If you’re a big follower of MMA personalities on the social medias, you might’ve gotten wind of something called #UFCFightKit earlier today, which rang in the official unveiling of the Reebok’s UFC fighter uniforms (or “kits”). The ceremony — which kicked off in NYC just 20 minutes past its 10 am-scheduled time — was of what we’ve come to expect from the UFC’s “style over substance”-themed press events: A hysterically inept series of flubs that managed to both hyperstimulate and underwhelm at every conceivable turn.
Truthfully, the only enjoyment anyone has been able to scrape out of the whole ordeal has come via the brutal mocking the event has received on said social medias, so join after the jump to check out all the highlights (if you can call them that) from this morning’s ceremony. In keeping with the UFC’s way of doing things, this list will neither be 10 items long nor adhere to any numerical system.
10: The Music
While we are eternally grateful that the UFC had the nu-ance to pass on the nu-metal (I’m sorry) stylings of STEMM for today’s event, what we were given in its place was something arguably worse: Overbearing, wub-wub-laden dubstep. Or maybe it was trap. I honestly have no idea.
Look, the UFC’s fanbase is already widely-perceived as musclehead, skull t-shirt clad dudebros who can barely make it through a PPV without destroying a Buffalo Wild Wings, so can we please not add these kind of douchebags to the equation? What’s so wrong with Soundgarden, is I guess what I’m saying.
Ironically enough, it wasn’t until today’s launch that I realized “Watch you rise, watch you fall, now I’m about to break” perfectly describes the journey of a UFC fan over the past 5 years.
9: The Lighting (Or Lack Thereof)
I will never claim to be the authority on fashion, fashion shows, or any season of America’s Next Top Model (barring season 2, obvi), but when you’re holding a lavish ceremony to show off your “game-changing” and other buzzwordy uniforms, shouldn’t you actually be able to see said uniforms? Or the fighters wearing them? That photo up there? The brightest it ever was during the ceremony.
For the most part, fighters entered in complete darkness, with only the occasional laser or strobe light to lead the way. It was…confusing from a focal standpoint. The entire unveiling looked like it was shot in the same basement wherein Wanderlei Silva documents his slow spiral into schizophrenia.
(That’s Rory MacDonald in the second photo, BTW, perhaps the only fighter at the ceremony who was accustomed to lifelessly standing around in the dark.)
7.5: The Voice
As if hearing the phrase “UFC Fight Kit” repeated ad nauseum by a robotic, overly-reverbed and oddly threatening voice (while the same 30-second dubstep tracked played on loop) wasn’t off-putting enough , it would’ve helped if the UFC/Reebok had hired a voiceover guy who knew how to pronounce the actual fighters names. “Cai-yeen Velasqwez”, “Alexander Goose-stuffson”, and “Fabricio Ver-dumm” were just a few choice selections that this demon-infested Speak-n-Spell spat out.
Eleventeen: This Camera Angle
Because nothing says “passionate” and “prepared” quite like repeatedly cutting to a shot of your presenters AS THEY READ OFF A TELEPROMPTER.
Come on, you guys! You’re not even trying!!
@!$: This Lady. This Poor, Poor lady.
It’s probably hard enough to go up in front of a room full of of journalists (as well as the hundreds of thousands of tens of people watching online) and act as if adding mesh to a t-shirt is the next evolutionary step of our species, but to send a heavily-accented German woman who probably wouldn’t know what MMA was if I told her I covered it for a living? That’s just cruel, son.
I’m sure Ms. Werkle is a lovely woman, and she was never short on enthusiasm throughout her presentation, but she also seemed to have no clue who the fighters she was speaking to even were.
“What happened to your arm?” she asked Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who calmly explained that she got it defending her title all of 8 days ago.
“What are you up to in the next 2 weeks? Are you training?” she asked Cain Velasquez, who just lost his title all of 17 days ago.
She almost got kicked in the head by Conor McGregor. The whole thing was hilarious.
6 x 3 (2w + 8): The Uniforms Themselves
I’ll give Reebok this, they seemed to put a lot of thought into the bra technology of the women’s uniforms, as explained by a painfully awkward exchange between Werkle and Ronda Rousey late in the ceremony, but the men’s kits?
“I dunno, bro, maybe just add some more slanted stripes and call it a day.” — Reebok design team
I’m not saying the UFC’s uniforms had to contain Aoki-esque levels of eye factor — and how could you expect that from a company uniform, really? — but this looks like an NBA warm-up shirt over a pair of bleached jorts. Highly customizable? I think not. “Allow for individualism“? Not so much.
#Pineapple: The Prices
95 DOLLARS? FOR A HERNANI PERPETUO REPLICA “JERSEY”? WHAT THE FUCK’S A HERNANI PERPETUO?!! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
I know what you’re thinking, “But a football jersey costs around that much, you biased, UFC h8r non-journalisty subjective a-hole!!” To which I say: True, but I don’t recall any Tom Brady jerseys with giant “N–F–L” letters plastered across the front flying off the shelves. That’s because they don’t exist. That’s because uniforms are supposed to be representative of the player/team, not the corporation that owns them. Because fans are interested more in the players than the brand they are (unwillingly) bound to.
The UFC brought in 20 or more off its biggest talents, then proceeded to have them stand in the darkness like creepy living mannequins while strobe lights lit up their UFC-branded torsos and nothing else. If that doesn’t tell you who the UFC really values first and foremost, I don’t know what does.
Too: The Ending
No music. No lights. Barely an applause. Werkle stumbles through a recap of the pillars of fighter uniforms and then, darkness. Not unlike the darkness left in my soul after realizing that I actually wasted an hour of my life watching this, and now double that writing this article…
God, why have you forsaken me? Why have you given me a voice, then forced me to waste it covering this tripe? Is it because I hit that hobo with my car when I was 18 and drove off without checking on him? Or because I killed my twin brother in the womb? Because if you think about it, that second one was more your fault than mine — you knew damn well that there wasn’t enough room in there for the both of us, yet you allowed it to happen. Created in your image, I was, and now forever destined to spend my life toiling away in a Sisyphean hellscape only occasionally punctuated by bouts of LCD-induced levity. I renounce your name, lord and savior. I renounce your name.
1: GIBLERT. MELENDEZ.
As many on social media have been quick to point out, the website in which fans can purchase these bland, insanely-overpriced uniforms is already fraught with errors. From Marcio Lyoto Machida to Jacare “Ronaldo” Souza, the general lack of spellchecking out of the gate by Reebok is really something to behold, but none have given us more of a chuckle than that of former Strikeforce lightweight champion and UFC title challenger Giblert Melendez.
It’s a small mistake, really, but Twitter’s reaction to it has been nothing short of gold. Giblert’s already received his own handle, and is really looking forward to his fight against La Iaquinta on Jluy 15th. Other notable zingers included:
Congrats on another home run of a press conference, UFC, and don’t let the fact that next to no fighters are voicing their support for these uniforms online dissuade you from plowing ahead with this poorly-conceived endeavor. Like it ever has, amiright?! Up top!!