That’s just something we have to deal with though. If you don’t like it, vote with your dollar. If enough people tune out, Zuffa’s wallet will know and they’ll either change their tune accordingly or lose money.
2. The UFC is an international company.
There’s been talk about the UFC hiringunfit-for-television jobbers lately. It’s true but necessary. The UFC is headed to distant lands where MMA is in its most nascent stages. The talent pool in these places is more like a mud puddle. The UFC has to work with what it’s given in China and Singapore. Deepening foreign talent pools can only happen by growing the sport overseas, and growing the sport overseas can only happen when they have foreign (foreign to us, home grown to them) fighters on the card. And since there aren’t many great foreign fighters, the UFC has to scrape the bottom of a very empty barrel. This results in fighters getting a place in the “Super Bowl of MMA” who shouldn’t even be in the bleachers, let alone on the field.
I know what a lot of you were thinking (and by “a lot” I mean nobody): Where is The12ozCurls with his obligatory fluffy, ball-washing post on Georges St. Pierre pertaining to his upcoming fight? Well, I hate to disappoint my dozens of CagePotato fans and Twitter followers (seriously, *bottom lip quivers* I got like 50) so I will give you what you want. What most of you want is more ammo to fire in my direction if/when GSP loses. And judging from the current CP Fight Picking Contest stats, a majority of you think Johny Hendricks is going to put my beloved Canadian to sleep on Saturday night. You are all entitled to your opinion no matter how wrong it might be.
Let me explain: GSP has dominated the welterweight division for the better part of a decade. He has systematically vanquished each foe with a combination of athleticism, technique, cardio and sound game-planning. There is no debating that. Yet most of the flat-billed hat-wearing mouth-breathing meatheads that scream “KNEEEEES!” whenever there is a clinch, constantly talk shit on GSP because he is a boring fighter that doesn’t finish (and because he is handsome . . . . really really handsome).
That is the knock on one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time—that he’s ambien personified—but upon further review, GSP has done far more long-term damage to his last 8 opponents than ending a fight via TKO or submission. He effectively sent their careers into the toilet, which is far worse than just knocking them out cold. All of the following fighters were the #1 contender for the UFC WW Championship but each one was sent packing like my ex-wife (What? Too soon?). I’ll start with all the fights after GSP kneed Matt Serra’s kidneys into oblivion and became the undisputed champ back at UFC 83.
Take a look at the first guy who’s career GSP derailed after the jump.
Leben’s WEC middleweight title victory over Swick from January of 2004 is notable for a number of reasons. First, it reminds us that before the Zuffa money came pouring in, the WEC used to hold its events in a weirdo hexagonal cage, almost exclusively in that magical oasis of Lemoore, Calif. Second, it predates either guy’s appearance on “TUF” by more than a year. Third, we felt it was important to include at least one vintage vid for the all the down-ass old-school WEC homies (Doug “The Rhino” Marshall, James Irvin, Lavar Johnson, Olaf Alfonso, et. al. ) who didn’t make this list.
Also interesting that in the above brief highlights of their two-round affair we see the 2004 Leben doing a few things that the 2010 Leben would never, ever do. Things that make you wonder if the 2004 Chris Leben wasn’t the better fighter. At the 54 second mark, it seems Leben sort of pulls guard and starts working for a submission when Swick threatens with a takedown. No, seriously. Not only that but — at about 1:07 — watch him sink a fairly slick rear naked on Swick after dropping him with a left hook. When that doesn’t work, it’s the same-old Crippler. After absorbing six or seven punches to begin the second round, he lands one, which crumples the Swickster. As a reward, Leben gets a dimestore belt and a hug from a pre-terrorist-scarf-and-train-engineer-hat Randy Couture.
(This is the point where we become so proud of ourselves as to be intolerable.)
The good (and obviously brilliant) people over at AskMen.com have compiled a list of the top ten hype-worthy websites that will blow up in 2009. And wouldn’t you know it, Cage Potato clocked in at number six. It’s about time we made a top ten list that wasn’t created by our parents as a ruse to cheer us up when we’re sick.
And #6 is not bad, though it does contradict the “We’re #1!” t-shirts we had made at the mall. The good news is that we came in ahead of sites like Fanhouse.com (#10, so take that, MDS), and Consumerist.com (#8), while getting edged out by noteworthy competitors like TheDailyBeast.com (#5) and TheOnion.com (#2). We can live with that result…for now.
10. ROB EMERSON Offenses: Was arrested in 2000 for his membership in the Lords of South County, a gang of Orange County rich kids who liked to assault innocent people for fun. Arrested again in 2006 after a dustup at a bar, and pled guilty to two counts of battery. His middling fight record doesn’t justify his UFC contract. Notable quote: “I got bent over and took it up the ass on a lot of bullshit judges’ decisions. But fuck ‘em, their faces were fucked up worse than mine. That’s all I care about!”
9. BILL GOLDBERG Offenses: His inexcusably awful work for EliteXC has brought MMA commentary to new, previously unimagined depths. Was reportedly abusive and obnoxious on the set of The Longest Yard. Notable quote: “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t give a damn about traditional mixed martial arts.”
8. BOB MEYROWITZ Offenses: Ran the UFC into the mud marketing it as the most outrageous bloodsport on Earth. Currently working to eliminate ground-fighting with the YAMMA pit. Has a history of losing investors’ money (see eyada.com). Notable quote: “On the streets it’s against the law — in the pit it is the law.” (YAMMA tagline)
Offenses: One of the dirtiest fighters in MMA history. DQ’d once for eye gouging, once for biting, and once for knocking out a referee; laughed when he was arrested after the incident. Notable quote: “The referee…not a good thing, but memorable.”
The eight greatest MMA fighters who have never won a championship or major tournament…
8. Gilbert Yvel (32-12-1)
There are two reasons “The Hurricane” hasn’t risen to the lofty heights of champion: his lackluster ground game and his ridiculous temper. Yvel has undeniable knockout power, particularly in his kicks and flying knees, and 28 of his 32 wins have come via KO/TKO. On the other hand, a quarter of his 12 losses came from well-deserved DQ’s. If he could have gotten out of his own way, this guy could have been on top of the world.
7. Yushin Okami (22-4)
Okami had a good shot to win Rumble on the Rock’s 175-pound tourney in 2006. As you’ll recall, he was staggered by an illegal kick from Anderson Silva in the first round, picking up a DQ win that allowed him to continue on to fight Jake Shields. But Shields beat Thunder in a decision (and ended up winning the whole thing), and Okami’s title hope disappeared. Now in the UFC, Okami is a top contender for the middleweight title — but good luck getting past the division’s undisputed ruler.
6. Jeremy “Gumby” Horn (79-17-5)
Although he has logged an impressive record in over 100 pro fights — beating guys like Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Josh Burkman, Dean Lister, “The Hurricane,” David Loiseau, and Vernon White — “Gumby” has never won the big one. He had two chances to pick up a title (UFC 17 vs. Frank Shamrock for the middleweight crown and UFC 54 in a rematch with Liddell for the light heavy belt), but was stopped both times.