Jesus fuck. Another month, another round of statements from Dana White about how the HBO deal is ‘oh so very close to being done’. Let me be the one to say it: no one gives a flying fuck. Dana White is so obsessed with getting this deal done as a feather in his cap that he’s lost perspective on the situation. HBO might have been the gold standard for cable entertainment 10 years ago, but now it’s just a home for sitcoms where the characters can say ‘Fuck’.

So why the hell is Dana so adamant about subjecting us to an HBO-controlled UFC product? I have no issue with the idea of getting on HBO simply to block any other MMA organization from landing the deal. But to basically put HBO up on this pedestal like it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread is dumb. Spike TV is in 90 million homes compared to HBO’s 45 million. Spike treats the UFC like the crown jewel of the network, while over at HBO you can’t throw a rock without hitting an executive who’s shit on MMA. And trust me, I spent an entire weekend over there throwing rocks. It felt good.

If the UFC wants to continue to grow, they have to continue to improve the quality of the shows which reach the most new viewers. They seem to understand this … how else can you explain the awesomeness that is UFN11, and of course UFC75? So what the hell is up with Dana White continuing to massage HBO’s flaccid member? What’s the point of moving your bigger shows to a smaller audience in a corporate environment where no one respects the sport?

Just wanted to remind all the holier than thou assholes compiling Top 10 lists in their mom’s basement that they forgot to make a top 10 women’s ranking. Considering this is pretty much the only list past bantamweight and featherweight that would actually be educational for readers, I’d appreciate it if someone stepped up and rectified the situation.

Love,
Fightlinker

That’s right … the Dean of the Unforseen is reffing UFC74′s headlining bout. Now before I start, I’d just like to clarify that I like Herb Dean. After Big John McCarthy, I think he’s the best ref that the UFC has, and an interesting personality to boot. On the other hand, the dude is obviously fucking cursed.

Half the fights he refs turn into total cock-ups. While he didn’t do anything wrong in most cases, it doesn’t change the fact that he draws more bad luck than throwing a black cat through a mirror sitting under a ladder. Let’s take a look at some of the controversial fights Herb has been involved in (and this is just a recent, partial list):

  • Frank Shamrock vs Renzo Gracie (Knees to neck DQ)
  • Gabriel Gonzaga vs Mirko Crocop (Early standup)
  • Ken Shamrock vs Tito Ortiz 2 (Early stoppage)
  • Tim Sylvia vs Frank Mir (Stoppage after Sylvia’s arm snapped)
  • Andrei Arlovski vs Marcio Cruz (illegal kicks on the ground)

Again, I’m not saying Dean did anything wrong … I agree with most of his calls. But if the same dude was around during the Kennedy assassination, the Challenger disaster, 9/11, and the sinking of New Orleans, I’d tell him to stay the fuck away from me.

It’s funny how much will change in a year. Just twelve months ago, the UFC’s heavyweight division was about as anemic as it could get, and now it’s second only to the welterweight division as the most stacked. Of course, buying your competition and sucking them dry will do that … it could be argued that the UFC bought Pride mainly to get it’s hands on all those juicy heavyweights that have eluded them over the years. They certainly haven’t done a very good job of importing much PRIDE talent for the other divisions.

Of course, the guy this affects the most is Randy Couture, who only came back because the UFC literally didn’t have any contenders left to throw at Tim Sylvia:

“They aren’t making my job any easier are they, commented Couture about the influx of talent brought in over the last several months.

He added, “I came in and it was pretty much the Tim [Sylvia] and Andrei [Arlovski] show for a long time there. Suddenly I come out of retirement and these guys come out of the woodwork. I was going, what the heck is going on? There’s a lot of great fighters in that weight division now. It was kind of not as deep, and now it’s one of the deepest weight classes. It makes it a lot of fun for me to look at these guys and see how it’s going to shake out and what the next interesting match up might be. There’s certainly a lot of them. I don’t want to look past Gabriel Gonzaga. After that, we’ll see what happens.”

The shitty thing about this situation is I know how it’s going to end. Sooner or later, Randy’s gonna get smashed. He’s not going to just lose … he’s too good to just get caught easily. The guy who beats him is going to have to literally smash him up good. I don’t know if Gonzaga is the one to do it, but there’s no shortage of guys with bad reputations lining up behind him. Part of why I like watching him fight is that he’s so damn good at overcoming the odds. Every time he fights, it’s like watching Rocky 2, Rocky 4, or the Mighty Ducks. Except it costs you 40$.

We’re about five years past the point where the pioneers of MMA could still compete at a top level. Of course, that means it will still take another five to ten years before these guys finally admit they can’t hack it and retire. Guys like Kimo, Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie, Dan Severn, Don Frye, Gary Goodridge, Mark Coleman … the list goes on and on.

These guys birthed mixed martial arts from deep in the bowels of Indian casinos across America, making a pittance over years of true no holds barred competition. Actually, I hear the money was pretty good back then … they probably blew the money on whores and coke. Regardless, I assume the main reason these guys refuse to quit is because they need the cash. And so long as there are promoters in Japan who have no issue putting 45+ year olds in the ring, it’s not likely to stop.

Well, at least not for most of the names above. But one fighter who’s basically made it clear he’s on the way out is ‘Big Daddy’ Gary Goodridge. Gary’s knockout of Paul Herrera at UFC 8 is still considered one of the most brutal KOs in the history of sports, up there with God’s slam of Jake Brown. But after being fed to some of the top names in K1 like Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts and Hong Man Choi, Gary’s had enough:

“Now I’m looking for a job and start another chapter in my life, like all of the other aging fighters very soon. You come to a certain point in time where you have to do something else. I’ve reached that point and I’ve just gotta step into it properly and hit the ground running rather that hit the ground crawling.”

It’s really too bad there’s no place for an aging fighter in MMA except on the wrong end of a marketing scheme to get new fighters over. We should be putting these guys into a Hall of Fame, not into a meat grinder. At the very least, we should be putting them against eachother. Or maybe not, considering how bad Maurice Smith vs Marcos Rua was. Still, I know I’d sleep better at night knowing Dan Severn isn’t out turning tricks after missing his win bonus. Surely there’s some kind of happy medium where these guys aren’t sucking dick for rent or being smashed in the ring repeatedly?

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