According to the book No Holds Barred: Ultimate Fighting and the Martial Arts Revolution by Clyde Gentry, Rorion [Gracie] considered several types of arenas for the original UFC including a floating platform surrounded by alligators. Other things he considered incorporating were barbed wire mesh and electric fencing, so as to play up the no holds barred vale tudo style of the fights. It’s pretty likely that had he gone that route, mixed martial arts wouldn’t still be around today, at least not in America or Japan.
As awesome as it sounds, alligator pits generally don’t work out that well in sports. The last sport to incorporate an alligator pit was Rollergames, which only lasted one totally radical season. I remember watching the show when I was a kid praying to the Lord that someone would fall in, but apparently God doesn’t answer those kinds of prayers. Around the same time I lost my faith … hmmmm…
You can’t help but pine for the days where you could actually consider mixing together barbed wire, wild animals, and no holds barred fighting. Whenever we talk about the WWE doing some MMA, that’s the kind of stuff I’d want from them. But that ship has sailed … maybe back in the wild unregulated days of 1993 you could make two men fight in an electrified ring but now the government has to stick it’s damn nose into everything and ruin our fun.
Of course, I do have to wonder about the veracity of the initial statement. General UFC lore taps Conan director John Milius as the creative mind behind the Octagon. No word on if he gets a cut of the lawsuit money Dana makes suing people over the shape.
Here’s a picture from a past UFC where you can see what an awesome job Cecil Peoples is doing judging a fight. Unfortunately Cecil was watching the fight back in section 202 instead of the one in the Octagon. Did history repeat itself?
**Update** Turns out Cecil wasn’t a judge at UFC66, which is where this image comes from. Damn you reality for ruining my fun!
Kit Cope hasn’t managed to do much in the MMA world other than penetrate Gina Carano. This of course makes him legendary in my books. He’s also a funny dude as proven by this interview:
Kit: I had a separation in my rib but it healed up in a few weeks it left a little lump but I’m still beautiful, but the knee injury happened while I was training for a fight in the AFL in Louisville, Kentucky. I was out at Quest in Timecula California. I was training with those guy Thierry Sokoudjou-I don’t know if you heard of him but he’s the guy who knocked out Rogerio Nogueira and then knocked out Arona.
JR: The world is watching and waiting on him to see his next move and see who he fights.
Kit: Yeah well I was watching as he tore my knee in half.
Now why did Sokoudjou destroying someone’s knee sound familiar? Oh yeah … he did the exact same thing to Frank Shamrock:
Following the fight the focus shifted to Shamrock’s knee injury suffered while training with Thierry Sokoudjou two weeks before the event. The thirty-four year old former UFC champion told MMAWeekly, “I tore my ACL and MCL, and partially tore my meniscus which apparently is really bad. I probably shouldn’t be walking around, but I just put that big brace on it and kept on going.”
If you ask me, there’s two things you don’t want to get fucked up: your knee and your back. Okay, your neck and brain are also pretty important. But when I think of horrific training accidents, the knee is pretty high up there because you got all sorts of muscles and shit converging together.
If your leg was Ohio, your knee would be Cincinnati. If Cincinnati gets wiped out, you might as well write Ohio off. Because really, who the fuck gives a shit about Columbus? Anyways, I don’t really know where I was going with that but the point is don’t let Sokoudjou near Cincinnati because he’ll fuck it up.
If you spent your youth smoking pot and getting some hot teenage breast action on, you may not be familiar with Warhammer. Here’s what Wikipedia says:
Warhammer 40,000 (informally known as Warhammer 40K, WH40K, W40K or just 40K) is a science fantasy game produced by Games Workshop. The game depicts combat between the armies of the fictional universe of the 41st millennium using 28 mm scale (approximately 1:65) miniature figurines which represent futuristic soldiers, creatures and vehicles of war.
That doesn’t really give you a feel for the whole ‘WH40K’ thing, so let me try to summarize: It’s about the lamest thing in the history of the universe. The only thing lamer than the Warhammer game are Warhammer books. They’re basically harlequin novels for four eyed freaks, with robo-swords and starships instead of tits and ass. Here’s the description of the book Josh is reading, courtesy of Amazon.com:
Having stabilised their gene-seed, and brought a halt to their mutation, the Soul Drinkers start rebuilding their Chapter with new recruits. But the recruits have their own ideas. Rather than protect the Imperium, they wish to wage war against it. With the Imperial forces and the Inquisition closing in on the renegade Chapter, can Sarpedon rally his troops to face the true enemy?
Honestly, Josh … WTF??? I always figured you for a Forgotten Realms or Dark Sun kinda guy. Hell, I imagined we’d meet up and shoot the shit about Dragonlance and discuss the pros and cons of third edition AD&D versus second edition. But alas you have to destroy my fantasy and reveal yourself to be a … science fiction freak of all things! I’ve failed my savings throw against disappointment.
Like a kid finding his Christmas presents in his parent’s closet a week before Christmas, we kind of ruined the whole Mark Cuban MMA thing. While other kids danced with visions of sugarplums and Fedor vs Barnett dancing in their heads, we already knew last night that the ‘main event’ for Cuban’s first show was Paulson vs Ford.
Overall, we did pretty damned good at predicting everything with Cuban. He’s basically throwing shows in the arena he owns for the TV channel he owns. He’s not going overboard financially … he’s starting small and seeing where that goes. And hey, in a lot of ways that’s a good idea. After Fedor vs Barnett, there’s really nowhere to go but down. And considering the lineup for their first show, there’s really nowhere to go but up.
But let’s get to the point: No matter how tame the first offering, Cuban’s foray into MMA is good for the sport. Past his own show on October 14th, he’s planning on featuring 24 full fledged MMA events on his HDNet Fight Night program through 2008. Some of the names he mentioned were the IFO (Steele Cage), Art of War, and even the IFL.
24 shows is pretty significant, and that’s a lot of money and exposure for other promotion companies and fighters that they wouldn’t otherwise get. So while Cuban’s events may not set the world on fire, the framework that Cuban is building is going to help other MMA companies get off the ground and out of the Pay-Per-View trap they’ve been stuck in for years and years. It will also give non-UFC fighters an avenue to gain some real exposure and earn some decent cash.
Overall, Cuban’s deal is great for the sport, even if it makes us hardcore fans yawn.