Monday, February 28, 2011

UFC Eulogy: UFC 127 Penn v Fitch

One of the more disappointing shows of the last few months, UFC 127 featured a hometown hero frustratingly trapped in a struggle against a different style of fighter, a completely uncalled for show of disrespect from Michael Bisping and a disappointing decision in the main event. But there were a few fun moments, especially from a veteran who came in with little chance and put on the best show of the night (I heard from someone who attended the show that this was the feeling in the building as well).

George Sotiropolous' problem was not that he fought horribly, he just simply couldn't take Denis Sever down. Going in to the fight, we knew that Georgie would want the fight on the ground and Sever would want the exact opposite. We heard that Sever's stand up was very good, but we weren't prepared for how good he really was, and neither was the gollywog. There was a kick in the first round by Sever that didn't land but was still insanely impressive to see. But probably more than just how much he was beating Sotiropolous up, and he was, was his takedown defense. Not one point in the fight did it look as though Denis Sever was going to down, even when George had him by one leg, also in the first round. The Australian did come back from being knocked down twice, and took it to a decision, but really he had nothing. Hopefully Sotiropolous works on a few things, because I don't feel that this ruins too much momentum, as he could still be champ. (Me hopes.)

Michael Bisping is a child. I find him very entertaining, but he is not acting like a professional athlete. I wouldn't mind at all, in fact I was loving the Bisping Show until he kneed Jorge Rivera in the head while the American was on the ground. It wasn't a bad fight actually, with the heavy underdog Rivera actually knocking him down midway through the fight. Bisping came away with the TKO, but he didn't come away with the respect of many people, especially Dana White, who whispered something to Bisping right before the brit apologized in his post fight interview. One can only imagine what 'Mr White' said, probably something to the effect of, "you realise your not the world champ and you don't sell that many PPV's, if I fired you tomorrow, I don't lose shit."

BJ Penn versus John Fitch was not horrible but was not a good fight. The fight was mostly even until Fitch, in the final round, started his light ground and pound that looks like it annoys more than it kills, and looked like he was going to win. We ended up with a draw. It's baffling really, because Fitch won. BJ Penn was not getting up any time soon, Fitch was in control at the end and won the fight. But it was a draw. Penn seemed disillusioned by the decision, and in a pretty awesome show of respect, also said he felt he lost the fight.

The most fun fight was Chris Lytle v Roger Ebersole. Ebersole was an underdog, an old man with not much chance. He came in with so much charisma, ability and experience, and he won the crowd and the match. I'll call him Lil Randy for now because he reminds me so much of Couture.

It was a poor show, but we move on, as next month is the big Light Heavyweight fight!

- Lee

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 13

The cameras flashed relentlessly. People were shouting from every angle. Walter barely noticed the security guards with Channel 8 polos manhandling the media mass as he was guided into his apartment. The man to Walter’s side was smiling warmly as they entered the apartment. He raised his eyebrows a little as a first reaction to the stud before saying curteously, “Take a seat, Walter.” Walter sat on the only chair in the room and the reporter hesitated as he looked around the tiny room. “Get another chair!” he barked before turning back to Walter with a warm expression.

The camera crew were hard pressed squeezing in through the door and had little room to set up the extravagant equipment. “It’s OK, you can use my chair and I’ll stand,” Walter offered. But as he had made to stand a rushed looking girl with a headset worked her way through the crowd like a mouse through a scientist’s maze and placed a small chair next to his. She took a moment to find the perfect arrangement: exactly 135 degrees and two hand lengths distance from his seat. She concurred briefly with the camera man, lighting man and sound man before exiting through a new path in the maze.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 12

Stevie was breathing heavily in the front seat of the cop car. He expected this fiasco to cause some problems for anyone who got themselves involved, and in his attempt to ignore the whole matter completely, he had landed smack bang in the middle of it. The weeks leading up to the night’s television event had been sickening. Every time he turned on the television he had been repulsed by advertising and excitement mongering; the clich├ęd “I Want you” Uncle Sam poster pointing at those vegetable-ised humans staring at the millions of screens; the slogan twisted to “Will it be you?” He assumed anyone wanting to be found the happiest person in the world would automatically be ruled out because their character is already inherently weak and dependent upon others’ approval. He also felt anyone entertained by such cheap and immoral programming would lack the depth of thought to find truth. But most of all he felt an irrepressible desire that his psychologist background would not let go: He thought, without formation or articulation, without wanting or choosing, that he deserved to be the happiest man in the world. It was a self entitlement so visceral and repugnant that it would serve as the secret weapon that any Nietzsche enthusiast could use to argue down Buddha in a debate over human nature. He was no longer out of breath from the battle with the press mob but Stevie was still breathing heavily.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 11

Boss Citadel was enjoying himself for the first time that night when he was rudely interrupted by a phone call. “What is it?” he growled into his handset.

“Hey Simommph! How you gomph?” chirped Mark in a muffled voice. “Sorry, mm just eating a pizza,” he managed, followed by a short silence as he apparently tried to swallow. Another muffled voice struggled to be heard only a few steps away. It was Not Citadel, The Boss’s lookalike. Not was currently feeling the sensation of having his eyes slowly squeezed from their socket; his cries of despair barely escaping Talk’s elbow pit. Boss smiled. “Simommphn…How you gomph?” Mark had apparently taken another bite of his pizza. Boss hung up the phone.

“OK let him breath a little,” he instructed. Talk dropped the limp body to the ground like a ragdoll. Boss walked over casually. “You think you’re still the funny guy? The cool guy? Well you’re not, Not!” Boss had been planning that line for the last two hours but it suddenly felt empty, especially since the only person around to appreciate was too dumb to acknowledge it. Maybe he should have kept Tank lingering a little longer in the house before suggesting he leave.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

UFC Eulogy - 126: Silva v Belfort

There was strong possibility going into this PPV that I was going to miss out because it snuck up on me. But after reading the card and seeing some hype footage I was hooked in. It was a strong PPV overall though not up to the standard of late -we have been blessed with some high quality events lately. As I watched the fights I got to thinking (slightly annoying now that I have started writing about each PPV I have fallen into the reviewer’s trap of sacrificing the moment for a thought) that the word freak is no longer a compliment or hype building adjective in UFC, it is almost a requirement. You have Cain Velasquez with his freakish cardio, BJ Penn and his freaky elastic joints, Chris Leben and the freakish look on his face after taking a KO punch and coming back even harder, GSP’s freaky accent, the freaky skills of some of the lightweights and of course Brock Lesnar who is a freak of nature. The sport is in constant evolution, such that the freak tag is always there being justifiably thrown around. It doesn’t just sell PPVs it is often the only way to describe some of the things that happen in UFC.

126 had its fair share of freaks. The love hate relationship that fighting fans have with Anderson Silva continues (love finding a way this round); New star on the block Jon Bones Jones displayed another exhibition of sheer athleticism and power; and even Carlos Rocha was being lauded for his freakish Ju Jitsu ability which looked like poetry in the first round (so tragically absent from the next two). Anderson’s jaw dropping kick was a special thing to see (for those who didn’t blink) and he holds onto his records and number one pound for pound tag until that awesome day when Chael is allowed back in the Octagon. Bones Jones made Darth Bader look like he was wishing he could use the force (too much?) and his natural flair inside the Octagon has won him a legion of new fans to add to the other new legion and, belive it or not a title shot in the light heavyweight division.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 10

Walter was sitting in his stud apart- in his cell. It was actually very similar to his apartment: Same size, same shape, similar furnishing. The toilet in the cell had better flush capabilities but he didn’t feel the need to exploit this advantage – or the desire, considering the company he held. As for his company, the mysterious conspiracy theorist hippy who apparently liked to remain silent and pensive in shadowy corners turned out to be quite sociable and in need of a friend even more so than a bath. He talked non stop to Walter who was sometimes vaguely engaged by a recount of a dangerous protest in Ghana or a dodgy tour of a Bolivian drug prison, but most of the time it was ramblings about the government and the vile devil worshippers (which he believed to be a diversion from other grander corruption which worshipped a greater devil – Money!!!!) and Walter tried his best to be polite by nodding occasionally (mainly as he was nodding off).

They (the hippy) talked a little more of the political issues close to home. Walter couldn’t have stayed interested even if he knew of Sitwell Towers and the evil boss. He failed to register even a single letter of the website the hippy kept referencing – though he had no real use for any information if retained. He eventually settled for apologising for his inability to focus, stating that for the first time his head felt cloudy and distorted. “That’s how you know they’re getting to you, dude.” But the hippy had some positives. He noticed Walter’s stressed state and suggested that he join him for a session of Yoga. After 30 minutes of poor balance and inflexible muscles Walter felt relaxed and at ease.