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Everyone likes to say that Steve Mazzagatti is the king of pornstaches. But I’d like to expose you guys to the REAL king of pornstaches … Andy Hug. Who the fuck is that? Andy is perhaps one of the coolest K1 kickboxers in the history of the sport. I was up in Toronto last night at Lifer’s place eating Lifefood and smokin doobs and we popped in a History of K1 video, and Hug was in it half the time, either kicking people in the eye socket or getting himself executed. It was nothing short of spectacular. And now it is my mission to educate you all on the awesomeness that is Andy “Pornstache” Hug.

Are you having a hard time trying to understand what the fuck is going on in Japan with K1 and Zombie Pride teaming up and killing HERO’s to create something new? Yeah, me too. But fortunately this is where Zach Arnold comes in handy. He’s like a filter for all the shit that goes on over there: odd and confusing info comes in, and Zach translates it into something that makes at least a bit of sense. He’s honed this by trying to understand Japanese Pro Wrestling for over a decade or something, and god only knows how retarded that stuff is.

The story of the day is this report about a new Japanese event produced by K-1 and DSE called “Dreams.” The long and the short of it — K-1 gets all the TV revenue, DSE gets the house show revenue, and Akira Maeda is gone. This makes total sense given what has been speculated on this site for the past two weeks — that Ishii, in jail, is calling the shots and is basically isolating all MMA companies from TV except for K-1.

This leaves DSE (w/ Sakakibara’s production company helping) to basically do all the work and apply the elbow grease. Ishii and K-1 get the easy TV money while DSE has to work for their cash. K-1 is in total control of the major Japanese MMA scene for 2008.

So it sounds like Zombie Pride really is back from the dead, and will be throwing more shows just like Yarennoka. K1’s only involvement will be feeding this stuff to TV. Say what you will about sketchy Yakuza involvement, but I’m kinda excited about this. Perhaps it was the sleep deprivation or the fun we had on the site as we all watched the event on our laptops and blogged together, but shows like that are what cemented me as a die hard MMA fan.

Steve Seivert asks a question about UFC 80 that we’ve begun having to ask on a fairly regular basis: Where’s the hype?

While Penn is a major star fighting in a title bout for the vacant lightweight crown, there just doesn’t seem to be that much interest stateside in UFC 80 … the message boards aren’t lighting up like they do with other UFC events and the anticipation just doesn’t appear to be there this time out. Let me know if I’m missing something.

Since I’m not a ‘normal’ fan, I can’t really tell you if the UFC has done it’s job of advertising the fight to the casual viewer; I’d have to call my brother and ask him if UFC 80 ads between the latest James Bond marathon on Spike have done their job. My bet is they probably have – remember that BJ Penn was last seen on the TUF5 finale kicking Jens Pulver’s ass. So just your standard advertising campaign on television has probably done enough to get the average dude to consider picking this up if there’s nothing else happening next weekend.

As for the hardcore fans, I can explain to you why no one is talking about UFC 80: there’s way too fucking much going on. When Ken Pavia said that Joe Silva was booking up the next few months, he wasn’t joking. Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen more signings than we normally see in two months. It’s been apeshit bananas at UFC headquarters, and it’s completely overshadowed Penn/Stevenson in MMA internet circles.

You get a feeling that this is why the WWE goes to epic levels of retardation to try and keep their matchmaking and plans a secret: when you don’t control the release of information outside your company, it can torpedo your ability to build hype the way you normally would. If all these bookings hadn’t come out till after UFC80, then perhaps all the Joe vs BJ threads on forums wouldn’t have been buried so quickly.

Besides, most of the ‘hardcores’ know that Penn vs Stevenson is at best as competitive as Babalu/Liddell. In other words, Penn is a very clear favorite and it’ll be a huge upset if he loses. Werdum vs Gonzaga is a more intruiging bout because people finally get to see if Gonzaga’s win over CroCop really meant he deserves a spot in the top ten. And for Werdum it’s a chance to clear the stink of lameness from his fight with Arlovski. But it’s hard to get excited for any heavyweight match since I can’t remember the last exciting fight in that division. I’ve just been burnt too many times.

Just last week I was wondering what the fuck was up with Tito Ortiz and the UFC matching him up against Lyoto Machida. Well, it looks like an answer is becoming apparent: Tito still hasn’t signed a new contract with the UFC, so of course the UFC has basically benched him till his terms expire and is now sticking him up against someone who’s likely to make him look look like shit.

This isn’t new territory for the UFC … back when Brandon Vera (or his manager as the official story goes) was being a punk about re-signing with the UFC, they benched him and word was they were going to make his last fight against a human blanket like Carmello Marrero or Jake O’Brien. Oh, and of course this is still ongoing with Andrei Arlovski.

So now the UFC gets to basically stick it to Tito, while at the same time saying “You want to be paid like the best? Prove that you’ve still got it.” As Dave Meltzer says, it actually works both ways for the UFC:

Clearly, a fight with Machida is designed as a big name opponent to stamp Machida as a star to the American public. But it’s the classic win/win for the promotion, because a strong Ortiz, like him or not, can headline against any fighter on this list and through the rub, make them a bigger star to the buying public. And if he can put together a winning streak, he would once again draw huge numbers for a title match.

And here I was thinking they were being dumb, when they’re just being their usual cunning selves. I’d say it was a smart move if it wasn’t for the fact that their machinations are resulting in worse fights for the fans and might drive Tito into the arms of another promotion. I’m not the biggest Tito fan in the world myself but ya gotta recognize he’s got a lot of value and would be the world’s biggest pimp feather in the cap of a rival company.

With all the changes we’ve made recently, I completely forgot to upload our Fightlinker desktop wallpaper. I mean, other than the fact that maybe only 20 people actually give a shit about this, we were busy, alright!

I made two versions for you guys; a normal resolution one, and one for you wide-screen freaks. Finally, you can have everyone’s favorite smiling Jackal on your desktop. It’s so exciting, I can feel my balls tingling… enjoy!

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