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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!

Who ever thought that a website meant to get in touch with your retarded High School friends could become so fucking popular? I certainly didn’t. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I like to use the site just to see how fat everyone’s become. It’s a moral booster that allows me to drag my useless carcass to the gym at least 3 times a week. Still, no one can deny just how big this thing is now. It’s so big in fact that if any of my grand parents were still alive (I’m not counting my evil grandfather, of course), they would probably be on it right now, looking to see which ones of their school chums haven’t turned into dust.

Other than provide a bastion of entertainment for the chronically bored, Facebook is pretty damn useful for networking. To my surprise, I’ve actually seen a few groups that are MMA related, and it got me thinking:”hey, maybe this fucking thing can get people interested in our website”. It’s with that in mind that I’m calling all of you Facebook addicted Jackals to join the group, and get others on the service to join as well. Sure, it’s shameless promotion, and we’re slowly selling our souls, but the more we do, the more you get out of us.

So yeah. Facebook sucks, but what the hell; join the fucking group already.

If you thought it would be hard for the Japanese to top PRIDE as gayest MMA promotion name ever (second only to ZEST ), you was WRONG!

A few days back their was brief mention that the Heroes circuit would soon become extinct, while this is yet to be completely confirmed, reports have surfaced that this is in fact a close reality. “Dreams” as the new show is allegedly called with look to merge what some have dubbed “Zombie PRIDE” (Dream Stage Entertainment Crew) with K-1 Heroes and create a sort of default MMA leader in Japan. If this is in fact true, than I guess it would be good in some regards because we may be able to see shows like “Yarennoka!!” more frequently and hopefully with the same talent pool.

Maybe this is one of those things like the Wii where no one gets it when the name is announced but down the road it just makes obvious sense. But I dunno … HERO’S was cool if a bit strange in it’s usage of punctuation. I’d rather have kept that or made it combine with Pride into “HERO’S PRIDE” which would have been hella cool. Or at least to me it would have.

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