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?
Stephan Patry has been on a roll lately, and not a good one. Between pissing off several major training camps and losing Georges St Pierre as a client, I have to wonder if he’ll be able to stay up at the top of the Canadian MMA scene. In a recent article on GSP’s upcoming bout against Josh Koscheck, Stephan had this to say:
“He didn’t train as much as he should, because he was too busy doing other things than training and fighting,” said Patry, choosing his words carefully.
“He won the title, he’s a kid, he was 25 years old,” Patry added, when pressed. “Let’s just say he partied a little bit too much.”
However, the same article those quotes come from are followed by this explanation from Georges:
His father was suffering from a brain ailment and his young cousin was in a coma.
“People were dying. I had to go to the hospital at night. I was sleeping like maybe two, three hours a night when I was training for that fight. I was sleeping with one eye open because I thought I had to go drive my father to hospital and stuff like that.
“I was very worried about a lot of things in my life. Not only this, I had a lot of other stuff going on.”
Stephan Paltry isn’t the only guy who’s not impressed with GSP’s oh so convenient family problems. Sam Caplan drops the hammer on Georges for all these excuses:
He’s changed his management. He’s changed his camp. And now he might be changing stories. It just feels as this guy is making nothing but excuses and is pointing the finger in any direction he can. Why can’t he just man up and say, “Serra beat me straight up. I’ve learned a lot from the loss and will do everything I can to get the title back.”
GSP has the talent of a champion but hasn’t been carrying himself like one. I’d like to see less talk and more action.
Poor Georges … the reason he gets shit on is because we expect better of him. When Phil Baroni power bombs a senior citizen through a buffet cart, barely anyone blinks. But when Georges St Pierre says his dad is dying, we all shit on him for making excuses. Are we like hardcore Asian parents who beat their kids for only getting a 98% on their exams? It’s always been clear that MMA fans are a bunch of fucking jackals who turn on fighters at the first sign of weakness, but this is getting silly. All my man-love for GSP aside, people have to give this guy a break.
Actually, no they don’t … he’ll prove himself at UFC74, and people will come back like the fairweather fans they are. Which kinda sucks, because I liked having all that extra legroom on the GSP bandwagon.
Those of you on Internet Explorer, rejoice! We have fixed the sidebar so it stays put … on the side! Now you too can see when we don’t update the comic for a month, and listen to the radio show for 20 seconds before turning it off and saying “Wow, that really sucked”.
Okay, that’s really the last site related post. Next post will be about MMA, I swear. Or perhaps I’ll do a review of the Murphy Brown season 6 dvd I watched over the weekend. Hmm. Choices, choices.
Yes indeedy, after 5+ hours of tooling around with the site, things seem to be back to normal around here. Here’s a quick summary of all the big news we’ve missed over the past 4 days: NOTHING! Regardless, it’s good to be back. We’ve got a few more small things to deal with and then it’ll be back to business as usual. Thanks everyone for showing that you care by writing! I feel loved