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Somewhere between a tale of Luke Cummo going through his poop with chopsticks and talking about Richie Hightower getting dropped by the UFC, Ken Pavia drops a quote from Nick Diaz which is now my new mantra for life:

One of my favorite quotes was the advice Nick Diaz gave to little brother Nate before a WEC fight. While graphic in nature, it really is a life lesson. He said “F@#* him up, and don’t be a bitch.”

Those Diaz brothers … so philosophical and eloquent.

Fucking January. Every goddamn year, half the writers in the universe feel it’s important that they write lists detailing all the shit they thought was best and what they think should happen.

If Kevin Iole’s “My presumptuous opinion on what other people’s New Years resolutions should be” article wasn’t enough to make you shoot yourself in the fucking head, you’re gonna really love this turd by Ryan Hockensmith from ESPN entitled “Eight things to expect in ’08“. As with Steve Seivert’s less moronic list, I’m gonna break it down point by point:

1. Randy’s Return to the UFC
Sure, we all pray for this at the dinner table before eating, but there’s about as much chance of this happening as there’s a chance Dana White is going to announce he’s gay and engage in a sizzling threeway with Matt Lindland and Frank Shamrock.

Anyone who knows anything about the situation knows that Randy Couture would rather commit sepuku than bend over and take it from the UFC. And make no doubt about it, the UFC is currently setting shit up in courts so it’ll be a bend over affair. Long story short: No way in hell.

2. A year of mega-fights
Ryan tries to sell Dan Henderson vs Anderson Silva, Quinton Jackson vs Forrest Griffin, and GSP vs Matt Serra as mega-fights. Too bad most fans are too uneducated to care about Dan Henderson and GSP / Serra barely deserves to be a footnote when talking about mega fights. Griffin / Jackson is a good match that should be elevated to mega status by TUF, but give me a season’s worth of TV time and I’ll make people think Jake O’Brien vs Eddie Sanches is fight of the century.

To me, a mega fight is a match that people will remember for a long time. Tito / Chuck and Chuck / Randy and Chuck / Rampage and Wand / Chuck are mega fights. I’m sure there’s some mega fights that could happen that don’t involve Chuck Liddell … but the truth of the matter is that mega fights need mega stars, and the UFC just lost Rich Franklin and Matt Hughes. 2008 will be a building year as the next generation grows into the role required to really sell fights.

3. A boxer will try MMA
Well duh. So long as MMA offers a decent paycheck that doesn’t come with brain-damage attached, you’re gonna see washed up boxers step into the ring.

4. Here come the lightweights
Mark this as the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard someone say: “The 2007 year was not a great one for UFC’s 155-pounders and many of the division’s top stars still aren’t in the organization.” Well jeez. Here I was thinking that 2007 was THE YEAR of the lightweights. Besides Sherk holding shit up, the lightweight division couldn’t have had a better year. I’d venture to say off the top of my head that two or three of the best five fights of the year were lightweight bouts.

5. More fighters will flunk steroid tests
Yeah, they might in the minors, but I actually expect positives to go down for UFC events. Why? Because the more you educate the fighters on the subject, the easier it will be for them to cheat without getting caught.

6. St. Pierre and Silva become the consensus Top 2 pound-for-pounders
Hey, I can’t argue this. Jake already thinks Silva is number one and I only disagree because I think GSP deserves the spot.

7. A crazy “TUF” year
Ryan buys the idea that the UFC is completely changing up the format of TUF. While I expect some tweaks, I bet for the most part it’ll be same old, same old. I’d actually be a bit more confident that changes were being made if they didn’t have two interesting coaches to fall back on. But I bet Dana and the producers are like “Quinton + Forrest = Gold!”, and they don’t bother to do much else.

8. A new era of fighters
It’s nice that Ryan thinks UFC fighters are underpaid and need to make more. But I’ll bet 2009 will still see a lot of fighters on the undercard making less than 10k per fight.

For some reason, every time I have questions regarding M-1 I forget the fact that we’ve got a regular reader who’s part of the company and he’s more than happy to give me their side of the story and feed me insider info. All this even though we occasionally call them crazy Russians and 1001 other things I heard Papa Dana call them in the past.

Today, they were nice enough to give me an official english copy of the Yarennoka rules. The document is a very interesting look into the exact wording of rules, and goes from the obvious list of fouls right down to the specifics of dress code. Of course, the reason we were given this document was to shed light on the Akiyama / Misaki situation, so continue reading to see the pertinant parts of the document regarding that:

-Disqualification
If the fighter commits a foul or does not adhere to the instructions of a referee, “Caution 1″ will be given. The accumulation of 3 (three) cautions will result in a disqualification. However, if a foul with harmful intent is made, or intentional fouls are repeated, the referee can call an immediate disqualification.

Article 8. The following conduct is deemed a foul. The fighter who commits one of these fouls will be given a “Caution 1″ from the referee. A caution will be considered a negative factor and points will be deducted for the decision. The fighter will be disqualified when he receives 3 (three) cautions. The fighter will also need to pay a penalty, 10% of the fight money per caution, to the promoter for every caution the fighter receives.

13. When a fighter is on his “four point position” on the mat, a standing opponent must not kick the opponent’s face or head with his calf/shin/ankle/foot. Stomping is also not allowed. However, a knee(s) to the face/head is allowed

Article 10. When the fighter who receives a foul attack is seriously injured, the bout will resume after the full recovery of the fighter based on the decision of the referee and the ringside physicians. The fighter who made the foul will be disqualified in accordance with Article 7, only if the ringside physicians determine that the injured fighter is unable to continue the fight.

So as you can see, we’re still stuck in a bit of a pickle. There’s talk of a three foul system, but there’s also an immediate disqualification when an opponent is seriously injured. Four point position includes hands and feet down, but while ‘calf/shin/ankle/foot’ isn’t legal, ‘knee(s) to the face/head’ are!

So here’s the deal: If Misaki hit Akiyama with his knee and not the other parts of his leg, then it was a legal strike. Otherwise, article 10 says that it was at the ref’s discretion to stop the fight and give Akiyama a chance to recover. If Akiyama could not continue, Misaki should have been disqualified. Obviously that didn’t happen, so who the fuck knows what goes on now.

There you go people. I’m sure that’s raised more questions than answers! M-1 also put up an article regarding the rules on this but didn’t actually comment on their position, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

January 1st didn’t just mark the beginning of 2008 or the end of Matt Hughes’ reign as the most dominant welterweight in the world, it also marked the day his book ‘Made In America‘ was released. You’ve already heard some of the juicy bits, and if they were written specifically to sell copies at the expense of poor bastard Tim Sylvia, it worked! I’m picking this up as soon as I finish reading William Shatner’s book on Star Trek conventions. Don’t ask.

Anyways, for those of you living in the States (especially you non-book readin’ people), Matt Hughes is on a tour to promote the book and here’s your chance to meet him. No word on if he’ll be as surly as he was pre-UFC79 but who can blame him for that? Jake wasn’t exactly all that hyped and fun during the leadup to his bitchslap, and you gotta imagine a GSP beatdown being about 1000 times more unpleasant than that.

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