A Fightwork Orange: Notes from my Insane Labor of Love

Gen....gentlemen? Is that you? Ah, you see contact with the outside world is sparse. I've heard it is now a new year. Is it 2015 as I'd imagined? I hope so. I have no track of time these fortnights. Certainly this project will be over soon, as I've begun to gnaw on my own forearm for protein. I'm not ashamed of the taste, as the appendix is given to humans to filter out the hair, of which my Italian heritage has decided there is plenty.

The meat tastes of carbohydrates, brown liquor, and shame. I feel that is sufficient for one's life. I'm communicating to you because I have been holed up in my home office for many a week doing nothing but watching fights from 2011. I took this project on myself knowing the consequences, yet I still remain a captive to my office chair.

I've released a picture of myself to let the outsiders know I'm doing fine and taking this project in stride.



Yep, I am the picture of happiness! My finished column will still debut in late-January. That I am on schedule for. However, my grading process is still occuring, so I feel the need to share a few of my notes I've gathered over this time frame.

-- First off, I'm sorry for the lack of YWICS. I love writing it as much as you faithful readers love consuming it, but I simply have no time with this consuming me. Not to make excuses, but my mother has pneumonia, so I've been going back home often to check on her.

-- I'm currently on schedule. What that schedule means is up in the air. It could mean the Top-100. It could mean the Top-150 or it could mean the Top-200. Either way, by the end of January, my column will be out.

-- I have currently watched over a hundred fight shows from 2011, and I have to say, without hyperbole, Legend Fighting Championship is P4P the best out there. Legend has the best production values from a non-Zuffa promotion, the crowds are lively and fun, the fights are outstanding, and their commentary team is money. Regardless of their rivalry with OneFC, I need more Legend in my life in 2012.

-- I think Mike Schiavello is the best commentator in MMA, but holy shit I can only take Voice in limited doses. You watch enough of him and it's just about enough. It becomes clear that he pre-writes his quips, and especially lately, now that he has some love, he gets more into his ego then calling the fights. Trigg, like Urban Meyer, I like 100x more in the booth than on the sideline, but any more you see him forcing laughs at Mike.

-- Sean Wheelock and Jimmy Smith are the best commentary team in MMA. I'm up for debate for anyone that disagrees but I doubt you do. Watch a Strikeforce event, you'll bitch about the commentary, watch a UFC event, you'll bitch about the commentary, even watch an HDNet fight, and there will be some hacky shit that goes on. Bellator? No. Sean and Jimmy are smooth, subtle, and have a great relationship.

-- Regarding JMMA. I could make an entire FanPost about this but I won't. Listen, I want JMMA to survive and thrive. I want that to be a viable option for fighters to make a living, I want television networks and PPV outlets to pick it up, but the problem lies in the fighters. My anger began at Dream's "Fight for Japan" show, a show that I was excited to watch and review, as I was sure it would bring the best out of everyone fighting to show pride for their country. No. What I saw was something that people have said for years but I disregarded as jingoism or favortism towards American or Brazilian forms of MMA. Not anymore. At a benefit show DESIGNED TO BRING MONEY TO JAPANESE FLOOD VICTIMS, there was taunting, laughing, ducking, waving while being tackled, sticking their tongue out, mocking, and shit-talking from MULTIPLE JAPANESE FIGHTERS! Are you kidding?! This is an event put together to benefit your country and you're clowning and laughing at your opponent?! Fine, I thought, the Japanese are experiencing a time of horrific trauma. Maybe that's their way of dealing with tragedy. NOPE! I've seen it at every single Asian card I've reviewed. Japanese fighters taunt their opponents, drop their hands, wave their heads, chuckle at their opponents, do hip dances, EVEN WHEN THEY'RE LOSING! I don't know what the fuck is going on with the Japanese culture and the JMMA training, but I've never wanted Chad Mendes to double-leg an entire culture's Featherweights before any more than I do now.

-- Totally forgot to mention a critical point on my grading system: The "Oh Shit!" meter! No idea why I forgot to bring it into my grading post, but that's what it is. Any "Oh Shit" moments get a point in that round,

-- Ring Card Girls Ranking:

1. M-1

2. MFC

3. Bellator

4. Shark Fights

5. UFC

842. Tachi Palace

-- Trends that Need to Stop:

1. Corners yelling Muay Thai "HEYYY!" after every strike.

2. Rogan's "OH!" after every decent strike.

3. Cornermen carrying a fighter on their shoulders. Listen, your dude just won a 29-28 decision, he didn't TKO Apollo Creed in the 15th.

4. Refs making themselves a part of the action. This makes me fucking furious. The Chip Sniders of the world, the refs coining catchphrases, Kim Winslow being awful, etc... Be a great ref like Herb and Mirg and you'll earn respect. I don't know what it was about Dan Mirg and heavyweights, but I want him to be ref every heavyweight fight ever. Not saying, just saying.

-- Finally, something with the UFC commentary team has to change. Goldberg and Rogan seem bored, Goldberg STILL (after ten years) gets corrected by Rogan. Goldberg still calls fights without any more knowledge than someone watching at their buddy's house. Rogan still has to correct Goldberg at just about every fight, which either means, after TEN YEARS, Goldberg hasn't learned shit, or his bosses have told him to focus on plugging The Ultimate Fighter, Bud Light, and TapOut. Rogan is Rogan. Thankfully he doesn't bring his years of "fighting" in Tae Kwon Do into broadcasts like he does in every podcast, but his color is solid. However, you could put a Goldberg/Rogan PBP into about 20% of fights and they'd all sound the same. Fill in the blanks if you want. Underrated ground game, high-level striking, Jiu-Jitsu black belt, improved his striking, looking to the take the fight to him, best shape of his career, etc...

So alas, gents, I will stay duct-tape to my office chair and keep working on my project. My captors just felt it would be good for my self-esteem to send you a message from the inside. Is it sunny outside? I shall not know for many weeks.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.