The UFC may be on the verge of another firing spree and it kicked off last week with news that Ryan Couture, Mike Ricci, and Yushin Okami were given their walking papers. The Okami release kicked off a storm of controversy online, with many declaring it another sign that the UFC is all about Just Bleed promoting. Okami was 3-1 over his last four fights and was ranked 6th in his division. He was also a boring borefest who regularly bored the shit out of everyone. Let’s see if Dana White admits that’s the main reason Yushin got slashed so quick.
“He’s been with us forever,” White said of Okami, who first fought in the UFC in 2006. “He was always a tough guy and was right up there, but it’s almost like he’d become a gatekeeper. I like Okami, and you’ve heard me say this many times, that a win over Yushin Okami meant something.
“But he was never able to get over the hump and win one of those [significant] fights. We have a lot of guys coming in and I’ve been saying this all year: We have a full roster and there are guys who deserve opportunities. When you bring guys in, someone has to go. That’s why these fights are so meaningful.”
And this is where the MMA purist argues that there are tons of other guys on the UFC’s roster who deserve to go before Okami. But White has a point – Okami has been around for six years. He’s had his shot, and the sad reality of the situation is the UFC doesn’t keep tough but bland fighters around as gatekeepers because that job goes to equally tough but actually exciting fighters.
Once Okami is no longer the best or one of the very best, he needs to compete for a gatekeeper position against a bunch of other guys around the same rank that hit spinning heel kick knockouts and tear legs in half. Okami doesn’t dazzle in comparison – he could starch lower level guys but every top 10 fighter he ever beat was via decision. Often grindy, control driven decision.
Does it feel like the UFC is tossing Okami away the second he’s no longer useful? Sure, but that’s the unfortunate circle of life that is the combat sports world. If you’re not moving up that ladder, you better be doing something damn entertaining to stay on it.
God bless GoPros. Someday they’re gonna get so small fighters will wear em into the cage, and it’ll be the closest thing to getting front kicked in the face by Anderson Silva without actually losing any teeth.
Earlier this year, Dana White was in a pretty bad spot health wise. He had been diagnosed with a bad case of Menierre’s Disease, an illness that causes extreme nausea and incapacitating vertigo. Tired of ineffective medication solutions, White opted to have a nerve in his ear severed, but even that didn’t help. He was resigned to just dealing with the disease … until Yankees player Alex Rodriguez let him in on a lil treatment all the one percenters were having done with stem cells. White flew to Germany, had blood extracted and enriched with stem cells. A few days later, the guy was fucking cured.
Now Bas Rutten has gone in for a similar treatment. Bas retired at the relatively early age of 34 because his knees were completely shot – shot to the point where he’s having trouble leading a normal life on them now. So off he’s gone to get some stem cell treatments done on them. How do they work on knees? I have no idea – it seems like everything regarding these treatments is ‘just add stem cells and voila.’ After the jump, his Facebook ‘diary’ on the treatments.
Every week we have the scheduled fight at the end of the show, and then sometime before that the unscheduled near-fight between coaches. Episode 3 featured Ronda Rousey and Edmond Tarverdyan getting all up in Bryan Caraway’s face over some twitter drama from March where Brybry said “if [Rousey] wants to challenge a man I’ll knock her teeth dwn (sic) her throat the (sic) break her arm!” And this week featured Edmond again, this time getting into it with Dennis Hallman:
The confrontation of the episode was between coach Edmond and Team Tate’s guest coach Dennis Hallman, a UFC veteran. At one of the weigh-ins, which they didn’t show on TV, Hallman was staring a hole through Edmond. This was the first time we had seen Hallman and for some reason he decided to try and mean mug Edmond. It’s one thing to glance and catch eyes with somebody but he was making it obvious.
Finally, Edmond spoke up and said, “What’s your problem man, why are you staring at me?” What you saw on the show was Edmond giving Dennis the look back because he was insulted by it. In the locker room, Ronda was sure Hallman was trying to provoke Edmond into a fight to get him kicked off the show, which would have hurt our team because Edmond was considered the head coach and Dennis was a temporary guest coach for them. We thought it was a cheap tactic but the episode only shows Edmond’s reaction, not what provoked him. Trust me, Hallman started it.
As you will all recall, if you light Edmond’s fuse, the bomb at the other end is a big one. Team Tate knew this. I don’t want to get into all the whys of how we heard it being talked about, and I’m sure that the haters will point at this paragraph and say I am making up a bunch of stuff and whatnot, but whatever. Team Tate brought Hallman in to egg Edmond on. Period. From the second Hallman got there, he was fronting Edmond. A brilliant and dastardly tactic, really. Edmond was our head coach. He ran practice while Ronda Rousey trained right alongside us. If he gets kicked off the show, we are essentially screwed. If Hallman gets kicked off, who cares, really? And if you know Hallman, then you know he can be a bit of a dick.
There’s been a lot of talk about unfavorable editing on TUF – the show basically making you look like a bigger dick or wuss than you really are. Examples of this: Ronda coming across as crazy (because they aren’t exactly showing many of her more relaxed and laid back moments) or Shayna talking about how Julianna was beneath her for 30 minutes right before getting subbed by her.
This situation between Tarverdyan and Hallman seems like more of the same, but perhaps not for the surface reasons you may think. Unlike past seasons where producers milked every bit of drama for as much as it was worth, the people behind TUF almost seem embarrassed by this incident, and only showed as much of it as necessary before Dana White laid down the law and told everyone to knock it off.
What happened in all this that made the guys who built an episode of TUF around semen eating go ‘Whoa, too much’? Maybe it was that anti-Armenian racism Ronda Rousey alluded to weeks ago. Or maybe the dickery between coaching staff took away too much from the much more interesting action going on in the house leading up to the Roxy fight. Whatever the case, it’s interesting to see how this season of TUF is being put together, and fun speculating why.
Yesterday the NSAC had its first meeting since one of their judges almost fucked up the biggest boxing match in the history of the state by scoring it a draw. Leading up to this, it sounded like there might finally be some traction on turfing screw-ups and making sure only the best judges score the big fights. NSAC Chairman Bill Brady had to apologize to the Governor for the headaches it caused everyone and promised they’d stop rubber stamping Keith Kizer’s judge selection. But here’s what actually happened at the event:
At Wednesday’s Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting in Las Vegas, Chairman Bill Brady stated that fighter camps & promoters will be approached before big fights with pool lists of officials and will be given an opportunity to voice any displeasure with certain officials. (In other words, nothing has changed). Kizer was asked to provide pool lists and background information on officials he nominates into pool lists for the commissioners. Kizer, amusingly, told the commissioners that if they want information on the officials he books that they can go to Boxrec and check out the information themselves. Skip Avansino, who basically is treated as the don of the commission, said that he didn’t have time to go to Boxrec and wanted information supplied to him directly on officials. Brady said that the process Kizer has been using for selecting officials and notifying others about the process has been ’somewhat sloppy.’ That was the only official criticism stated publicly on Wednesday.
Keith Kizer’s job security remains unscathed. Marc Ratner, Skip Avansino, Lorenzo Fertitta, and Sig Rogich apparently won’t pull the plug on the guy and neither will the Attorney General or Governor offices. When Bob Arum rants and raves about the commission being controlled by Republicans, he’s actually telling the truth. It’s a very close-knit community and the political glue is Sig Rogich, a self-styled political fixer for Ronald Reagan & George H.W. Bush. Rogich is the classical political fixer who brings celebrities & pols to big fights and has a school named after him in Las Vegas. Rogich has lobbied the Nevada state legislature to legalize gay marriage & raise state taxes & increase immigration; he’s pretty much your classic Establishment Republican who has the ear of every state pol & wannabe pol nationally because of his public relations operation, Rogich Communications Group, and his background in advertising.
Oh yeah, he’s one of those classic pro immigration and pro higher tax Republicans. But regardless of what his red / blue designation is, Rogich was still a former NSAC chairman. As was Lorenzo Fertitta. And Marc Ratner used to have Keith Kizer’s job. It’s interesting to hear Zach opine that these ex-NSAC dudes are the ones with the power to dictate whether Keith Kizer stays or goes. If that fell upon anyone, you’d figure it’d be commission chairman Bill Brady, but that hero sure did put his foot down when he dared to criticize judge selection as being ‘somewhat sloppy.’