#LinkFrogging...set it off!
#LinkFrogging...supports this Union.
A last-minute training injury to Georges St. Pierre cut the knees out from under
UFC 137, another weird twist in a chaotic card. Nick Diaz was originally to get
a welterweight title shot at the event, but the social anxiety disorder he
disguises as "not giving a fuck" took that opportunity away. Turns out he might
not have had the chance anyway, as new #1 contender Carlos Condit finds himself
off the card and on the shelf until GSP's wheel returns to prime Terminator
In the meantime, the makeshift co-main now becomes the makeshift main. BJ Penn
(Condit's original opponent before Diaz blew it) headlines his first card since
UFC 118 last summer against Diaz. It's a meeting of two guys who tend to talk a
big game and then back it up. We'll see which tough talker can take advantage of
this unexpected showcase.
Between the "spygate" and trash-talk of Rampage vs. Jones and the card-shuffling
drama of GSP vs. Condit later this month, people may have forgotten that UFC 136
hosts one of the most anticipated rematches in recent memory.
Elsewhere on the card, Kenny Florian fights in his FOURTH weight class since
joining the UFC, and controversial loudmouth Chael Sonnen returns to action for
the first time since his suspension for steroids in 2010.
Matt and Bruce agree on EVERY fight for the first time since doing these
predictions, so let's just get into the preview!
Fourteen years and 10 months ago, the Ultimate Fighting Championship held its inaugural event at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. At the time of that event, infamous for Royce Gracie, the guy with one boxing glove and the dawn of the lawless "human cockfighting" childhood of mixed martial arts, Quinton Jackson was a high school wrestler in Memphis, Tennessee. Jon Jones was six.
The McNichols Arena was leveled in 1999 after the opening of Denver's new Pepsi Center, the site o...
LinkFrogging...sending in a Ringer.
It's not that I didn't WANT to like Warrior. It's that I didn't EXPECT to like it.
As far as I could tell, it was the latest attempt at a sports movie set in the world of mixed martial arts and would simply squeeze the genre's battle-tested tropes and plot twists into a pair of fingerless gloves. The trailer and commercials do little to dispel that notion, pretty much laying out the conceit of the movie ("the two men fighting for the championship tonight...ARE BROTHERS!") and playing up every moderately-clichéd beat from the film as if it's the spiritual successor to Never Back Down, Fighting or the direct-to-DVD Undisputed sequels. When I told a friend I had just come from a preview screening, he said, "You mean the one that's 'The Fighter' but with Nick Nolte?"
It's not The Fighter, but it does treat its subject matter with a level of seriousness that continued to impress and surprise me. Warrior isn't just the best MMA film to date, it just might be one of the best sports movies of the past decade.
LINKFROGGING...say our name!
The UFC hasn't put on an event in Brazil since 1998, before the Fertittas and
Dana White took over and LONG before the big Fox television deal the
organization announced last week. It will be a triumphant return for the
octagon, as demand for tickets would have filled a soccer stadium. They probably
hopre it will be a triumphant return for some of their most popular Brazilian
fighters as well, since the card is chock full of them and headlined by Anderson
Silva, possibly the greatest Brazi...
It's been two years since the Ultimate Fighting Championship debuted in Philadelphia with UFC 101, which featured Anderson Silva's crazy backpedaling KO of Forrest Griffin and B.J. Penn's dismantling of the Kenny Floridan Bandwagon Experience. They return tonight with UFC 133, the organization's bi-annual snakebitten event that sees countless card changes due to circumstance and injury.
The night's card underlines two challenges that the UFC's parent organization, Zuffa, faces as the organization's popularity continues to balloon. The first is the aforementioned injury problem: over half of the card changed due to one competitor having to drop out, often late in the training process. That's the story of the main event, where up-and-comer Phil Davis suffered a knee injury and left the UFC without an opponent for Rashad Evans for the second time (Davis himself was something of an injury replacement for Jon Jones, who didn't end up being injured after all). Whether the intensity of training has doubled or the threshold between "fighting hurt" and "injury" has eroded, mixed martial arts' biggest spectacle is seeing more and more card changes, even (especially?) at the main event level. That makes it more challenge to sell and market fights, but the counter-argument is pretty simple: as long as those three important letters are on the poster, you know that someone will step up. In the case of UFC 133, that someone is former light heavyweight champion and future UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz.