Thanks to everyone who submitted a question for Ask the Potato in our easy-to-use, fun and free forums. We chose a few we liked and decided to drop to some knowledge on you. If your question isn’t answered this time around, it could be because we plan to answer it in the next edition, or it could be because we don’t care about your stupid question. Either way, feel free to submit as many questions as you like, and we’ll get to you eventually.
If there was a guy from Stockton, let’s call him Nick, that wanted to fight another guy from Stockton, let’s call him Nate, which guy would show up and be the bigger gangster? — Knightrida
BG: That’s a very good question, Knightrida. Obviously both of these guys would show up and be gangster as fuck. In the absence of any other information about who these gentlemen could possibly be, I’d have to call the fight a draw, but I’d assume that one of the two would be younger, and kind of strange-looking, and would speak with a near-indecipherable lisp. After the fight ended, each fighter would try to assault the father of the other one. All audience members would personally have middle fingers shoved into their faces — otherwise known as the “Stockton Heybuddy.” The arena would be burned to the ground in triumph.
Mr. Potato, will there ever be hope for Women’s MMA in the UFC and on TUF? –Miss Rara
BF: It depends what you mean by hope, Miss Rara. I’d say there’s hope for women’s MMA in the UFC right now, in much the same way there’s hope for Star Trek-style transporters. One day it could be a reality, but who knows whether any of us will live to see it.
There’s a market for women’s MMA and Dana White seems to realize that. His concern, or so he says, is that there aren’t enough good female fighters to build a complete division. The UFC doesn’t want to do one-offs or occasional side-show bouts, and I think that’s the right attitude. But the more women discover MMA and develop their skills, the better the hopes for women’s divisions in the UFC become. Whether that’s one year away or ten, we can only guess, but I think it’s closer to two or three.
As for women on TUF, I’m all for it. I imagine a blend of TUF and America’s Next Top Model, both of which I enjoy semi-ironically. I also imagine a bunch of sports bra pranks and pillow fights in that house, but what I do with my personal time is none of your business, Rara.
When do tickets go on sale for Affliction’s Day of Reckoning? – Faderade
BF: You’re assuming that event is actually going to happen. I’m not saying it won’t, but when it comes to an MMA upstart, especially one that has already cancelled an event, never assume anything.
Let say, hypothetically, Dana decides that he doesn’t want welterweights and lightweights for TUF 9. Instead he decides to Have “The Ultimate Fighter 9, The Comeback II” Give me two weight classes and some guys deserving of another shot they throw on the show! — The Death Penalty
BG: Thanks for the enthusiasm, TDP! “The Comeback II” is a great idea, and I think Kimbo Slice should take Dana White up on his offer to build a heavyweight season of TUF around him. Who needs a comeback more than this poor bastard? Of course, the rest of the cast would be composed of UFC washouts like Seth Petruzelli (a TUF 2 vet who went 0-2 in the Octagon), Sean Gannon (who lost his sole UFC appearance to Branden Lee Hinkle), Colin Robinson, Soa Palelei, and Mirko Cro Cop. The coaches would be Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez, who could hopefully teach these losers a few things about MMA.
There would also be a middleweight bracket featuring Brandon Vera (I’m assuming he’ll be ordered to drop another weight class after his last loss). He’d be going up against Jeremy Horn, TUF 3 finalist Ed Herman, former UFC middleweight champ Dave Menne, and Jesse Taylor, who could really use another opportunity to show America what he’s capable of, in terms of pissing his pants and kicking out car windows.
What does Cage Potato think about the possibility of creating another weight class between Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight? Who do you think would compete in it? – T-Rex
BF: Logically, a new weight class between 205 and 265 pounds makes sense. That’s a huge range, although as you go up in weight the advantage created by each pound means less and less. But the effect that range has had on MMA is to convince smaller would-be heavyweights (guys like Forrest Griffin, for example) to cut down to 205. If you’re in the 230 range, there’s no reason not to drop those extra pounds (hellish though it may be) rather than fight the Brock Lesnars of the world. In that sense, the market is regulating itself, and that always works out well, right?
My concern is creating a bunch of new weight classes haphazardly and making it harder and harder for fans to follow, but if we’re going to do it we should just move the heavyweight limit down to 240 or 245, then create a super-heavyweight division for everything above that. Guys like Randy Couture, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Andrei Arlovski would be perfect for a 245-pound class. Guys like Lesnar and Mark Hunt and well, Lesnar’s children, would be on a more equal playing field at super-heavyweight. Plus it sounds cool.
We know that Ben Fowlkes used to work for the IFL. Where did both Ben’s get their knowledge of MMA? What got you guys into the sport? What made you get to the top level of knowledge of MMA? Do you guys get press privileges for events or are you shunned as worthless bloggers? — Old, Bald and Irish
BG: I’ve been a martial arts devotee since childhood — there’s a TKD black belt rolled up in my closet somewhere — and a UFC fan since Hackney/Yarborough. And before I moved in with my girlfriend, I’d get on these jags where I’d stay up until 3 a.m. cruising video sites and watching fighter highlight reels. Man, those Emelianenko brothers were something else.
But I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a total fraud when it comes to this shit. Before I launched CagePotato.com, I’d never written about MMA in any capacity, other than a semi-lengthy rebuttal to a post on an acquaintance’s blog that was comparing UFC fighters to prostitutes (see the last comment in that link). I wasn’t a regular reader of MMA websites. I was a TUF fan who’d never bought a single UFC pay-per-view, though I did watch Matt Serra beat Georges St. Pierre at a friend’s house.
What happened was, after five years spent writing/editing for men’s magazines after college, I was out of a job due to Stuff going tits-up last August. Luckily, I soon got a call from another former Stuff editor, who now worked for Break.com and was recruiting writers to launch dude-oriented blogs for their network of websites. He asked me if I was into any sports. I told him that all sports are for homos except cage-fighting. Somehow, I was hired. He offered me about what I’d been making at my previous job, for what at the time seemed like a lot less work. It turned out to be much, much more work, eventually consuming my life and affecting my personal relationships. But I was steering the ship, and it felt good.
Of course, now that I had this website I had to learn about the sport, and fast. And that required reading every story on every MMA blog every day, and studying the Sherdog FightFinder in the same way I studied IMDb filmographies when I was an entertainment writer. Eventually I began to sound like I knew what I was talking about. So basically, what you interpret as expertise is nothing more than a carefully crafted fakery. But I thank you for it.
BF: Yes, I used to write for the IFL. No, I was never super-crazy about the team concept or hokey cartoon mascots, but what the hell, it was a job writing about MMA and I was unemployed. I got into jiu-jitsu after I realized I was too slow, small, and not-good to play football in college. That led to an interest in MMA, just as my crippling social anxiety led to an interest in staying home and writing. Those two interests made for a beautiful marriage, and somehow I still get paid to do it.
Can chicks get boners? — DJ Gargamel
BF: Let’s see, how can I put this? That wasn’t a chick. I think you have some soul-searching to do.