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One of the big problems with the IFL’s format is that mixed martial arts is a bit more physically demanding than your average league sport. When you’ve got two guys beating eachother up, injuries are gonna happen and they’re going to happen often. Let’s just take a look at the IFL finalist Pitbulls team: their regular heavyweight Bryan Vetell is injured, and now their replacement heavyweight Tom Sauer is also injured. Word is Renzo Gracie wanted light heavyweight alternate Jamal Patterson to step up a weight class but that was nixed by the Florida Athletic Commission. The result: The IFL has brought in former UFC champion Ricco Rodriguez as a ringer.

When looked at in the context of a fight, this is pretty exciting news. The original team matchup would have resulted in Bryan Vetell vs Ben Rothwell, not that hot of a ticket. But Ricco Rodriguez vs Ben Rothwell is a much more interesting matchup … Ben is one of the top dogs in the IFL and many people are excited to see how he fares against ‘major league’ competition. Heh.

But when looked at in the context of, oh I dunno … a fight league, this is some pretty fucked up shit. Honestly, I don’t know enough about the IFL’s stupid rules and procedures to know if this is technically ‘unfair’. But it sure seems unfair to the Silverbacks that at the last minute one of the Pitbulls gets replaced with a former heavyweight champion. If the Pitbulls win because of Ricco, will there be any controversy? Well, maybe there would be if anyone actually gave a shit about the IFL. For me, this is just another example of why the league format is stupid.

After a month of silence, Evan Tanner has posted on his blog revealing a lot of personal issues and a laundry list of shitty news. Before I really get into all that, I wanna talk about the name of this blog post. You might think it’s insensitive of me to lead in saying Evan’s off the wagon, and you might be expecting me to make fun of Evan Tanner for being a drunk. Well, that ain’t gonna happen, because there’s nothing funny about his current situation. Which sucks, because his past situations have always been great for a laugh.

The reason I’m calling this post ‘Evan Tanner fell off the wagon’ is because that’s the important part of this story. Other heartless bastards across the internet are concentrating on “Evan Tanner not training” or “Evan Tanner not fighting in the UFC any time soon”. Yes, these are both accurate statements, but they’re not what we should be concentrating on. Evan Tanner isn’t just a UFC fighter, and we shouldn’t just care about when he’s going to return to the ring.

Anyways, in case Evan’s post was depressing you and you wanted the Coles Notes version of his story, here it is: He’s drinking again, he’s out of money, he’s out of shape, he’s not training, his boat is busted and beached, his friends are sick of him, and he may have pneumonia. There’s definitely a good blues or country song in all that, but I’m not so sure if there’s a great comeback story. Well, if Evan pulled it off it would be an amazing comeback story. But I just don’t know if I see it happening. Which sucks balls.

If there is a comeback story, it’s not likely to be with the UFC. In my opinion, Tanner’s salvation lies in an unusual source: Gary Shaw. Bear with me here people … Shaw has proven time and time again that he’s willing to do some pretty unusual shit to put fights together. You all remember the strings pulled to get Krazy Horse Bennett out of jail for his match. Compared to that, is helping Evan Tanner clean up that much of a stretch?

Tanner’s problem is he doesn’t have the resources to pull himself out of the situation he’s gotten into. Gary Shaw’s problem is he doesn’t have a lot of depth in his middleweight division. These guys can provide solutions to eachother’s problems. And what’s it to Gary Shaw? Fuck, Shaw gets a 10,000$ a month allowance from EliteXC to cover his living expenses. So what if the company foots the bill for Evan’s rehabilitation, training, and basic living expenses for a few months? At worst the company is out a few thousand bucks. At best they’ve locked themselves in an enormous talent with great name value. Not to mention helped a good man pull himself back from the edge of ruin.

Anyways, the above scenario works past Gary Shaw and could be replaced by any number of other benefactors, fight organizations or training camps. Obviously I don’t know the inside scoop on Evan’s situation … it could be that this has all been tried in the past by others. But it’s a nice pipe dream, and I have to hope that there can be some light at the end of the tunnel for Evan Tanner. If there was ever a time I wished the shit I wrote on this blog actually counted for something, now would be the time.

Check out … Luke has been unusually productive today. Hopefully he hasn’t been fired from his job or dumped by his girlfriend.

I spent all last night working on the K1 Gong Show video instead of prepping blog posts for today. Now I’m stuck not being able to do anything today or tonight either. So I’m afraid you won’t be getting a fix until tommorow. Which sucks, because there’s TONS of shit going on in MMA, and of course I’m your only source for news! Right? Right.

Anyways, for now here’s my olive branch: last night I went over my UFN11 picks with Caleb from MMA Predictions for their radio show. You can check that shit out here, it’s short but sweet. In regards to the Low Blow, we’ll be recording the show right after UFN11 so you can expect that show to go up around 2am Wednesday night.

Wow. Just wow.

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