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Featuring Ivan Trembow's Self-Important, Random Rants on Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Pro Wrestling, Television, Politics, Sports, and High-Quality Wool Socks

Friday, January 16, 2009
Mixed Martial Arts--- Random Thoughts on a Variety of Topics
by Ivan Trembow

-One Blemish on an Otherwise Excellent Show: The only part of UFC Primetime's first episode that wasn't excellent was the whole angle of, “BJ Penn is taking a vacation and Dana White is angry about it!” If that came across on TV as a fake, manufactured storyline, that's because it was a fake, manufactured storyline.

The fake, manufactured storyline is not that BJ Penn took a few days off, because he did take a few days off.

The fake, manufactured storyline is that this is anything out of the ordinary for top-level MMA fighters a couple of weeks before a big fight.

This kind of thing happens all the time in an effort to ensure that the fighters "peak" at fight time instead of a couple of weeks before fight time, and the UFC knows this very well.

But it was portrayed on the show like this: "Oh my god, BJ Penn just stopped training! He's just not taking his training seriously!" And then in Episodes 2 and 3 when they show footage of Penn training hard, it's going to be portrayed like this: "Wow, BJ Penn is once again serious about training... he slipped up a couple of weeks before the fight, but now he's serious again, just in time for the big fight!"

It's not that Penn taking a few days off is manufactured. It's the acting for the cameras like it's a big deal, or alarming, or even unusual that is manufactured.

I agree with Bloody Elbow's Luke Thomas, who wrote, "I'd like to see deeper looks into the fighters themselves, their rivalry, their similarities, their differences and their first fight than any manufactured storyline."

-California Commission Clears Gilbert Yvel: Sickeningly enough, the California State Athletic Commission has cleared Gilbert Yvel to fight on the Affliction show, as long as he passes the standard medical tests. I was very surprised and disappointed to hear that California granted Yvel the license that Nevada's commission would not.

No matter what Yvel told the CSAC about how well he's going to behave, and even if he does behave as a responsible martial artist in his fight against Josh Barnett, doesn't brutally attacking a referee the way that he did in 2004 --- under any circumstances --- warrant a lifetime ban from any state with an athletic commission? If it's not an official lifetime ban, then how about a de-facto lifetime ban of "we're never going to license you," which is pretty much what Yvel has in Nevada?

I know that Yvel has a million reasons for why the referee angered him, and he told many of them to the Nevada commission, but I tend to think that a fighter should never attack a referee no matter what the reasons. In a similar situation recently with a crooked, biased referee officiating his fight, Gary Goodridge simply walked out on the fight, losing by forfeit. Nobody made Yvel attack that referee, no matter what his reasons are. Factor in all of Yvel's other disqualification losses, and the decision to license him becomes all the more ridiculous.

Fights in January that I Am Eagerly Anticipating:

-Georges St. Pierre vs. BJ Penn at UFC 94

-Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Day of Reckoning

-Lyoto Machida vs. Thiago Silva at UFC 94

Fights in January that I Can't Believe Are on the Main Cards of Major Shows:

-Stephan Bonnar vs. Jon Jones at UFC 94 (seriously, this fight gets on the main card while the #2-ranked welterweight in the world, Jon Fitch, gets a prelim fight?)

-Josh Barnett vs. Gilbert Yvel at Affliction: Day of Reckoning (it's a disgrace for Yvel to be cleared by an athletic commission to fight anyone)

-Rousimar Palhares vs. Jeremy Horn at UFC 93 (Horn has lost four of his last six fights and has looked very uninspired in all four of those losses)

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