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We’re a week away from UFC77 in Cincinnati, and all I have to say is “Where’s the hype?” I understand that with the sky falling, it’s easy to forget about this event. But even before Randy took a hike there was very little coverage going on for this show. Fuck, I’m GOING to the show and I haven’t even really bothered to take a close look at the undercard to see who’s fighting. Some guys I think. Should be okay.

But seriously now: the 77 card is pretty decent, especially considering it’s the last good card we get for two months. We should be all abuzz by now. There should be 500 threads on Sherdog debating if Rich Franklin is gonna need a nose job or not after his fight. Instead there’s maybe 100. Even the pre-event phone conference was a half-assed affair, with barely any questions and very little sizzle indeed.

So what the fuck is wrong with us all? Where’s our passion? Where’s our pep? Are we so wrapped up in the politiks going on in the sport that we’ve become bored of the actual sport itself? Or are we suffering from what I call layover depression, where the UFC stacks a bunch of events close to eachother to work us up and then dumps us for a month to wait like a junkie shaking in the corner for his next hit. Of course, after a while the drug dependency is gone and we’re no longer jonesing as bad. That doesn’t mean we won’t do it again when it’s offered to us. But we’re no longer sucking cock in alleyways for crack.

Jeez people, I’m sorry if I disappointed some of you by not blaming Dana White for Randy Couture’s sudden departure from the UFC. I know you come here for seeking validation for your anger, and when I’m not raging against the same machine it tends to piss you off. So when I blamed Randy Couture’s manager / penis sheath wife instead of UFC brass, it didn’t go over so well. ‘Swaarwerd’ wrote me this email:

hey dude what is up with your couture post? You spent the whole time spouting hateful and sexist comments againt randies wife when you should really be going against the ufc for not paying its fighters or giving them the respect they deserve. hopefully youll point that out because i think its worth saying

Okay, first off I’m an equal opportunity hater. I’ll call Randy a bastard and Kim a bitch. There are many cases where men are also bitches (see Kevin Iole for proof). If Kim had happened to be a man, I would have ripped on ‘him’ just as much. It just happens to be that Randy Couture prefers to have sex with women instead of men (supposedly). And he lets these women wear the pants in the relationship. Kim decided the UFC wasn’t treating Randy fairly, so Randy left. Catalyst: Kim.

That doesn’t absolve UFC brass of all liability of course. But I’m a bit more sympathetic to them than I am to her. The UFC is in a tricky situation now where they’re fucked if they do, fucked if they don’t. Everyone is kicking and screaming for fighters to be paid more. But because the UFC paid all the PRIDE guys a retarded amount of money you now have half the UFC fighters ready to revolt over it.

The UFC is paying PRIDE guys based on their perceived rankings … Shogun, CroCop, and Wanderlei were all signed and paid mega bucks based not on their drawing power but on the idea that they were three of the top fighters in the world. This is lucky for them because the average Joe six pack has never seen a PRIDE event and often times never heard of these people. It’s very interesting that the UFC decided to base their pay on talent-level … it shows a certain respect for the sport that I don’t think was noticed by many people.

But this is also where the UFC is getting into trouble – UFC fighters see these guys with little to no draw coming in and making 10 times what they are. It’s understandable that some friction is created, especially when these mega-buck fighters end up getting tooled by TUF alumni (who are in turn being tooled by serf-like contracts).

Yes, I agree that UFC management has to turn their asshole-meter down from an 11 to a 6. At the very least they have to stop emasculating their fighters and prospective fighters constantly to the press. But when Randy Couture says he’s leaving the UFC because ‘the money’s not good enough’ / ‘the money’s too good for others’, it just sounds stupid. I have no doubt that after Couture signed his contract, the pay scale for other top fighters went up. And I have no doubt that when the time came for Couture to re-sign, his pay would have been upped again above the pay of these other guys. But you can’t sign on the dotted line in March and then bitch about your deal several months later. That’s fucking lame.

Okay, as of right now, 1:35AM EST, no one has been revealed as the mystery shopper who bought M-1 and signed Fedor. Yeah I know, sucks that I time release these posts, but if I’m not asleep between 8am and 5pm I’m stuck doing community service so deal with it! Indecent exposure is such a bullshit charge. How the fuck is masturbating on *your own balcony* indecent exposure? Free society my ass.

Anyways, I’ve been tempted to hold my tongue until the cat’s out of the bag on all this, but I can’t help but say it now: Whoever bought M-1 has more rubles than sense. Haha, a currency joke. I rule.

Let’s take a look at what you’re getting when you buy M-1. You get access to the meh Red Devil fighters that you could have had anyways. You get access to Fedor who you could have gotten anyways. You get a promoter in Vadim Finkelstein who has already freelanced for other companies in the past. And maybe you get something of a roster of fighters, or maybe not. I don’t speak russian and since I’ve never heard of anyone past Fedor actually ‘signed’ to M-1 for more than one off fights, I’ll assume any roster they have is full of no name bezdel’nik and lentyaj.

The only way this mystery buyer could justify this purchase is if they did it just for Fedor. And while that ‘justifies’ it, it also proves that they’re idiots. Has no one learned anything from what’s been happening in the UFC over the past 6 months? Is no one paying attention to the number of PRIDE fighters going into the UFC and getting tooled by mid-level talent? I don’t believe in the PRIDE curse, but there’s a certain amount of truth to the fact that many of it’s fighters aren’t quite as unbeatable as we all once thought.

If the mystery buyer bought the company to gain a competent promoting partner, that’s fucking stupid too. Finkelstein may be able to put together a slick event in Moscow using his shady government connections, but the day you put him in charge of overseeing an event in the States is the day you’re gonna see a worse promotional disaster than K1 Dynamite, followed by the uranium poisoning of Armando Garcia. At least there’s one positive thing that would come out of that.

I could go on for hours and hours, but I hate directing all my rage towards some anonymous target. Hopefully sometime this weekend we’ll know who the shmuck is who bought this lemon and we can all point and laugh together.

We all know what a jerk and a meanie Dana White was to Randy Couture, and now we get to find out that Gareb and Kurt from the IFL aren’t all sunshine and lollypops either. I don’t want to sound all Zach Arnold doom and gloom, but this has not been a good week to run a mixed martial arts organization.

So you all remember that the IFL ditched two of the only fighters people gave a fuck about for their dumb grand prix, right? Right. Well, the story gets even better! The general gist of it was the IFL tried to blackmail agent Monte Cox into re-signing Ben Rothwell by threatening to drop Jay Hieron and Mike Whitehead. I gotta hand it to the IFL – this was some serious hardball, and perhaps if anyone actually gave a shit about the IFL Grand Prix it might have worked. But I’m pretty sure Ben Rothwell is more interested in making more than 20k a fight, and it’s not like Monte Cox doesn’t have bookings falling out his ass for his guys. So yeah … no dice.

A big favorite of most people talking about this story is the fact that the IFL tried to get Jay Hieron to sign a contract in the back seat of a car:

Then the next day Keith Evans calls Hieron and tells him they need to meet. So they go meet and drive off and Hieron calls me and says, “You’re not going to believe this. I just went for a ride with the IFL and they tried to get me to sign a contract in the back of their car. They said that ‘Monte wasn’t doing a good job and he’s not handling things properly and you need to sign this thing and you need to do it now.'”

Hieron said “I’m not doing anything without my manager” and he didn’t do it. Then he called me. I’m like, what is the IFL, is this the Sopranos now? So I had them FAX me the contract and I looked at the contract. It was the same contract I had already approved. I already said we’d do this. So I went “Jay, it’s a good contract. I’d sign it.” So Jay signed the contract.

The car thing is amusing I suppose, but my favorite part of all this is how lame the IFL are at being bad guys. First off, the whole threat to Monte was that Hieron wouldn’t get to fight in the Grand Prix if Rothwell didn’t sign. So if that’s the leverage, why the fuck did they try to sneak around and sign Hieron on their own? And with the same contract Monte already agreed to! Are these guys retarded?

This is pretty shitty for the IFL because even though we all knew they were stupid and going bust, at least we thought they were the nice guys. I’ve rooted for them over the past year like I rooted for that kid with down’s syndrome who tried to run that marathon. Sure he didn’t make it more than half a click before pissing his track pants, but damn if he wasn’t kind and gentle and all that shit. Now the secret is out of the bag: when push comes to shove, the IFL is just as evil as the UFC. They’re just a lot worse at it.

Oh, UFC. You’re so sneaky with your Orwellian double-speak. The Bush administration should get you guys on the phone and ask you about damage control, because while you’re not good enough to fool the hardcores, your responses are more than adequate for those drinking the kool-aid. The news that Randy Couture has told the UFC to fuck off is still rockin’ the internets like a tsunami off the coast of Indonesia, and already Dana White has issued the following statement:

“I’m not surprised at all by Randy’s decision. I talked to Randy several weeks ago and he said that if he couldn’t fight Fedor, then he has nothing left to prove in the sport of mixed martial arts.

He has been doing a lot of acting, and I know he is in South Africa right now filming a movie. I think it’s a great move for Randy’s acting career to retire from fighting while he is on top.

As we all know, Randy retired before. The landscape in MMA changes every day. So when he is ready to come out of retirement again, he is still under contract with me, and I’m ready to promote him.”

There’s one big glaring problem with the above statement: Randy never said *nothin* about retiring.

The UFC seems to have a serious fucking problem with preemptively retiring fighters. Do you remember after Ortiz-Shamrock 3, they asked Ken if he was going to retire and he basically gave a non-commital answer? And then the announcers said “SHAMROCK RETIRED!” and they played a 10 minute tribute to Ken Shamrock retiring? Yeah, that was classy.

Also, do you remember all that Liddell retiring hogwash that was going down after his loss to Jardine? Well, for those of you who didn’t know, the majority of those rumors were caused by Dana White spending a lot of time waxing philosophical with reporters on the idea that Chuck might very well be washed up.   I’m sure that really made Chuck happy.

And now looky here … Couture says “I’m resigning from the UFC” and once again the UFC is saying “OMG RANDY RETIRED. GOOD LUCK RANDY IF U COME OUT OF RETIREMENT WE’LL SEE YOU THEN LOL!!!!!11!”

Yeeeah right.

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