(Ricco is about to get his YAMMA on)
YAMMA Pit Fighting just won’t give up. They’ve added former UFC champ and Celebrity Rehab star Ricco Rodriguez to their eight-man tournament, and they’ve also announced that Mark Kerr will take on Oleg Taktarov in a “Masters Superfight”. Exactly what Kerr and Taktarov are masters of is still unclear, though indications are that “Masters” is a kinder synonym for “old”.
But wait, it gets better. Details are emerging regarding the mysterious new surface upon which the fights will take place. The good news is, it’s every bit as ridiculous as we’d hoped:
The YPF surface, known as “The Yamma,” is an evolution of the traditional fighting structure and is designed to keep the fighting more explosive and continuous. In today’s MMA matches, fighters rush their opponents in the quest for a takedown, and the fight often ends up on the ground and pushed up against the fence. The action often stalls there, and must be stopped and moved back into the center of the ring. The Yamma’s design is specifically aimed at stopping this break in the action. The Yamma is a circular pit, shaped almost like a bowl, with a circular flat bottom that rises up around the edge. In this ring, if a fighter is pushed backwards towards the fence, he moves up the lip, gaining both a height and leverage advantage over his opponent. From this position, the fighter on the lip can use gravity and leverage to reverse his opponent, and take the fight back into the center without a break in the action.
If this is all a clever ruse by YAMMA founder Bob Meyrowitz to put on an event that is so strange and obviously ill-fated that people are too distracted to notice while he skips town with the fighters’ purses, then I think we can declare it a success. If the goal is anything else, then no.
Ignoring, for the moment, that “The YAMMA” sounds suspiciously like the surface in Chuck Norris’ World Combat League, I also have to doubt that it will work the way Meyrowitz thinks it will. The fact that he refers to fights that go to the ground and end up against the cage as ‘stalling’ is troubling in itself. That makes me think that he is not a man with a real appreciation of MMA.
If you like fights that never go to the ground or end up against the cage, Mr. Meyrowitz, you should really check out boxing. I think you’ll love it.
But beyond that, haven’t we reached a point where we can effectively declare that the possible “surfaces” for MMA competition are settled? You can have a cage, preferably with eight sides and an even, flat floor, or you can have a ring. Meyrowitz says The YAMMA is “about the evolution of a sport”, but if the intent is to limit groundfighting, how can that be considered evolution? Does anyone out there believe that what’s holding MMA back is the lack of a big, sloped bowl for guys to fight in?
Apparently, yes, someone does. That someone is Bob Meyrowitz, and he seems pretty confident that your mind will be blown when you see Butterbean and Gary Goodridge square off inside The YAMMA. My question is, does it really count as “evolution” if the newly-evolved organism dies almost immediately?