional series in which Mookie Alexander and I (Patrick Wyman) shoot the breeze about a variety of topics related to the upcoming card.
Sit back, my fellow connoisseurs of verbal and written abuse, and let's get started.
Demetrious Johnson and the ennui heard ‘round the world
Patrick: I'm pretty sure we just did this with the underappreciated Renan Barao, but here we go again. Mighty Mouse is awesome - he's literally the only person on the face of the planet who can pull off some of the things he does with footwork, angles and phase-shifting - and outside of the hardest of the hardcore fans, nobody gives a shit. Maybe it's because he's not a talker, maybe it's because he spends his time tucked away in the most beautiful corner of North America, or maybe it's because he's roughly the height and weight of an overweight Labrador Retriever.
The first two complaints are perfectly valid. Prizefighting is entertainment, not sport, and a non-negligible part of the experience of watching a fight is enjoying the lead-up to the bout. Nobody cares about the Pacific Northwest, despite Mookie's and my protestations to the contrary (for which, fuck you).
The last isn't. The lighter weight classes are where the real innovation and entertainment is to be found in our sport, not in windmilling, oxygen-depleted brawls between two morbidly obese heavyweights who should be required by law to wear t-shirts in the pool. If you're a REAL FUCKING FIGHT FAN (he said, using his best Dana White voice) then get out there and spread the gospel of Jose Aldo, T.J. Dillashaw, Renan Barao, and Mighty Mouse.
Mookie: Last time we did this bit it ended with Renan Barao losing, so if Johnson loses on Saturday then The Haters' Guide officially does curses, too. I can't honestly fault the UFC for their inability to market Mighty Mouse as just as big a star as Jones or Rousey or even Weidman, so it's all down to "Why don't the fans care?"
The prevailing criticism of Mighty Mouse's style was that he wasn't finishing. He's recorded back-to-back finishes, including a brutal KO of Joseph Benavidez that ruined their celebratory dick cake party.
It all goes back to not liking small people. We're a big country with big people and big beliefs and big food and a big penis of a state. We see Johnson and think "I could crush him" because he's so tiny and unassuming. Why do you think the UFC has twice booked him, as a CHAMPION, for the main event of a TUF Finale? He is only on PPV because the UFC has 70 events to run and so few title fights to spread out for their shows.
Mighty Mouse will win, he'll dominate again, and the crowd will continue not to care because we're just that way. Tiny people only interest us when watching TLC or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Patrick: So not only is Mighty Mouse the fastest fighter of all time and one of the cleanest technicians in every phase, but now he can knock you the fuck out or yank your limbs into a pretzel as well? Seems unfair, frankly.
At some point, we're going to need to get over our Randy Newman-esque "Short People Got No Reason..." type of thinking, because it's horseshit. Bigger isn't always better - I'm looking at you, Texas - and acknowledge that these diminutive speedsters are every bit as badass as some athletic giant who's only in the UFC today because he was too deranged or uncoachable to play more lucrative team sports as a child.
Rory MacDonald and the black hole of personality
Mookie: It's one thing to be lacking in charisma, it's another to be so devoid of it that you immediately question whether or not you're looking at a human being. Rory MacDonald's personality ranges from irritating hipster (redundant) to robot, and the end result is always a total disinterest in Rory outside of the cage. He's already gotten flak for not being "exciting" in recent fights, so combine that with making Cain Velasquez look like The Rock and you've got most of the world rooting against him vs. Tyron Woodley, who somehow has erased his "boring fights" tag in record time. Rory can win fans over if he can beat Woodley in impressive fashion, before losing them with an awkward-ass interview with Joe Rogan.
Patrick: In a sport full of awful-tattoo-having dude-bros clad from head to toe in foil-pressed T-shirts and Ed Hardy jeans and oh god just kill me now, one might think that Rory MacDonald's faux-glasses, sweater-vest, wine-sipping hipster thing might be a welcome change from the norm. It's not. The cold, clinical approach he brings to the cage extends outside of it as well, to the extent that the next time a flash of emotion crosses MacDonald's face will be the first. Newsflash, Waterboy (I'm not fucking calling him "Ares", because randomly deciding to change your nickname is bullshit): it worked for Hannibal Lecter, but that's kind of a one-time thing, you know what I mean?
Jimmo'd: Tim Burke's ode to Canada's greatest fighter
Tim Burke: Who wants to be bored to tears on Saturday night? Me me me!, says fucking nobody. Yet you're going to PAY to watch the master of the wall and stall, the savant of the dreaded karate chop, the goof that does the robot for some reason - Ryan Jimmo. The UFC is in my hometown of Vancouver, and I'm not going to the event. I'm not even going to order the event on PPV.
To protest the fact that this black hole of entertainment has been placed on the main card of a large (yet pretty lame) event. Aren't there Fight Nights in Yellowknife coming up or something? If not, there should be. And he should be on the undercard of that sort of show. Just don't put him on Fight Pass. I'll go through the 19 emails, 7 phone calls, and CIA vetting to cancel the damn thing if it comes to that.
Folks, the UFC is doing you dirty. Don't be a sheep. Do your part - when Jimmo comes out to It's A Small World or some other awful fucking song, turn your televisions off. Head off to get a frosty Molson Canadian for 11 dollars (Canadian sucks but they don't sell anything else there) if you're in the arena. Hell, just turn your back to the cage. ANYTHING. Show Dana and Silva and that Craig guy that's always around but I don't know what his job is that you won't take this anymore.
Or just bring OSP signs. Lots of OSP signs. He's my favorite fighter this week.
And don't call me Timmo.
Arlovski-Schaub: More broken glass than the streets of New Orleans after Mardi Gras
Mookie Alexander: This is one of those fights that you fantasized about just for the comical thought of it, but it's actually happening. Andrei Arlovski is back in the UFC, and he's taking on Brendan Schaub in what is an actual PPV fight in 2014. Arlovski isn't necessarily a chinny fighter, but his defense and decision-making is ... well it's shit. The hallmark of Arlovski's sleeptown collection is his fight against Fedor, where he went for a flying knee for no reason and Fedor performed the first ever mid-air euthanization. Only Demian Maia against Nate Marquardt can rival the rare task of phase-shifting straight into unconsciousness while taking flight.
Brendan Schaub was supposed to be one of the promising prospect-esque fighters to come out of that mess that was TUF 10, and results have been inconsistent. I honestly can barely remember most of his wins, but I can sure as hell can recall his losses. Roy Nelson ended his TUF 10 dreams by sending him to sleep with the one punch he's capable of throwing with accuracy. On the heels of a KO win over the Croatian impostor in Mirko Cro-Cop's body, Schaub was all lined up to beat the decaying corpse of Big Nog, only for Nogueira to make like Cain Velasquez and snipe him out. Of course, the "best" of Schaub's KO losses came to Ben Rothwell, who turned doom into a win by sending Schaub into another universe where his whole life was dedicated to scale up towards the top of the Rockies.
There's no two ways about it - someone is getting knocked the fuck out. Arlovski has superb takedown defense, Schaub isn't a takedown machine, so this should be contested mostly standing. If the TV is on loud volume and your back is turned and it sounds like you hear your prized porcelain breaking, don't worry, it just means the fight just ended.
Post-script: Schaub just changed his nickname from "The Hybrid" to "Big Brown", and I have no idea what the hell that's supposed to mean other than a rhyming scheme for announcers to use ("Big Brown goes down!").
Patrick: I can already hear the tinkling sound of broken glass chins echoing off the Octagon canvas, and it's not even Saturday yet. (I can't top Mookie's rant - it was just so HATEFUL - so I'm not even going to try.)
We'll see you back here soon, fellow scumbags. Until then, keep hating. Or don't. We don't really care.