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Mike over at Bloody Elbow points out that it looks like the UFC is choosing HD DVD over the Blu Ray technology. If you didn’t know, the HD and Blu Ray technologies are locked in a battle to be the next big tech thing. The world hasn’t witnessed a battle like this since 8-track vs Cassette tape or VHS vs Betamax.

Of course, it doesn’t really matter who wins because if you ask me, neither of these dumb fucking things are ever going to really take off. Regardless of how you package it, disc technology has moved way past practical and is just utter bullshit now.

CDs were bad enough for scratching and skipping … then they came out with DVDs – the concept being instead of 1 highly scratchable layer, they now have several! And both these new technologies hold even more info on even more layers, meaning the second you put one of the discs on top of your television it’s gonna get dirty, scratched, and stop working.

I’m all about data storage, and while that might not seem like a viable option, I’m betting it will be in five more years. You wait and see. Until then, if you want to spend 400 bucks on one of these new HD or Blu Ray players, go ahead and have fun. Me, I’d rather just burn the money on hookers and blow. Same thing, except I guess you have a slightly better chance of catching herpes from a hooker than from a blu ray player.

2006 was year of the welterweight. That year saw great fights from Georges St Pierre, Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Karo Parisyan, Diego Sanchez, and so on and so on. 2007 was the year of the lightweight, not for any specific breakout fighter, but because the division as a whole gained a reputation for always having the best fights. So who’s up next for best division? Could it be … the middleweight division?

Now before you call me crazy, read this:

Reports out of Xtreme Couture suggested that he looked more like a natural middleweight and the evidence from the weigh-in at UFC 79 seem to suggest that he’s not cutting much weight at 205. There Silva would have a quicker and easier road to the title and is an attractive matchup with either Anderson Silva or Dan Henderson. Hughes has also long entertained thoughts of moving up to 185 and could try to rejuvenate him career there as well.

Adding Wanderlei Silva and Matt Hughes to a division that just got Evan Tanner and Dan Henderson would certainly do a lot to shore up the deficiencies that made the middleweight division the runt of the 2007 litter. And who knows … it looks like the momentum is starting to shift towards Matt Lindland possibly returning in 2008.

There’s a lot of really big ‘ifs’ involved in the middleweight division shaping up for 2008. But if all that shit did happen, it would be pretty damned awesome.

Sean Salmon dropped by MMAJunkie to say happy new years to all the peeps there, and to say he’d be taking a break from active competition for a while:

On that note, I have re-evaluated my approach (and then re-evaluated it again and again) and will be taking off until I believe that I am a new fighter. I got in this game 25 months ago and fought 19 times, but I never gave myself a chance to improve. Honesty, I thought I was the next world champion. I have been humbled and can admit when things need to be fixed, and that is what we are doing here. I am taking the time to fix everything — even the things that I always believed I was best at. The next time you see me in a cage, I will be the best version of me that I can present. And for the people that really care, my health will always come first, so relax.

Here’s hoping Salmon doesn’t do any wrestling training for a few months and ends up in Thailand or something. There seems to be so many guys who get stuck training the same shit all the time instead of working on new skills or integrating new skills into their existing skillsets. Matt Hughes and Rich Franklin come to mind. On the other end of the spectrum is Jens Pulver, who worked his ass off to develop his submission skills and applied a killer standing anaconda choke against Cub Swanson in his last fight.

Also on Sean’s to do list should be some lessons on how not to look like you’ve died every time you lose. I dunno where they train you in stuff like that, but it certainly would be useful for him.

Remember a little while ago, we mentioned the fact that Quinton Jackson was getting sued by White Chocolate Management, a company that was working to secure sponsorships, appearances, and other money making opportunities for Rampage? Well, I have to admit at the time that I wasn’t really expecting White Chocolate to do much more other than put out press releases regarding this and blow a lot of smoke up people’s asses.

Well, here’s all the documents filed by WCM regarding the lawsuit, and after reading through them I think they might actually have a decent case. Basically it comes down to this: after Rampage knocked out Chuck, Rampage’s trainer and manager Juanito Ibarra started rejecting all of the deals WCM was sending their way. Furthermore, he also started telling people WCM put in touch with him that WCM had nothing to do with representing Rampage. There’s also claims that Ibarra also tried to sneak WCM deals through the backdoor to avoid commissions, but I didn’t see any evidence of that laid out in the legal docs.

All in all, I can see why WCM would be pissed. It’s one thing to reject deals that are being offered, but to make WCM look like lying posers and then stealing deals …. Yeah. If all this is true, it wouldn’t surprise me. Ibarra is from the boxing world after all, and you haven’t really made it in that scene till you’ve stabbed a dozen people in the back.

MMA Magazine Review: Fighters Only
Issue Reviewed: December 2007
Rating: 8/10

We’re starting off with this one because the editor Hywel Teague is a regular reader and commentator so I thought I’d get his magazine done first to avoid harassment and any attempts at bribery. As it stands, he wouldn’t have had to bribe me very much because I’d place Fighers Only as one of the best magazines out there.

Overall the magazine looks pretty sharp, with decent graphic design and layout that reminds me of FHM. The magazine is 100 pages long with 34 pages of advertising, mainly from UK fight supply and supplement stores. Barely any ‘meathead ads’ (bodybuilding freaks doing retarded flexes to sell SUPERZOMG POWDER) which was nice.

There’s 9 main articles of various quality… a good general piece on white collar workers who train and fight in MMA, the history of Japanese MMA, a review of UFC78 and the Strikeforce show, plus a breakdown of Toronto ‘from an MMA point of view’. Overall the quality was high … the Japanese scene article was written from a general perspective but included a lot of facts that I didn’t know before, and the white collar article was entertaining and had a list of fighters and their past/current day jobs (for instance, gay Rory Singer was a lab technician with murse aspirations).

Interview / article pieces included Roger Huerta, Gary Shaw, Glibert Melendez and UK fighter Dan Hardy. I was a bit dissapointed that the cover photo of Anderson Silva only related to the UFC78 review and not an actual article on him. The Huerta and Shaw articles didn’t really break any new ground, but the Melendez and Hardy interviews were solid.

The real strength of the magazine comes from all the stuff in between … they condense all the big MMA news for the month into six pages for easy reading, and have a number of good editorial columns, an MMA gadgets section, hot girl of the month, and UK fight roundup. Last but not least they leave the ass end of the magazine for a bunch of training info.

The submissions section is pretty basic, but I guess there’s not much of a point to put a lot of the more complicated stuff into a magazine like this. The articles on rest, cardio training, and circuit training were useful … sure the internet is full of this stuff but I put more stock into what Fighters Only tells me rather than the thousands of websites just cut and pasting god knows what into their shitty banner revenue sites.

All in all, this mag is a great read from front to back. While the more hardcore fans probably won’t learn anything new from most of the pieces, the whole thing is well written and puts all the facts together in one entertaining place. My only real gripe with it is the weird shape of the magazine itself. At 9.5 x 12 inches, it’s too big to sit on the back of my toilet, which is where I get the majority of my reading done.

Pros: Good read, slick look, smart mag, useful training section.
Cons: No ‘scoops’ or breaking news, a bit harder to find / more expensive since it’s a UK publication. Doesn’t fit on the back of my toilet!!!

Final Conclusion: Fuck buying this magazine … I recommend you subscribe to it, although god knows how you’re supposed to. While all the other mags came crammed full of subscription cards, I couldn’t find any info on subscribing anywhere in the magazine and on the site. So unless Hywel gives us a heads up, you’re probably stuck having to keep an eye open when you’re in bookstores. It’s definately worth doing that though.

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