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Tag: book review

BookPotato: Art Davie’s “Is This Legal” and the UFC’s Old School Age of Insanity


(Photo via Ascend Books)

By Matt Saccaro

My father was an avid martial arts enthusiast. I remember treading into the basement where he had set up a heavy bag, a speed bag, and free weights. There was also a television, and on that television was usually boxing…but sometimes there’d be mixed martial arts—specifically the UFC.

I knew about the UFC throughout most of my childhood, and sometimes I’d even watch the cards with my father. However, I didn’t start getting deep into the TapouT-clad rabbit hole until high school. When I first got my driver’s license, my friends and I headed to the mall. Our objective: Pick up as many old-school UFC DVDs as we could find. We bought one of each they had in stock (I think our first haul was UFCs 1, 3, and 8).

We decided to watch in order. We popped the DVD in, and hit play.

“Hello, I’m Bill Wallace and welcome to McNichols are-*BELCH*”

We died laughing. But Wallace’s infamous burp in the first 15 seconds of the broadcast wasn’t the only bizarre and insane thing to happen during the first UFC event. By the end of UFC 1, I asked myself “What lunacy was going on behind the scenes?” because clearly, things were chaotic behind the curtain.

It’s been a decade since then, and in that decade I’ve read several books that elucidated the circumstances around the UFC’s birth—Clyde Gentry’s No Holds Barred and Jonathan Snowden’s Total MMA being chief among them. These books, while fantastic, don’t offer the same level of insight into the primordial UFC scene than Is This Legal: The Inside Story of The First UFC From the Man Who Created It by UFC co-creator Art Davie.

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The Way of Avoiding the Fight: Four Things You Won’t Find in GSP’s New Book

By: Brian J. D’Souza

Georges St-Pierre’s new book The Way of the Fight is a smashing success as a representation of all of St-Pierre’s ideals, both as a fighter and as a human being. Meshing the genres of biography, philosophy, and self-help, the resulting story yields an enjoyable read that is greater than the sum of its parts. Even more remarkable — the book is devoid of any trace of a bitter or vindictive tone that could taint what is essentially a book about one man overcoming adversity at every turn.

Still, this book is not a comprehensive biography of St-Pierre. As Jacob McArthur Mooney of The National Post notes, “The Way of the Fight is an account of the GSP brand…and the book’s occasional head-feints to the ‘real Georges’ are never more than teases.”

There are critical reasons why any UFC fighter should tread carefully when publishing a book. Look no further than the debacle that ensued between BJ Penn and UFC president Dana White when Penn released his own autobiography Why I Fight in 2010. Or Anderson Silva’s autobiography being pulled off the shelves in Brazil after his former manager Chute Boxe founder Rudimar Fedrigo engaged him in legal action.

But what was so controversial that it was left out of The Way of the Fight? Here’s a primer with four aspects of St-Pierre’s life and career that weren’t touched upon.

PAST MANAGERS

The Way of the Fight is divided into five sections, each focusing on a critical figure in GSP’s development. The last section is called “Conscience” and is centered on Rodolphe Beaulieu, St-Pierre’s current manager, with his other co-manager Philippe Lepage being given a brief mention.

Two names that never come up in this book are Stephane Patry, St-Pierre’s first manager and the promoter of the (now defunct) Quebec-based promotion TKO, and Shari Spencer, St-Pierre’s second manager. Why omit the two most critical people to St-Pierre’s business relationships who played a role in bringing him to superstardom?

Said GSP to YA Magazine of the time period when Patry was managing him, “In my entourage and my management, I got screwed. A lot of people were stealing money from me.”

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Book Review: Betting on MMA By Jason Rothman Provides a Succinct Yet Thorough Examination of “Value Investing” and Its Relation to MMA Gambling

By Jared Jones

I appreciate honesty in writing. I am also a tremendous hypocrite, which is why I often resort to trickery, tomfoolery, and outright fabrications when discussing this thing we call MMA with you Taters. I’m less a blogger, more a magician — a line that I would never suggest you use to pick up women with — and more often than not I resort to a near constant influx of red herrings and other intentional misdirects to even make it through a post. But amidst all the deceit and double-crosses, I do actually manage to squeeze in a few instances of genuine honesty with you readers, more often than not in the Gambling Addiction Enabler pieces I contribute when Dan “Get Off Me” George doesn’t feel up to it.

So when I turned to the introductory page of Jason Rothman’s Betting on MMA to find the statements located directly below, I was pretty much assured that I’d be getting exactly what I wanted out of his look into the world of MMA gambling.

This book is about making money from betting on the sport of mixed martial arts. And that is the only thing this book is about.

If you do not know what a triangle choke is, then this book is not for you. 

And indeed, Rothman’s guide analyzing everything from money line odds to fighter attributes to the power of hype makes no attempt to wow you with its prose. The writing style, though sometimes cryptic and a bit repetitive, is simply a means to an end. That end is making you money, and although I have yet to put any of Rothman’s teachings into practice, I can assure you that Betting on MMA offers enough genuine insight and real-life examples to make it a must own for any MMA fan who fancies themselves a gambler.

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Quick Hits: IFL Fighters to Affliction, Great MMA Book Reviews, and Dana White’s Net Worth


(‘Who has the nachos? Don’t act like I don’t know nachos when I smell ‘em!’)

After reports that Zuffa was buying the video library and at least some of the IFL’s fighter contracts, we kept expecting the flood of stories about all the ex-IFL’ers making the jump to either the UFC or WEC. So far news has been relatively light on that front, but it looks like Affliction has swooped in to pick off a couple of top prospects for themselves.

MMANews.com reports that Roy Nelson will face Xtreme Couture’s Jay White at Affliction: DoR (the abbreviations have already begun, deal with it) in October. Nelson was the IFL’s only official heavyweight champ, and White is…2-5. Wonder which of these guys is being groomed for a big future in the stacked Affliction heavyweight division?

Meanwhile, Sherdog is passing along info that a rematch with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been offered to IFL light heavyweight champ Vladimir Matyushenko. Vladdy beat Little Nog via decision in 2002, and he never faced much of a test during his unbeaten run in the IFL. Matyushenko would make an excellent addition to the growing 205-pound ranks in Affliction, which should soon include Tito Ortiz, who Matyushenko lost a decision to in 2001.

In other news…

- Fightlinker has enlisted the services of Matthew Polly — author of this hilarious and highly recommended book — to review several of the MMA “memoirs” that have hit the shelves in recent months. Polly does to their sense of narrative and craft (and their ghostwriters’ sense of exactly how much work they’d have to do to get paid) what these same fighters would likely do to the face of anyone who uses words like narrative and craft. Fun times. Check out his review of “Iceman: My Fighting Life” and you’ll see what we mean.

- Ever wondered how rich Dana White really is? Well, rich. But Wall Street Fighter tries to nail down a solid figure. It’s actually harder than it sounds, although their photoshop of the UFC Prez is just adorable.

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