Friday, October 24, 2008

UFC 90 predictions

Patrick Cote is in Rosemont, Illinois, cutting the last bit of weight needed to make 185 pounds. Tomorrow will be the biggest fight of his career so far, and in all likelihood will be the biggest fight he will ever be in. He is facing Anderson Silva, who many people consider to be the best fighter in the world. Cote feels confident and relaxed, and claims to have a sound gameplan to defeat Silva.

But who fucking cares about Patrick Cote?

Ricardo Almeida sure does. Almeida was expected to walk through Cote when they fought in July, with his excellent ground skills leading to an easy submission. Instead Cote took him to a pretty uninteresting split decision. For winning this fight, Patrick Cote gets his chance to become a superstar (although the more likely outcome is that he becomes a tragic part of a highlight reel).

Ricardo Almeida is sitting on his couch, drunk as fuck and sobbing into a bucket of KFC. There's an outdated treadmill sitting in a corner of his living room, covered in old, greasy foil from disgusting hamburgers from the local Wendy's. He hates it. He feels it staring at him, mocking him, laughing at him in an awkward, stunted manner. Tomorrow Almeida will wake up at noon, borrow his friend's truck and take the treadmill into the New Jersey wilderness. He will drink himself into a stupor while he takes out his anger on the treadmill. He will swear at it, curse it, kick it and throw it. He will throw rocks at it, and try to push it down a hill (it is a small hill, and he's really drunk so it won't be as dramatic as he'd hoped). When the bottle of raspberry schnapps is finally finished he will return to the truck to grab a rifle and an opened envelope, which he will place in his pocket. He will take surprisingly steady aim, pull the trigger and put a solitary bullet into the control console. Almeida will drop the rifle, pull the envelope out of his pocket, open it and produce a card. As soon as his eyes touch the card he will drop it and begin sobbing uncontrollably.

The card lies face up in the autumn leaves, open for the world to see. Inside is blank save for the handwritten words:
"I think you need
this more than me


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Student Union

I'm sorry to people who don't go to Nipissing but I feel like I should add some school related content. So I'm going to write about the only thing gayer than half naked dudes tweeking their nipples at each other: student politics.

Our student union stinks out loud. This is objectively true. The point of a union is to look out for the best interest of its members. Our "union" is closer in function (and practice) to an incorporated group of investors, where the investors rarely get to see a return on their investment. There is nothing wrong with paving the way for future generations, or even paying off the debts of students who came before. The problem is that the union is completely misjudging the needs of its members.

We have a relatively small student population (combined with the attached college we are under ten grand), yet we have one of (if not the) biggest campus bar in Canada. In order to keep this bar running they do weddings and events that in no way benefit the student population. You could argue that the money generated from these events would be redistributed back towards useful students, but that would be naive and demolishing every definition of "useful".

There are no services provided on campus on Sundays. The student pub and pizza shop are closed by 6 on most nights (the Pita & Pizza place is often closed by 4:30).

I kinda lost track of what I was doing and instead was learning about famed negro gunslinger Doug Raymond, as mentioned on the Nipissing Wikipedia Article.

This was gonna be a long and rambling thing about how student politics are dumb as hell in the long view because university is about getting drunk and laid and reading books and meeting new people (and posting on the internet). Being interested in politics and your surroundings is very valuable, but spending your youth complaining and griping about your position (when you are probably priviledged as hell since you are attending a University) is probably a waste. Playing grownup is fun, but being a student is even better.

I completely lost focus on this one, but next time you are deep in thought about student politics just remember that we have a really big fucking bar, and watch out for Doug Raymond.


Fighting is a tough sport. People get hurt fighting and training, people get sick, and sometimes people get injuries that stick with them for the rest of their lives. Currently, if a fighter gets hurt training for a fight, or on a show with less than ideal insurance (the UFC has tremendous insurance for their shows), they have to pay for it out of their own pockets. This is not a problem for big names like Chuck Lidell as they make a pile of money, and can afford excellent medical attention. But even guys who are making what would otherwise be a comfortable living are in a real tough spot if they get hurt.

Not only do guys lose any money they would have made from fighting, they lose any sponsorship money they would earn per fight. They have to pay their medical bills, and that can add up pretty quickly, as not every country has socialized health care.

Now the obvious solution to this problem is to nationalize health care and insurance. Unfortunately, America is The Worst, so other measures have to be taken. In most instances, the next logical choice is to unionize.

Unfortunately, America tends to stink at unions. Add to this the fact that a significant portion of fighters don't live in America (I don't have any idea as to the quality of Brazilian social services for example), there are no "big names" willing to go to bat for a union (except Tito, but he's dumb as hell), and almost all of the smaller organizations would just not be able to afford to contribute significantly towards health and disability insurance. A really strong union with high demands would cripple all but the most financially stable organizations.

The next step from here would be for the fighters simply to take a portion of each fighters salary and buy group insurance policies. This is a great idea for the little guy, but is entirely dependent on the good will of the more popular fighters. Such a union would be able to negotiate higher salaries from organizations who can afford it, hopefully allowing the smaller companies to survive and increasing the quality of life of the little guy. Unfortunately, the only dude making reasonable money I see straight up going for that idea is Jeff Monson, who probably has better (or possibly much worse) ideas on this subject than I do.

Big organizations like the UFC could cover injuries incurred will training, but it doesn't seem like something they are interested in doing. If fighters' salaries increase on their own to the point that they don't have to fear for their livelihood in the case of injury then a union will become less imperitive, but right now there are some guys in very difficult positions trying to live their dream and make a decent living.

I didn't talk about a pension fund, which on one hand is really a basic thing that everyone should have access to, but on the other hand the idea of Marcus Davis eating dog food in his later years is pleasing to me.

My Nipissing University Moment

Today I went to the cafeteria to get some toast.

They charged me extra for jam.

As far as my classes go, I'm getting better at dodging bulls and jumping out of a burning building onto a trampoline, but I still can't quite get the hang of getting fired out of a canon.

Monday, October 20, 2008

EliteXC Folding?

According to Dirty Dave, EliteXC looks to be dead. Before their last show they were estimated to be 60 million dollars in debt. They were in talks to sell to CBS, but they've fallen apart. Its speculated that this is because of an investigation by the Florida Athletic Commission stemming from Seth Petruzelli's suggestion that he was paid to keep the fight against Kimbo standing.

The reason this is a bad thing is that EliteXC swallowed up some of the mid level organizations operating in the US, so this is going to leave a big whole in the MMA world. Up and coming dudes will have a harder time getting noticed, washouts will have a steeper hill to climb towards redemption, and just plain middling fighters will either get killed by legitimate competition or fight for 30 dollars a night. A lot of fighters are going to have a much more difficult time making a living, which is going to cause a kind of talent recession. American MMA will still be around, but it will not be nearly as healthy as it could have been.

As far as British MMA goes, it looks like we are going to lose Cage Rage. Cage Rage is objectively the best thing to happen to England in the last hundred years. It was so sleazy and unorganized and everyone involved looked like a penis. Hopefully something will come together to attempt to take its place, but it just won't be the same. Goodbye Cage Rage, you were too sleazy for this world.

This means a lot of dudes are going to be out of work very soon. The UFC will pick up a few of them (probably a mix of prospects and established guys), Strikeforce will hopefully land some lightweights for Josh Thomson, Sengoku might have a few fights for a couple of guys, Affliction will probably grab Kimbo, DREAM can't pay anybody but will still end up with some naive and hungry fighters, and everyone else is going to end up working smaller regional shows or as rodeo clowns (this is currently the most viable Cage Rage alternative).

This is all just rumour at this point, but Meltzer is usually a man in The Know. It will be interesting to see how everything shakes out, but its a very shitty situation for the majority of the fighters. Some guys like Jake Shields will probably end up in the UFC (this is good because it gives fighters a home and provides new matchups, and bad because those matchups will involve Jake Shields), and Strikeforce's NBC show will hopefully learn some valuable lessons (if it goes through).

I don't really know what to make of this right now, but its very believable that EliteXC has eaten shit.

UFC 89 in Review

It fucking sucked.

Carwin won by landing three punches from mount, the Lytle/Taylor fight was allowed to take place, I don't remember what happened in the Davis/Kelly and I was stone cold sober, Jardine's victory over Vera was a little unsatisfying (though it is always satisfying to see Vera lose) and neither Bisping nor Leben are good enough to make for a compelling main event.

Sudoku/Cane went pretty much as expected, although a lot of people were hoping that Sudoku had developed a gas tank or a gameplan (not very likely when you're training at Team Quest).

To top it all off Akihiro Gono may end up retiring because it looked like he injured his already messed up left hand against Dan Hardy. Dan Hardy might have retired Gono.

The best fight of the night was between Jim Miller and David Baron (which you can watch at, and that wasn't very close at all.

England sucks.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


UFC cards from England are interesting in that the audience provides a much different atmosphere than the usual American venue. Whereas the typical American audience is growing and evolving along with the sport, the English are just as drunk and bloodthirsty as ever. And that is something I feel I can really relate to.

A lot of the fights should be fun, but England fights mean English fighters, which in turn means really bad grappling. Let's have a look shall we.

David Baron vs Jim Miller
Both guys are good grapplers, with Baron arguably being France's top fighter. Baron defeated Mach Sakurai in May (which made me cry like a baby), and Miller's a young dude with a lot of upside. I hope this gets shown, but it probably won't because its likely to go to a decision.

Shane Carwin vs Neil Wain
Shane Carwin looks like a massive version of Mark Coleman and Neil Wain is your fat friend who wears a shirt when he goes swimming. Carwin is a fucking wrecking machine who is exactly what people wished Brock Lesnar would be. Expect Wain to look stupid.

Dan Hardy vs Akihiro Gono
Gono has really good striking, and is generally fun as hell. Dan Hardy trains with Our Hero and #1 Foot Holder Eddie Bravo, so expect Joe Rogan to stammer on about how bad Gono's striking is and how we just don't understand how good Hardy is until Gono puts Hardy away. Gono is paying for his own ring entrance, so chances are it will never make it to air.

Paul Kelly vs Marcus Davis
All I know about Paul Kelly is that his fight with Paul Taylor stunk out loud. I don't remember who won and I really don't care. Marcus Davis pretends like he's irish, so pretty much every day is St. Patrick's day for him. Davis has good hands and is rounding out his game, but he'll probably never progress past being "kinda popular in England" and nothing more.

Paul Taylor vs Chris Lytle
not even gonna watch this fight

Sokoudjou vs Luiz Cane
I don't know much about Cane, but I hear good things. Sokoudjou has heavy hands, good judo and questionable cardio. He was clowned by Machida, but he's knocked out some good fighters (watching Nakamura falling off his stool was hilarious and crushing all at once). Hopefully this fight will clear up a lot about both fighters (answering important questions such as "Have I seen Cane fight before?")

Keith Jardine vs Brandon Vera
According to both Rogan and Goldberg Vera has the tools to beat anybody, but very few people have ever lived up to the RoganBerg Hype Machine. Jardine will probably want to try to pick him apart standing, but if you asked Greg Jackson he'd tell you that Jardine is going to try to wrestle him. Jardine looks downright stupid when he's in his groove, but it works for him. Vera is very hard to like, and his strategy is to get beat up and hope Jardine gasses. One of these things is very likely to happen.

Michael Bisping vs Chris Leben
Bisping's improving, Leben's improving, but chances are neither of them will actually reach a point where they are serious contenders. This could be a fun fight, but its really hard to get hyped up for it in a main event way. Some people have really strong feelings about Bisping and Leben due to stuff that happened on the Ultimate Fighter. These people form opinions based on reality television and conversation with them should avoided at all costs.

It should be a decent card and the price is right. At least you don't have to justify paying to see Bisping/Leben.