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UFC 165 title challenger Eddie Wineland has seemed like a highly improved fighter of late: his victory over Scott Jorgensen cemented him as a fighter to watch in his division, and his upcoming fight with Renan Barao should be quite exciting. However, what’s scary is that he could have gotten this good long ago. When he lost to Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez, you see, he had something holding him back. But that thing was not a succubus-like woman or a run-of-the-mill drug problem. It was his mustache:

It got to a point where I just wasn’t feeling like myself and I started second guessing things. I’d never fought with a mustache before, so why should I start now? There’s too much on the line to change things up. A friend of mine put it best. He said, ‘Listen, when you get in the cage, you ain’t no gentleman, so unleash the beast.” We shaved it off and that’s what I plan on doing. It’s all good and fun and makes for good pictures, but when it comes down to it, I’m not that type of fighter. I’m a gritty, in your face-type of person and when I face off with somebody, I’m not leaning back with my fists in the air, I get in your face and let them know I’m there to fight.

It’s interesting that Wineland’s dignified, gentlemanly mustache was forcing him to act like a dapper mensch in the cage. If breast implants can make female British soldiers fight better by increasing their confidence, then I guess a mustache could have the opposite effect by making the fighter want to sit around waxing it while reading through a monocle by the fireplace. In that case, shaving the mustache would definitely fix the problem.

TJ Grant Injured, Didn’t Take the Coward’s Way Out

Well, folks, it turns out that the story we heard about Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis not fighting because TJ Grant “was next” may have been—gasp—not completely forthcoming. It turns out that Grant had suffered a concussion early in July, which had still not been cleared by doctors at the time the fight was booked over one between Pettis and (the healthy) Jose Aldo. The UFC released a statement on its website confirming that Josh “The Punk” Thomson will be getting the title shot instead:

The main event for UFC Fight Night on FOX December 14 has been verbally agreed to as UFC lightweight world champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis will defend his title against number-five ranked contender Josh “The Punk” Thomson. Pettis recently reclaimed the belt from Benson Henderson, from whom he’d won the WEC lightweight title in 2010, via a first-round armbar that earned Submission of the Night honors. Thomson most recently earned a Knockout of the Night bonus for his highlight-reel finish of Nate Diaz. Neither Henderson nor Diaz had previously been stopped in their UFC careers.

TJ Grant also withdrew from a fight with Ben Henderson at UFC 164 because of a concussion suffered in training. At that time, some of Joe Rogan’s friends theorized that Grant may have been faking the injury due to a UFC conspiracy to make more money with the Henderson-Pettis rematch. That does not take into account the fact that Grant, as he puts it, took the coward’s way out. In fact, that was a little-theorized explanation that now seems to deserve some play with these repeat withdrawals.

How many times have Wanderlei Silva and other former Chute Boxers been knocked out in training and not even reported it to anyone? The existence of those people proves that the current furor over athletes sustaining concussions is only a fad. I hereby demand that TJ Grant and other cage fighters show increased willingness to sustain head trauma for my amusement, and until then, I declare them all weak-hitting pussies. Josh Thomson’s last opponent Nate Diaz would definitely say that about him.

Royce Gracie: Jiu Jitsu and Steroids are Enough

In a sign that the UFC 1, 2, and 4 winner might be losing a few of his marbles, Royce Gracie has denounced the younger generation of his family for not focusing exclusively on jiu jitsu in an interview with MMAFighting.com.

Jiu-jitsu is enough. I’ve trained boxing in the past to learn the distance, trained wrestling to understand how he would take me down, but I won’t get there to fight my opponent’s game. The (new) guys (from the Gracie) family want to complement their game, like if jiu-jitsu was incomplete. I guess they forgot a little about history.

I do jiu-jitsu my whole life, so why would I try to stand and bang with Mike Tyson? I’m going to learn boxing in 6 months because my opponent is good in boxing? That makes no sense.

Roger, like any other member of the family, is trying to learn wrestling, boxing. I believe in pure jiu-jitsu. That’s what I’ve done in the past. You have to go back to your roots and train Gracie jiu-jitsu.

Of course, Royce kept quiet about the part where his 100% pure Gracie jiu jitsu finally overcame the great villain Kazushi Sakuraba. Of course, it had nothing to do with the fact that Royce’s urine broke the meter for the anabolic steroid nandrolone at the time, meaning that he was probably right in the middle of a cycle when he put his pure jiu jitsu into action. But so sayeth the champ: jiu jitsu is enough! As the elder Gracie sagely mentions, Gregor, Neiman, and Roger are kinda stupid for learning how to box and wrestle with the rest of the world. Why do that when you can get by on a steady diet of octopus, armbars, and Cold War-era East German surplus pharmaceuticals?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Football League (NFL) recently took an unprecedented step for player safety by making tackles leading with the crown of the defender’s helmet illegal. It has also been illegal for several years to hit a defenseless player in certain situations. But now, the default for NFL referees has become throwing the flag first and asking questions later. They are also now throwing flags for traditional textbook football hits that are not actually illegal: yesterday, I saw Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore flagged for a hit on New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks that was completely clean. He made contact with his shoulder pad and forearm; the crown of the head was nowhere in sight, and no other rules could be complained about.

As I heard on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast (hosted by Ross Tucker, who will be sending me an autographed picture in the mail), one might think that such textbook legal hits should be celebrated as the right way to deliver a forceful blow while maintaining fair play. But instead, the “strike zone” for tackles has been shrunk to the point where literally no football moves are legal anymore on certain plays.

Therefore, football players have begun to use Mixed Martial Arts moves to fill the void left by the lack of unpenalizable tackling opportunities. While standard punching, kicking, and spitting are all penalized, suplexes and double legs are not. CagePotato has compiled several gifs and movies of MMA body slams being used in football, and not a single penalty flag is in sight. New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin also brought in UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman to show the players how to kick ass on the field. Unfortunately, the latter did not have the intended impact, as the Broncos took advantage of the Giants’ lack of MMA experience to put up 41 points to the Giants’ 23. I wonder what that converts to in Compustrike takedown totals.

wsof

This weekend a judge almost borked up one of the biggest fight in boxing history by scoring a clear Floyd Mayweather Jr win as a draw. The scary part isn’t so much that this kind of thing can happen, but that it happens so much that it can totally happen even at the highest levels of the sport. Commission fuckupery is rampant across combat sports and extends past just the judges and refs into all areas they control. Take for example an incident that happened at Saturday’s WSOF 5 event in New Jersey:

Elvis Mutapcic, set to make his promotional debut at World Series of Fighting 5 on Saturday night against Jesse Taylor, was scratched by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board for allegedly taking a medication pre-fight that wasn’t disclosed to the commission.

Mutapcic said a woman on the commission said she saw him take a pill. He said his manager, helping work his corner, merely took his heart medication. And then Mutapcic said the commission worker even changed her story later to say the fighter didn’t take the pill.

“I was told it wouldn’t be a bad idea going to get a drug test after we left here, and even before the co-main event started we were on our way to the emergency room to get another drug test and prove I didn’t take anything,” Mutapcic told MMAjunkie.com. “I plan on suing the New Jersey athletic commission for everything they’ve got.

“Right after they told us we couldn’t fight, I said I’d take another drug test from (the commission). And they said, ‘Oh, we don’t have any drug tests, but we won’t suspend you.’ So I wanted to go out of my way to clear my name and prove I never took anything. I’m a hard-working fighter who works his ass off, and I don’t want to be discredited.”

In what seems like the most obvious explanation, the commission employee mistook a manager taking medication for a fighter and had the fight called off. When the mistake was realized, no admission of commission wrongdoing was made - they just changed their tune to say even the presence of medication was good enough to scrap the fight.

See, that’s the part that really gets my goat. These commissions are incapable of admitting when they fuck up – partially because they’re stubborn dickholes, but also partially to avoid lawsuits like the one Mutapcic says he’s going to launch against them. Meanwhile, mistakes continue to get made, ones that can heavily impact or change the course of a fighter’s life. All while the people messing up continue to draw paychecks without any repercussions.

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