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In an effort to counteract the anger and vitriol I’ve been spitting out lately, I’ve decided to try and make one post a day about something I like. Whenever I visit FightOpinion or listen to their podcasts, I always wonder “Does Zach Arnold even like anything???” I’ve never heard him say anything positive about anything, not even puppies or rainbows or sunshine. The last thing I want to become is a cranky Zach-like individual because I hear that’s step one of the transformation into a full blown windbag like Eddie Goldman.

So for today’s ‘Stuff I like’, I wanted to point out the work of one Michael Rome who writes for BloodyElbow. To be honest, I fucking hate it when blogs become ‘collective’ blogs … MMA blogs in particular are bland enough as it is without there being half a dozen writers on board with equally banal opinions. But Michael is one of a kind: a writer who was added to a site that’s actually BETTER than the original writer.

And that’s not putting Luke Thomas down … it’s just that Michael is that damn good. Check out some of his recent stuff:

Anyways, the things that make Rome stand out is his coherent writing style, good ideas, and strong opinions. He’s willing to speculate and speak his mind. Most bloggers just regurgitate the facts and say “That’s good” or “That’s bad”. Rome always backs his opinions up with solid logic that’s hard to argue against. He fits into the Bloody Elbow site well, and is definitely the best writer on the site right now.

Tune in tomorrow as I deepthroat another random kielbasa on this magical journey known as ‘Stuff I like’.

Yeah, I know I know. We all made a super secret schoolgirl pact never to bring up Sean Sherk’s steroid malfunction again. But I just read something interesting about it in an InsideFighting interview and wanted to share it with y’all:

Sherk: We also wanted to talk to the Quest guy about the mistakes they made. There were a lot of chain of custody mistakes made by them. Things we wanted to find out like, ‘why would you even test if you’ve got documented carry over?’

IF: Talk about what your understanding of “carry over” is, please.

Sherk: Everyone gives a sample before and after they fight. They test on the same machine with all the samples. There were tests before me that tested positive for steroids. They are supposed to do a water blank after each test and then run a test again to make sure it’s showing zero. Right before me the machine wasn’t clean and it came back with steroids. That’s what the carryover is.

The Quest guy knew about all these issues. Everything they do is documented. But they kept proceeding with the stuff. My attorney did his research and presented the case as best he could under the circumstances. We were not given our opportunity properly and were speaking to deaf ears.

This certainly seems like the best evidence I never heard regarding Sherk’s steroid appeal. I suppose that’s what happens when you’ve got a lawyer that’s just throwing shit at a wall to see what sticks: sometimes people just see a wall with shit smears all over it instead of the one bit of valid sticky stuff.

The concept of carry over is something I haven’t heard before and I’m not interested in doing the research on it to see what’s up with it. But the concept seems pretty straightforward: you clean the pee machine after a positive test, and then do a second test to make sure levels are back to zero. If Quest has documentation that proves this wasn’t done, I don’t see how this couldn’t be a straightforward slam dunk for Sherk and his expensive devil lawyer.

Denny Burkholder tries to do some lame last year / this year comparisons and just ends up pissing me off. Check this out:

Last year:
Popular MMA message boards loved mainstream coverage and pined for more of it. It was viewed as a positive, healthy sign that the sport was gaining respect. (Before I continue, let me mention that I bring up MMA websites and blogs because — as others have correctly observed — MMA is a sport that is seriously intertwined with the web like no other sport.)

No MMA website or blog had a relationship — formal or informal — with any mainstream company. Bloggers used to write about MMA just for fun.

This year:
Popular MMA message boards tend to hate mainstream MMA coverage, with posters wondering aloud “why don’t they just hire people like us?” (Which draws various far-reaching assumptions such as that mainstream writers didn’t know about MMA until The Ultimate Fighter, never posted on an MMA message board, and are not, therefore, “people like us.” Which is wrong on all counts. Believe it or not, some of us were following the sport before today’s major MMA websites and message boards existed. **Raises hand.**)

Bloggers that used to write about MMA for fun now seem more concerned with scoring a big partnership, selling ads, and “cashing in.” Others have shifted their focus from covering the sport of MMA (for fun) to skewering the media’s coverage of MMA (for sport).

What right do you, a guy who’s JOB it is to write about MMA, have to criticize other people who are trying to make a few fucking bucks writing 20 times the amount of content that you do? Half the bloggers out there do a BETTER job than the mainstream media does, and that’s without any kind of access or paid expenses, and that’s on top of whatever job and family life they have.

Pardon us for ‘skewering’ people like Kevin Iole when he bends over, takes it from Dana White, and then regurgitates press releases under the guise of a YahooSports ‘news’ piece. For every Dave Meltzer there’s 10 fuckwads who don’t know shit, or maybe they do know shit but they’re just so bad at journalism that everything they write makes them look like they don’t know shit.

You guys are the ones in charge of presenting the sport to a general audience, and I think overall you’re doing a shitty job of it. Your press credentials are supposed to give you the access and the ability to find shit out. But there’s barely been one answer you guys have dug up that bloggers and the average forum users haven’t managed to find out first.

As far as I can tell, most of you just take whatever story the editor tells you to cover and run with it. Writers like Sam Caplan had to start their own fucking blogs because ‘mainstream’ outlets weren’t interested in giving him the webspace or paltry pay neccessary to cover the sport properly.

So from me to you in the spirit of Christmas: fuck all you mainstream guys in your fucking asses. You guys seem too busy patting your own backs to pay attention to why the rest of the MMA community wants to kick your teeth in. You haven’t done shit, you’re not the magical force that’s growing MMA. You’re just corporate patsies that do what you’re told.

Some show on G4 did a short feature on MMA blogs, and they picked Five Ounces, Cage Today, and some blogspot blog to feature. Five Ounces was a good pick – if you want to send your average TUF fan to one site in order to get educated, I’d say Five Ounces is probably the best option. But Cage Today? Cage Today???

Out of the 75 blogs I have on RSS feed, Cage Today doesn’t even rank in the top 40 list, and barely releases 4 posts a day (most of them links to pirated fights on youtube and dailymotion).

I’m not bitching and whining because we didn’t get picked … our particular brand of racist/sexist/generally offensive commentary is simply too WAWESOME for television. But they could have at least given props to one of the other major quality MMA sites like MMAJunkie or Fightopinion or BloodyElbow. Hell, if they were looking for different kinds of sites, they could have thrown in Payout, which is the best blog on the business side of MMA.

Anyways, I don’t know why I should expect these people to get anything right … one site out of three ain’t too bad for people that called Gina Carano a K1 fighter, Pride “the Pride” and Edwin Dewees “Edwin Dews”.

Wow, 2007 has been a bad year for Brazilian teams. Following news earlier this year that Brazilian Top Team was coming apart at the seams, it seams (haha, fabric pun) that Chute Boxe is also going through the same thing. Anderson Silva jumped ship a while back, and everyone went pretty bonkers when Wanderlei Silva left to train with Randy Couture. Then Thiago Silva left for Team Link, and Andre Amade left too.

But the biggest news to rock Chute Boxe since Wand left is that Shogun and Ninja are leaving too:

Chute Boxe leader Rudimar Fedrigo on Tuesday announced, via the Chute Boxe website, that Murilo “Ninja” and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua have officially left the team.

“We regret the (departure) of Murilo and Mauricio Rua,” commented Fedrigo indicating that they were leaving to form their own team in the United States. “The doors of Chute Boxe will always be open to them and we wish them good luck.”

Things were going better for Brazilian teams when the fight world focused on Japan. Now that everything is going on in America, it seems like all these Brazilians are heading over to the US and don’t have time to train down in South America. Chute Boxe USA is a total mess, so what option do these guys have? Continue to get their faces pounded in by guys from bigger, better rounded camps? Or leave and set their own shit up?

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