(Wow! Booster seats and sporks at McDonalds looked really weird back in the old days. Photo via idahogirlinalaska)
By Nathan Smith and Josh Hutchinson
Being a “contributor” for CagePotato.com is kind of like being a barback at a seedy nightclub in Tijuana. We stock the bar with booze, ice, and clean glassware while staying in the shadows hoping to God that we don’t get yelled at. We try to help out wherever we can so the star bartenders (Ben Goldstein, Jared Jones, Elias Cepeda and Seth Falvo) can toss bottles of shitty Tequila like juggling pins while they pour fruit-flavored cocktails to semi hot chicks that they will inevitably hump later on. A contributor cleans up puke, empties ashtrays and eats shit from all the “made men” (both writers and tenured comment section dick-heads) here at CagePotato but it really is a great gig. Can you imagine the sloppy seconds that Danga sends our way?
Needless to say, most of the day-to-day MMA related news topics are taken care of by the staff writers and that leaves aspiring dipshits like me and Hutchinson to try and come up with a fresh or entertaining story idea on our own. Well, this idea is not fresh but it could be entertaining (at least my portions will be, but I have hope for Hutch since he is the guy who brought the word “dicknailed” to the CP). When Jon Fitch was released from his UFC contract last week, I wanted to write a piece on which higher profile fighters I would cut next if I were part of the UFC brass. Because opinions are like buttholes, Hutch had a thought to debate several of the choices in a YAY or NAY style. Before anyone starts hollering about Clay Guida, Jake Shields or the entire cast from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter (that means you Koscheck) take note that we agreed on more than we disagreed and in the spirit of pointless arguments opted to leave the most obvious offenders out. Let’s get started.
SMITH: CUT ‘EM
I was indifferent at first when it came to Frank Mir, but thanks to him beating the shit out of that weirdo Wes Sims in their rematch and then welcoming the former/current sports entertainer, Brock Lesnar, to the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu back at UFC 81, I took a liking to Mr. Mir. Sadly, those warm and fuzzy feelings have dissipated since he magically bulked up (really really really really fast by the way – just sayin’) and decided to conjure his inner Magnus Ver Magnusson while he dedicated himself to strength training with former World’s Strongest Man competitor Mark Philippi. For the record, the Fingal Fingers kick serious ass but I digress.
Mir has always shown that he does not mix the concrete milkshakes into his diet because all of his losses have come via KO or TKO and most of them have been pretty brutal. Then again, getting punched in the face by 250+ pound dudes is not exactly like getting beaten with a pillow. If Daniel Cormier is able to manhandle him, Mir’s walking papers get stamped and FREAKSHOW fights against a guy named Warpath await.
HUTCHINSON: KEEP ‘EM
Frank may be a little bit of a douche and is most certainly an asshole but there is no denying the man’s talents. For starters, Mir holds the record for most fights in the UFC heavyweight division AND most submissions in the heavyweight division AND most finishes in the heavyweight division AND he’s fought 5 different UFC champions AND beat four of them AND really I could go on and on like this but that would be a run-on sentence AND on CagePotato we like to keep it grammatically correct. Take into account the two-year layoff from the sport of MMA after a devastating motorcycle accident — all the while he was in his prime mind you — and that makes his later accomplishments all the more impressive.
Argue price all you want but as a former champion, interim champion and being the only one to ever submit (as well as one of two to KO) Big Nog, I say he’s underpaid. Ok, maybe not underpaid but I’d say he’s earned it. In 22 fights he’s only been to a decision 3 times and all 6 of his losses have come by way of KO. So when Mir steps in the ring you can bet one of two things will happen: We’ll see some slick jiu-jitsu or Mir gets that smug smirk knocked off his face. Either way, the fans win. Think of the fans, Nathan!
HUTCHINSON: CUT ‘EM
Real talk, guys. If Bisping wasn’t British would he be anything more than an average mid-level fighter? Allow me to spell it out here. Another former Ultimate Fighter winner who got there by beating the likes of Kristian Rothaermel, Ross Pointon, and finally Josh Haynes, one of whom you might actually know. He was then gifted fights against journeymen like Eric Schafer and Elvis Sinosic, both of whom are no longer Zuffa employees. A bullshit win over Matt Hamill and a loss to Rashad Evans forced the Brit down to middleweight where, not long after, Chris Leben introduced “The Count” to his inevitable moniker of “pillow fists,” and went so far as to encourage Bisping to take advantage of some free unanswered shots to his face.
At this point in his career, the UFC decided he would make a perfect coach for his own season of The Ultimate Fighter. Why you ask? Because “FUCK YOU” that’s why. The season set up a fight against Dan Henderson which also marked his first real test against an established top tier fighter, and I’m going to stop the walk down memory lane right there. His career since has followed the exact same path to the same outcome. He gets matched up with a couple of low- to mid-level fighter – WINS – and then gets destroyed by anyone close to the top ten.
This would all be well and good if we didn’t have to listen to the guy talk about being a top fighter who deserves a title shot every time someone sticks a microphone in his face. In fact, I doubt the microphone even matters. Can you imagine what it would be like getting a pint at the pub with this guy? One minute you’re sipping a beer and maybe playing darts and the next you’ve got Bisping standing on the pool table screaming that he will kill the next wanker that mentions Anderson Silva because “I’m one of the best middleweights in the world. Dana said so…Dana said” . . . . . then he collapses into a tear soaked pile on the floor.
This is a guy who:
A. If not for his country of origin, would never have had his name anywhere near talks of a title shot.
B. Based off his performances against top guys is way fucking overpaid at $275,000. That kind of cash could get us almost three Robbie Lawlers and that in my opinion is a far stronger investment all around.
SMITH: KEEP ‘EM
I know. I know. More often than not, The Count acts a lot more like The C
ount because of his “I could not give less of a shit” attitude during interviews, blog posts or press conferences but the fact remains — he is always in shape for a fight. Granted, the Wolf’s Lair is probably not the best gym he could be at, and a move to a more technical training facility in the US or Canada would probably benefit his career, but he is always game for a scrap. Was he spoon-fed outclassed opponents in order to pad his record early in his UFC career? Maybe. Probably. OK, YES! But he beat all of those opponents and if you doubt it just ask Matt Hamill who I assume is a top-selling telemarketer since his retirement. I am going to hell for that one.
Has Bisping lost to every big name fighter he has faced? Yes, but he is still a big draw in Europe. All the UFC has to do is have Bisping headline or co-main the FX or FUEL cards twice a year in the UK [Ed. note: You mean "UFC on FS1 UK" cards] and that will justify his paltry salary from the gate money alone. Besides, the UFC doesn’t have very many heels, and since Josh Koscheck is probably going to be on a lot of fishing trip vacations at with his BFF Jon Fitch in the near future, I say keep The Count around for shits and giggles even though he is heading into the twilight of his career at the ripe age of 34. God dammit that makes me feel really old. Thank goodness there is not an age bias for being a porno cameraman or I might find myself in the unemployment line really soon as well.
SMITH: CUT ‘EM
“If you aren’t cheating — you aren’t trying and it’s only cheating if you get caught.” I don’t know who said that but they are smarter than these chicks and once you are a cheater you are always a cheater in the eyes of the fans. Overeem went on a 1-4 losing skid back in 2006-7 which saw him lose to names like Arona, Nogueira, Rua and Kharitonov but he did pick up his only victory over a guy named Michael Knaap in a fight that took place in his native Netherlands. After that, the natural 205’er blew up like Magnus Ver Magnusson (that’s right – 2 WSM drops in 1 post – bring back the Hussafell Stone god dammit) and was straight killing fools in Japan. The dude physically looked like he was about to star in a porno where he was going to overpower and then totally plow a Predator, but we knew the dirty truth and were just hoping for the best even though it was just a matter of time before he pissed hot. Awe . . . . . . screw it . . . . . . he kicked Lesnar’s guts back into fake fighting so he isn’t all that bad. But now that his body has pulled physiology on him – he needs to get on the tread mill and hope to Christ that DW really likes him because after JDS turns his head into a speed bag and he gets his walking papers, The Demolition Man will have a tough time pan-handling because nobody is giving a 6’ 6” yoked dude that looks like a super villain any coin at a Netherland’s off ramp.
HUTCHINSON: KEEP ‘EM
No comment. (Ed. note: That is compelling stuff, Hutch.)
On the next page: two more TUF winners whose best days are in the rear-view.