UFC 178 is in the books, and it was arguably the best UFC event of the year. Leading up to the extravaganza at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the fight card looked promising, even though the cancellation of Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight championship had us all pretty bummed out.
With Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso stepping up to the plate, nobody was truly interested in their flyweight title fight, simply because the rest of the card had more compelling stories, alongside fights deemed a little too difficult to call in order to bet the house, Coleman style.
That being said, let’s take a look at the most compelling scraps, and what to make of it all after we spent the last eight hours shadowboxing, binging on dollar store mini donuts, and obsessively searching the web for that CRUZ sweater.
Welcome to “Cutting Through The Bullshit,” UFC 178 style.
“[If Weidman beats Belfort] he’s the best. He’s No. 1. How is he not No. 1 pound-for-pound in the world if he beats Vitor Belfort?” White exclaimed. “It’s impossible not to call him the No. 1 pound-for-pound guy.”
You hear that? IMPOSSIBLE! Don’t even try it, ya dummy! When a reporter pointed out that White recently made the same proclamation about Renan Barao, White made a very cogent argument in support of his new stance. Just kidding:
(They’re wearing camo so the technique must work.)
By Eric Linderman
Hey, everybody. I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. Frankly, I don’t care that you don’t care. But I’ve done this stuff for at least a decade, so I hope that adds some credibility to my destruction of bullshit martial arts techniques. I could go and list and all my belts and experiences, but really you don’t care. You just want to know this week’s Martial Arts Fail.
So what do you do in a knife attack? What is my defense? Do I stay out of range? Obviously not, because that would actually make sense. Do I get in really close? Yup, and not only do you get in really close but you also block and strip your attacker of his weapon.
I have seen a number of movies, YouTube videos and martial art seminar that come with a blistering array of stupid “katas” and series of moves to disarm a knife attack. As a result, it spawns all kind of stupidity.
Remember that movie Jason Bourne with Matt Damon? Yeah the one where he fights that foreign guy who has a knife and Matt Damon prevents being stabbed by stopping the knife wielder’s attacks with a towel? Yeah? Good. Sounds dumb when I spell it out don’t it?
Jump to the 1:10 mark to remind yourself.
In my time, I’ve had many good teachers and I’ve seen lots of crap. My problem with “cool moves” in action movies is that it spawns kids to go and find out what martial art style will teach them to fight “like that” or a martial art instructor who will teach them “crap” because it is what kids want to learn. So here, we go with stupidity demonstration number 1:
Ready to see some bullshit “martial arts” get exposed in hilarious fashion?
Good! Because that’s just what we have in store for you with our new somewhat-regular feature: Traditional Martial Arts Fail of the Week.
From now on, on each weekend that doesn’t host a UFC event we’ll be posting the most laughably atrocious foibles, gaffes, and mishaps from traditional styles (and other Bullshido like Dim Mak).
For the inaugural video, our friends at Break.com have uncovered a Finnish Jedi by the name of Jukka Lampila. Lampila claims mastery of the “Empty Force”—a mysterious power that can control an attacker that requires no physical prowess or martial proficiency. Though, according to the official website, we’re not doing this formless art justice in our description.
“There is a multitude of descriptions for the term but none of them might reveal its meaning in all aspects,” is how the site describes Empty force or “Efo” for short.
But get this, they even advertise that there’s zero technique involved and that you can skip classes without missing out on learning:
With Efo, there are no specific forms or technics [sic] and each trainee applies it the way it best fits oneself. In Efo there are no “courses” that would start and end somewhere. Instead, the fundamental principles (relaxation, mind and breathing) are exercised during every session. Thus, anyone can join and train any time. And if you can’t join each and every session, you won’t miss anything irreplaceable.
Judging from the video, the Efo website is telling the truth; you won’t miss anything at all from ditching this guys classes.
Ultimate Fighter Finale cards weren’t always so garbage-ass. On December 5th, 2009 — four years ago today — the TUF 10 Finale went down in Las Vegas, with a lineup featuring Jon Jones (before he became light-heavyweight champion), Frankie Edgar (before he became lightweight champion), Kimbo Slice (who was one of the most popular figures in the sport at the time), as well as Roy Nelson, Brendan Schaub, and Matt Mitrione. Today, a UFC card with those names would be sold as a pay-per-view, and it would probably do pretty damn well*. In 2009, this was just another free show on Spike TV, a cable channel that everybody knew how to find. Damn…we just didn’t know how good we had it back then.
Jon Jones, who was 22 years old at the time, had earned a prime spot on the TUF 10 Finale main card thanks to his 3-0 run in the UFC light-heavyweight division, which included a hilariouslymadcap decision win against Stephan Bonnar, and a second-round submission of fan-unfavorite Jake O’Brien. This was the pre-backlash Jon Jones, a guy who was universally beloved for his dynamic wrestling ability and his improvisational striking, which he picked up (as the legend goes) from watching YouTube videos. Matt Hamill was supposed to be just another stepping-stone in Jones’s quick rise to the top — a recognizable TUF-guy for him to squash. And that’s exactly what happened, even though Hamill wound up winning the fight on a technicality.
You may have already read the depressing accounts of “McDojo”-type martial arts schools written by our own Brian J. D’Souza and Seth Falvo, but here’s some visual proof that the culture of bullshit, bastardized karate/kung fu/whatever is alive and kicking (no pun intended), and still being swallowed up by gullible cult-members.
The above video shows a 5th-degree black belt test held by the World Martial Arts Association, based in Brooklyn, New York. Forget the fact that all these guys move like hyperactive yellow belts, and would all be smashed by anybody with four months of actual striking or grappling training — they’re grandmasters, every last one. Be sure to watch to the end to see a woefully out-of-sync kata demonstration, in which grown-ass men all try desperately to be the first one to finish. IT’S NOT A RACE, TIMMY.
After the jump, “headmaster” Michael T. Dealy freestyles against three attackers. You have never seen so many kicks blocked with forearms in your entire life. Lots more here.
A revolution is something that changes the system in a radical way. It’s an advancement that brings new ideas to the forefront. In many ways, this was what UFC 1 was. Organized by Rorian Gracie, Art Davie, and Bob Meyrowitz of Semaphore Entertainment Group, martial artists from a variety of styles were called upon to prove the superiority of their art by entering an eight-man elimination tournament at a November 12, 1993, event hosted in Denver, Colorado.
Many MMA fans know about the legend of Royce Gracie defeating professional boxer Art Jimmerson, Pancrase fighter Ken Shamrock and Savate champion Gerard Gordeau in one night to be crowned the first ever UFC tournament champion. But now, nearly 20 years after that historic event occurred, how much “truth” about how to effectively train and prepare for fights has trickled down to martial artists across the globe?
Sure, there are growing numbers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools and a resurgence of interest in Muay Thai or other stand-up styles suited for MMA across North America. But the same old “McDojo” styles consisting of impractical or untested methods are just as prevalent today as they were decades ago before the inception of the UFC.
I learned this for myself a couple of years ago when I was working part-time at a downtown gym. Because it was free, I checked out the “kickboxing” class that was offered. I knew the basics of boxing, and had done some Muay Thai before, so I figured I’d at least get a good workout. I didn’t bank on discovering that the McDojo mentality was still alive, even well into the heyday of the UFC’s dominance in Canada.
The class itself was basic Taekwondo repackaged as kickboxing. Some unorthodox TKD kicks can be effective, as various MMA fighters have demonstrated over the years. That still doesn’t compensate for a lack of footwork, defensive drills, or other deficiencies inherent in this variation of kickboxing.
The stone in my shoe that started with irritation and eventually became unbearable over time wasn’t the lack of useful techniques taught, but the tall tales that the instructor told. In one of his stories, a disrespectful jiu-jitsu practitioner (identified by his T-shirt) stepped to him at a bar; he responded by thumbing the BJJ guy in the eye, bragging to his students “Sometimes you have to fight dirty.” In another story, one of the instructor’s students — who knew nothing whatsoever about wrestling or grappling — had gone to a BJJ school, and “did well.” The student had also “almost KO’ed” another student.
(Wandy’s Trollshades increase his AprilFoolpower by a magnitude of eleventy bazillian. / Photo via Wandy’s FB fan page)
At some point, April Fool’s Day became less about playing elaborate pranks to humiliate your loved ones, and more about just lying to people all day. Nobody puts in the effort anymore. Announcing that your girlfriend/wife is pregnant on Facebook? Yeah, that’s not funny at all. (Side note: @Karmaatemycat gets a pass for doing this yesterday, because the idea of Jefferey Watts as a father is so terrifying that it actually made me hold my face in my hands for about 20 seconds.)
The MMA fighter equivalent of announcing a fake pregnancy is announcing a fake fight or retirement. Tim Kennedy did it. John Alessio did it. Louis Gaudinot did it. The idea is, these statements are believable enough to be true. But in the grand scheme of things, does anybody really give a fuck if John Alessio is coming in to replace Ryan Couture on Saturday? I hate to rag on a guy who we otherwise have so much respect for, but I’m just saying, it’s not a joke, it’s a lie, and making up lies about yourself to trick people is both uncreative and kind of egotistical. As our bro Vince puts it, “Getting me to believe something plausible but untrue is not a ‘prank.’ If that’s a prank, then man have I pranked some women and prospective employers, hoo boy.”
The biggest difference between Wanderlei’s possibly-fake fight announcement and all the others, is that Wandy actually reached out to media. He confirmed his story with MMAWeekly’s Ken Pishna. Then, he gave a rather entertaining interview to Tatame where he had this to say:
Alistair Overeem has plenty of haters out there. Haters saying stuff like “He’s a cheat,” or “He uses steroids,” or “All of his recent accomplishments are tainted because his entire heavyweight career is a byproduct of unnatural chemical enhancements.” Also “Leave the horses alone!”, though that’s just PETA, and they hate on everyone so they don’t really count. Well, Alistair Overeem has something to tell all the haters (except PETA) out there: he’sclean.