Hi everyone, three months ago called up and told me that Hulk Hogan and his butchy daughter Brooke were at the last Ultimate Fight Night. This is just an excuse to post the above picture … there’s nothing really else to say on the matter. Except perhaps “Hulkamania will live forever!” Or more accurately, “Hulkamania will live until Hulk Hogan dies from an enlarged heart or liver damage or whatever steroids do to aging pro wrestling stars nowadays”.

What’s it gonna take for another fighter to break into the title picture at 170? The MMA Digest breaks down their vision of a fighter who’d be able to stand up to guys like Matt Hughes, Georges St Pierre and (heh) Matt Serra:

In the welterweight class where there is such a deep pool of talent when it comes to wrestling and takedown ability, any new dominant champion to emerge onto the scene in this division will need to be a miniature version of a Chuck Liddell. It’ll be a fighter with devastating knockout striking power who can stop a takedown, and get back if when taken down. Such skills are rare and the abilities of Liddell in this area have not been duplicated in other weight classes. But with the superior wrestling of fighters at 170, the next big thing in the division will required to be equipped with devastating striking, an amazing sprawl, and equally talented scrambling skills.

I can’t think of anyone in WW off the top of my head who has more power in his hands than GSP, and even he doesn’t hold a candle to the blowtorch of Senor Chuck Liddell. Is it possible that those extra 35 pounds between light heavyweight and welterweight remove the ability to be a knockout artiste? I’m not buying it. The only guy who might fit the above bill is Mike Swick, and we’ll have to wait and see if his quick and powerful punching power can withstand the wrestling ability of the welterweight’s top dogs.

Like everyone else, I enjoyed Houston Alexander’s awesome knockout of Keith Jardine at UFC72. Past that point I wasn’t too hot on him … a hip hop dj with ‘hundreds’ of underground fights? Yawn. He came off kinda hokey screaming “Nebraska!” over and over, but I’ll forgive him in light of this interview with UFCJunkie.

It’s a long read but worth it … we get to hear the story behind Houston and he comes off as a sincere and intelligent individual. The only thing I could find to make fun of is the fact that his supplement sponsor’s name is ‘8-Ball Nutrition‘.

So here’s what it comes down to next week: 8-Balls or bison meat? Which product produces a winning fighter? I guess we’ll have to wait until Saturday to find out!

I remember a simple time when men were men, women were women, and fighters were fighters. Now you’ve got women dressing up like men, men dressing up like women, and fighters trying to be celebrities. At this point I’ve lost count of the number of MMA fighters who are trying to transition from the Octagon to the O.C.

Latest up to bat is Rich Franklin, who’s trying to get an ‘overcome your adversity through the power of Jesus Christ’ show onto basic cable:

Franklin, 32, a former Oak Hills High School math teacher, will tell inspirational stories about people fighting against the odds, says J.T. Stewart, his publicist. The pilot features Joe Garvey, 21, of Bright, Ind., learning to walk after a crippling ATV accident seven years ago.

Despite the title, “the show has nothing really to do with fighting. But we all fight for something every day,” Stewart says.

Eugh, shoot me in the head. You know, I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen Rich Franklin doing anything UFC-related without a big shiner under his eye and a grouchy look on his face. He’s got the talent and the ability to beat anyone on any day, but honestly I don’t know if his heart is really into mixed martial arts any more.

You would think that he’d be 100% invested in his rematch with Anderson Silva, but instead he’s off doing shows about people ‘beating the odds’. Honestly, the only person Franklin should be concerned about beating the odds is himself against Silva. I’m not dumb enough to think that a fighter can’t manage a few things at once, but this could literally be the biggest fight of Rich Franklin’s life and I think he’s coming into it with a general malaise for the sport.

Consider for a moment this: Rich Franklin loses another bout to Anderson Silva. That’s two losses, the magic number for no more rematches. If Rich Franklin loses this one, there goes his chances of getting another shot for the belt so long as Silva retains. And really, who else is gonna challenge Silva in the anemic middleweight division? Things are so bad the UFC seems to be fast tracking Evan Tanner back into the title mix against Dean Listen. Off the top of my head, he’s the only one with the striking ability to really hang with Silva.

So does Rich Franklin really want to rely on a washed up Evan Tanner making a remarkable comeback and knocking Anderson Silva out? Better to take the bull by the horns now while you have a chance … get your head out of the fucking clouds and back into the ring where it belongs. Because no one in Hollywood gives a shit about a washed up former champion.

Okay, I couldn’t resist getting in on all the retard action by making a stupid Babapun. And hey, why not? What’s funnier than a guy getting fired for a momentary lapse of judgement? Of course I’m sure most of the MMA community has family and friends who are in jail for ‘momentary lapeses of judgement’ too, so maybe you see it as fair game.

I’ve already said about as much as I want to say about the whole choke thing, but in regards to Babalu’s statement there’s a few things worth noting: He does everything right in it … except admit that what he did was on purpose. And boy, doesn’t that just sink the rest of the good work in his statement. Let’s take a look at where this letter self-destructs:

I did not intentionally choke out David Heath. The first that I realized that David had tapped was when people told me that he did after the fight. When I finally had the chance to view the tape, I see that he did. When David tapped, I did not feel it. I wish I did for I would have let it go. Instead, I continued to hold it. Not because I was upset or wanted him to lose consciousness. I held it because I didn’t know he tapped and I was intent on winning the fight. Holding on to a choke a little long is not an uncommon mistake made in training, and never in my career have I witnessed or heard of an injury resulting from it.

When I had the choke, I was not looking the referee in the eyes as one commentator erroneously observed. Nor did I hear the referee issue any verbal command to release the hold. Instead, my head was down to strengthen the move and my eyes closed with focus. As a result, I did not feel the referee tap me the first time either. It was not until he put his hands on my right shoulder that I felt him trying to separate us. When I felt this, I immediately released the choke.

Jeez, it’s really too bad that there were all those pesky cameras around during the fight to contradict what Babalu said. I can believe the idea of a miscommunication in the post-fight talk, but Babalu not realizing the fight was over? The only way Renato could have missed Heath’s tap, missed the verbal commands, and miss the ref’s subsequent tap is if he’d lost control of himself.

And in the end, that’s really what Babalu should have said. “Sorry, I lost control.” Not “Sorry, it wasn’t intentional” because yes, it was intentional. But framed in the context of losing control, at least it becomes more understandable. And respectable than denying it.

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