Last night, Deadspin posted newly leaked footage from The Day the Clown Cried, a never-released Jerry Lewis movie about “a clown in a concentration camp who entertains Jewish children as they are led to their deaths.” That film should have never made it to production in the first place, just based on its horrific premise alone. But it was actually completed in 1972, and would have made it to theaters if the movie’s producers didn’t have the good sense to bury it. Since then, it has become one of cinema’s greatest urban legends, only viewed by a handful of Jerry Lewis’s friends.
If there is an MMA equivalent to The Day the Clown Cried, it’s this: A 2007 Spike TV special called “Bad Blood: Dana White vs. Tito Ortiz” which follows the UFC president and former light-heavyweight champion as they prepare for a three-round boxing match, which was organized only because of their mutual dislike. The premise is just as absurd, the footage is just as embarrassing, and luckily for humanity, the fight never happened.
In fact, the 90-minute special ends with the revelation that the fight isn’t happening. Ortiz fails to show up to the weigh-ins — which he claims was due to a contract dispute — and the Nevada State Athletic Commission officially cancels the proceedings. So in a way, this video is also MMA’s version of Geraldo’s visit to Al Capone’s vault, in terms of pathetic anti-climax. But in this case, we were spared an indulgent freak show on top of a serious lose-lose situation for the UFC: Either Dana White gets his ass kicked on cable TV, or a 37-year-old fight promoter out-strikes a future Hall of Famer. It wouldn’t be a good look in either scenario, and we can’t help wondering if it was all just hype in the first place.