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‘Ben vs. Ben’: The UFC 84 Argument, Pt. 2


(Ring girls: Who needs ‘em?)

Here’s the second half of CagePotato’s head-to-head bitchfest on “Ill Will,” brought to you by the two similarly-named editors of this site. If you missed part one, click here.

***

QUESTION: What does Wanderlei Silva’s future hold?

Fowlkes: Keith Jardine will beat Wanderlei Silva at UFC 84, and when he does it’s going to create some difficult questions for “The Axe Murderer.” Dana White says that he loves Silva. You can see why he would. But as great as he is in terms of showmanship, aggression, and “gameness” (as the Brazilians say), Silva’s best days may be behind him, as is evidenced by his lack of significant wins in recent years.

He’s just taken too many beatings and slowed down too much for his style to be effective any more. He’s got to evolve or get out the game. The question for the UFC is, do they bet on a Silva renaissance or try to convince him to drop to middleweight and start anew?

If Jardine really thumps him, the UFC has to go with door number two. If he has a strong showing, they might try putting him against someone like Matt Hamill or Sokoudjou and figure either way someone gets a bump. Regardless, anything less than a win on Saturday means Silva’s UFC career begins to slip away, even if it might take another fight or two before it completely disappears.

Goldstein: I’m also expecting Jardine to win tomorrow, but not because Silva’s game hasn’t evolved or because his physical condition is on the decline. It’s simply because the rule sets and environments of the UFC and Silva’s old home in PRIDE are so different that they’re barely the same sport. Until Silva can prove that he can work effectively in the Octagon, I’m not betting on him. But I think he can get used to the new terrain in time, and once he does, he’ll have some more thrilling fights left in him.

Losing to Cro Cop, Henderson, and Liddell doesn’t mean that your career is over — it’s the kind of setback that can befall any fighter who continuously fights top competition. Dana White knows that too. Still, Wandy will probably be ordered to drop to 185 if he loses to Jardine. There aren’t a ton of big-money matchups for Silva as a middleweight, but if he can score wins against guys like Rich Franklin, Yushin Okami, and Michael Bisping, he’ll certainly be invited back up to 205 to rematch Chuck Liddell or take on Rampage for the first time in the UFC. Dana White has to be taking the long view on the Wanderlei Silva situation, especially when there are so many other rival leagues that would step over their own mothers to pick him up.

QUESTION: Are Penn and Sherk still going to hate each other after the fight is over, or will they do the gentlemanly “it was all to hype the fight” thing?

Goldstein: BJ Penn has no control over his emotions after a fight — we’ve seen him kiss Matt Hughes on the lips, drink Joe Stevenson’s blood, and run directly out of the Octagon in ecstasy. But as odd as his behavior tends to be, he’s generally in a good mood. If he beats Sherk, you can expect Penn to go over to his opponent and try to gather him up in a long embrace. When he gets the mic, Penn will probably go on about how Sherk is a true warrior with a ton of heart. Even if Penn loses, he’ll probably do all that out of humility.

Sherk, on the other hand, will still hate BJ Penn, win or lose. Why wouldn’t he? Penn is the living embodiment of the court of public opinion — mercilessly raking Sherk over the coals in press conferences when the reality is that Penn has no idea what chemicals Sherk did or did not inject or ingest, he wasn’t there when Sherk was pissing into a cup, and he wasn’t there when the CSAC was very likely fucking up the testing procedure and chain of custody. Sherk was busted, so he’s a ‘roid-abuser in everyone’s eyes — but while us keyboard warriors lob our anonymous e-insults, Penn gets to call him a cheater to his face.

How do you feel when you kick the ass of someone you despise? Vindicated, yes — but do you automatically feel fondness for that person? And what if the person you despise kicks your ass (the more likely scenario for Sherk)? Didn’t we already cover this in the post on Settle Your Grudge? BJ Penn may be able to put the hype behind him on Sunday morning, but Sean Sherk has made an enemy for life.

Fowlkes: Insightful breakdown, but I think you have it exactly wrong. Say Penn loses. Odds are it would be by decision, at which point he’ll be totally pissed off that a guy like Sherk, who he thinks is nowhere near his level as a fighter, took the belt from him. He’ll stand there shocked and confused and wondering how the world got to be such an unfair place. If Penn wins, it’s likely to be by a sudden finish, and he won’t have time to “cross back over” to the side where he can think rationally. Either way, he’ll be worked up afterwards.

Sherk, on the other hand, is more reactionary. If he wins it will all be a lovefest for the people who stood behind him and never lost faith in him and so on. He’ll basically forget about Penn altogether. If he loses he’ll stay calm unless Penn provokes him, which is not unlikely. Sherk seems like the type of guy who might hate you forever, that much I agree with you on, but he’ll keep it to himself unless you give him a reason not to.

QUESTION: Do the Octagon girls really add anything to UFC events?

Fowlkes: Look, I like attractive women as much as anyone, particularly attractive women in bikinis. But something about the attention lavished on the “Octagon girls” makes me feel, I don’t know, disappointed. It’s like when you go to a strip club and you see some girl looking at you like you’re just a walking credit card payment. That’s when you realize that you’re the mark in this con game. It feels bad, or at least it does if you have a voice inside your head that’s capable of saying anything other than ‘Look, boobs!’

Ring girls are the same way. They seem like something a marketing study came up with. Men like fighting. Men like women. Let’s put them together and the rabble will be pleased. It doesn’t help that the Octagon girls look so generically hot, like something a computer came up with after studying MTV for a day. They blow a kiss to the camera, do their little wave and bat their eyes, and I die a little inside.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t be there. I’m just saying that they don’t add anything that you can’t get anywhere else. For all you staunch ring girl advocates, let me ask you this: if your daughter grew up to be a ring girl, would you be proud? Or would you just comfort yourself in the knowledge that she’s not a stripper…yet.

Goldstein: Whatever, queer.

Cagepotato Comments

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javi- May 24, 2008 at 9:20 pm
goldstein is too funny.
PotatoHead- May 23, 2008 at 11:18 am
I find it queer that none of you fags took issue with Goldstein's "insensitivity".
Joe Son- May 23, 2008 at 2:29 am
Oh the things morons say on the internet, when they lack the courage to even speak to a real person.
KG- May 23, 2008 at 2:25 am
Sarah, I believe he called you a fat ass. And I believe I agree with him. Thank you.
lolwut- May 23, 2008 at 2:20 am
sarah that is a classic lezbo answer lol
sol- May 22, 2008 at 8:13 pm
Goldstein's comment made me lol.

While i love seeing some boobs i have to admit, the kiss and wave thing is retarded.
Also if you watch this weeks TUF episode you can see Arianny watching the match in the background with a bored expression on her face.

I dont care if they dont like MMA if they are hot, but why hire a second ring girl who is basically the same as the first just not as hot. They could have got a red head or a blonde, i love variety (unless its hot oriental twins :P)
sarah- May 22, 2008 at 7:57 pm
@knightrida

i see your point: girls who are smart, fun and uniquely hot probably have better things to do than be a ring girl. i suppose i just wish they all didn't look the same, blow the exact same tiny kisses, do the exact same tiny wave. i think they could have more of a mixed bag.

i work in marketing, and i pretty much see ring girls as a wasted opportunity. i totally disagree that the less they show their personality the better. even if one of the girls' personalities was "hugely dumb" and another's was "bat shit crazy" that would be more fun than just seeing five of the same girl. if they had ring girls with various styles and personalities, people the fans actually can tell apart, it would help the industry. as it stands, most fans i come across know the names and personalities of the refs way better than the ring girls. i mean, most strip clubs i've been to have had a greater (and more fun) spectrum of girls. variety sells.

also - you didn't call me fat, right? :)
C-Bus Allstar- May 22, 2008 at 7:16 pm
I'm with Fowlkes on this one. Excuse me for not being your run of the mill college frat boy male-whore, but I think it's pretty disgusting to see all these "Cut from the same blond" females walking around like their shit doesn't stink, AND GETTING PAID FOR IT. It makes me wish I had a cunt between my legs so that I could go work out for a few hours a week and walk around and be gawked at and earn a living at the same time. That'd be fucking nice.
L Grant- May 22, 2008 at 7:01 pm
Goldstein won that entire two part debate with ONE freakin' comment. Ouch! Way to open yourself up there Fowlkes.

(Hey, did NO ONE get my Sandler ref in the last post? I know, it wasn't the best, but it's all I could think of regarding BG's Billy Madison picture)
knightrida- May 22, 2008 at 6:15 pm
@ Sarah:

Describe the personality you would like these girls to have? Arianny doesn't cut it? I think the more they get involved and show their personality defeats the whole purpose. You're not going to get college-educated girls with big futures to be ring girls. Almost the same goes for the fighters, minus a select few.

You're putting yourself in the "typical fat girl rhetoric" category.
tony@rbd- May 22, 2008 at 5:14 pm
Ring girls are more of a tradition for combat sports. Although lately they seem more like just another part of the MMA marketing mix. They appeal because they are hot. They appeal on another level because a lot of them are true fans and know quite a bit about MMA being insiders. No matter how you slice it though, they are being objectified. I seriously doubt most of them want to be ring girls forever. They are only doing it as a stepping stone to do something else. Ex: Rachelle Leah on UFC All Access.
sarah- May 22, 2008 at 5:11 pm
jburg,

not to rain on your ring girl fantasy parade, but i've spent some time with a number of them, and it's only part of their job to pretend to like the sport in interviews - i mean, of course fight promotions want fight fans to think the ring girls love and follow the sport. i'm sure there are a few exceptions, but i have yet to meet them. they DO tend to really like Grey's Anatomy and apple martinis, though, if you're into that.
Jburg- May 22, 2008 at 4:37 pm
Most ring girls actually know a lot about fighting and fighters in general. Look at any interview with ring girls. They may not be the hardcore tattoo-covered fans, but most of them love fighting as much as you or me.
Douchebaggery- May 22, 2008 at 4:32 pm
I don't mind ring girls at all but sometimes I think the showtime/EliteXc/Shoxc whatever girls are too much, not too much like "oh the poor women are being treated like pieces of meat" but rather "damn that shit is hot, I'm getting a chub..oh noes! now I have a chub and I'm staring at two sweaty guys rolling."
sarah- May 22, 2008 at 4:26 pm
i wouldn't mind the ring girls so much if they had 1) personality and 2) better represented the fighter culture.

a blonde with fake tits and clear heels who doesn't give a shit about fights? *yawn*

a tattoo-covered chick who is really enjoying herself and who might be a little crazy? yes, please.

i think ben f's point is that they seem like a half-baked afterthought/marketing tool.
Gaston- May 22, 2008 at 4:01 pm
I may be the only one at this site, but I´m actually with you about the ring girls Fowlkes.
vrax- May 22, 2008 at 3:46 pm
Actually cheerleaders are not a male invention, but rather a common female chimpanzee breeding strategy.

Dr. Richard Wrangham is a scientist who lived with a large tribe of chimps. He would observe a common behavior wherein a group of 3-6 fully matured male chimps would go out in search of members of rival chimp tribes. When they came across solitary or elderly rivals they would beat them down and literally break their backs with stomping.

Now along with these groups of males, there would be 1-3 young but breeding aged females that would accompany the "gang". When the beatings would commence these females would literally jump up and down and cheer! THAT is the origin of this behavior.

The female chimps were then seen as good prospective mates, as they were supporting their suitors in their own status-garnering activities. This would in turn give these younger females a status advantage as the males they had associated themselves with cemented their own status over the next couple of years. Ensuring a greater chance for survival among the offspring of the "cheerleader chimps".

Ok, no more anthropology today, I promise.
Chris- May 22, 2008 at 3:43 pm
All I have to say is,

I like some sex with my violence, and I'm not alone.

Look at any action movie. Tits and fights. Tits and explosions.

Both are visceral. 'Nuff said.
charles- May 22, 2008 at 3:37 pm
haha, nice resonse bg
BIG CHRIS- May 22, 2008 at 3:19 pm
GOLDSTEIN WINS!!!
tully- May 22, 2008 at 3:03 pm
im goin with wandy for the win. i dont think he is really in any trouble is he loses either because as goldstein pointed out he has lost 3 fights in a row but chuck, cro cop, and henderson, are 3 of the best ever. anyone could lose 3 fights in a row to those 3 guys.

and why would anyone complain about ring girls ever? i never thought that there would be any dissent from the general consensus that hot girls rule in any situation at any time.
bump- May 22, 2008 at 2:54 pm
hahahahahahahahaha @ Goldstein: Whatever, queer.
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