Wednesday, January 2, 2008

new year

MMA exploded like mad this year, yielding such shining gems as this blog. OK, other stuff too. We saw PRIDE die, UFC expand, and M-1, HDnet Fights, and EliteXC come firing in. We saw some big hits and some big misses. UFC missed Fedor. Gonzaga hit Cro Cop's head with his foot. Rampage threw one lucky punch and changed UFC's outlook completely.
I dunno, I wanted to write up a long post about the year in review or whatever, but it's kind of lame. 2007 was more of a pain in the ass than anything else. Couture running away, Fedor giving us a total of two fights (wins over Matt Lindland and Hong Man Choi by armbar both times), the WW UFC belt sitting on the shelf waiting for TUF 6 to finish, then Matt Serra getting hurt...fuck, what about Matt Hughes getting a shot at the "interim" belt for what, beating Chris Lytle? He was rightly dominated by the better fighter.
Unfortunately 2008 already has a blight on it, with the light heavyweight UFC belt slated to be on hold til the middle of the year at the earliest due to Rampage and Forrest Griffin coaching TUF 7. What a crock. What about other great LHW fighters? they get to sit. Although I kind of hate myself for saying it, Lyoto Machida deserves a shot ahead of Forrest Griffin. Forrest has two wins after a loss, while Machida has zero losses, ever. His dismantling of Sokodjou at 79 just adds to the injustice of this guy having to probably fight twice more to get a chance at the belt. Kenny Florian is rumored to be fighting Roger Huerta in a bout that leaves Kenflo with everything to lose and little to gain. Although his win over Din Thomas wasn't exactly dominating, he deserves a lightweight shot.
I didn't see it, but the Yarrenoka one-off show seems to have gone over well, tho Fedor-Hong Man Choi seems to be little more than a freakshow gambit. I'd rather watch Fedor-Monson, to be honest. The Strikeforce 4 man tournament was kickass, tho too short. I'm looking forward to Cung Le getting torn to shreds by Frank Shamrock. Speaking of Frank, his ridiculous bout with Renzo Gracie was overshadowed by a dominating win over Phil Baroni, for some reason. While he was awesome in destroying Baroni, the bizarre fuckup against Gracie was too awful to just fade away.
Nick Diaz had a hell of a year...opening the year with an absolute war with Gomi, that lead to a win via gogoplata and an overturning for high pot levels for whatever reason, then not being allowed to corner his brother because of his bongfondness, then an uninspired (tho correct) decision win over Mike Aina in EliteXC, and finally a cut loss to KJ Noons in November. I'd imagine that his pot dealer is fucking working overtime delivering keys. Hopefully Diaz figured out a thing or two after his classless display losing to Noons, who beat his ass.
Speaking of Gomi, he's been on the pine since February. I have no idea what his plans are. Josh Barnett hasn't fought since 2006. Yamamoto just got back on the horse with a win at Yarrenoka! (also a september win at K-1 hero's)
Overall I hope 2008 will be better, but it looks like the money guys are moving on MMA, and the fighters are too independent to be intimidated into doing what they're told. So we most likely will have a year of labor strife, with fighters sitting instead of fighting for less than what they feel they're worth. The end result? Fans miss the best fighters fighting the best opponents. eg, Tim Sylvia vs. Big Nog for the the UFC HW title, instead of Couture vs. Fedor or the like. I hope I'm wrong. I'd like to see the best fights this year, but the fractured MMA organizational landscape has been very poor at delivering. There's a lot of other crap I'd like to blab about but I'm tired, and work looms. Prost!

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