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Thursday, January 22, 2009
Mixed Martial Arts--- Random Thoughts on a Variety of Topics
by Ivan Trembow
-UFC Primetime Eschews Artificial Controversy and Focuses on the Fighters: Kudos to the UFC for not making Episode 2 of UFC Primetime about artificially created storylines. The ignorance of the argument put forth by many that you need artificial controversy to sell a big fight is exposed by the extremely high quality of all but five minutes of the first two episodes of Primetime (I’m referring to the artificial controversey in the last five minutes of Episode 1).
The preview special before the first Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver fight last year is another great example. This is exactly what a “building up a big fight” preview show should be.
-Huerta Taking Time Away from Fighting: Lightweight fighter Roger Huerta recently announced that he will be taking time away from MMA to focus on his acting career, and predictably he has been getting ripped to shreds for it on MMA message boards.
As you may recall, Huerta had the nerve to question the UFC's pay scale in an interview with Fight Magazine last year, and in doing so, he apparently committed the worst sin of all. Fighters have been arrested for all kinds of things, and they’ve tested positive for steroids and just about every other banned substance known to man. But I don’t think any one of those incidents has generated as much universal scorn as Huerta did for the unforgivable sin of questioning the UFC’s pay scale.
After that interview was printed, and after the retaliatory leak came out from Zuffa claiming that Huerta supposedly wanted low six figures and a PPV bonus and that even BJ Penn doesn’t get that, the response from much of the online MMA community was the anticipated response of, “OMG, Huerta is so greedy!” I didn’t see anyone respond with, “Wait a minute... BJ Penn doesn’t make low six figures with a PPV bonus?"
-Health of Gary Goodridge and Other MMA Fighters: Before the California State Athletic Commission shamefully decided to clear Gilbert Yvel to fight in California, there were rumors swirling that Affliction was going to sign Gary Goodridge to be Yvel's replacement and fight Barnett. Goodridge has been fighting in professional MMA since 1996, he is 42 years old, he has lost his four most recent MMA fights, and he has an even longer losing streak in professional kickboxing bouts.
If the rumors are true that Affliction was going to book Barnett vs. Goodridge if Yvel wasn't cleared, then Affliction should be ashamed of themselves. That fight would have been a brutal, one-sided beating.
Even if he's not fighting against Josh Barnett, Goodridge has enough knockout losses between MMA and kickboxing that an athletic commission might need to step in and save him from himself at some point.
The same is true for Kazushi Sakuraba, Hidehiko Yoshida, Ken Shamrock, Don Frye, Wanderlei Silva (getting brutally knocked out cold on three separate occasions is no joke), Murilo "Ninja" Rua (getting brutally knocked out cold on four separate occasions is no joke), and numerous other MMA fighters. Unfortunately, the Japan-based fighters have no athletic commission to look out for their safety above all else, and we’ve yet to see if any U.S. athletic commissions are willing to take an unpopular stand when it finally becomes time for someone to take that stand.
Even if an athletic commission does take a stand like New York did with Evander Holyfield several years ago, the fighters are still likely to try to continue fighting elsewhere, but at least it limits their options and makes it less of an attractive option for those fighters to continue suffering more and more brain damage as the years go on.
Labels: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
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