This Week in MMA Awesomeness and Stupidity 12/12/11-12/18/11

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 by Tony Reid

Being the positive, glass- half- full, good natured type of person I am, I couldn’t bring myself to write, as I did last week, with the sole focus on the negative news in the sport. This week I had to add the positive things I saw as well. So here is this week’s installment of what I found that was awesome and what I found that was awesomely stupid in MMA…

Awesome

Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier HW Final Headed to Columbus, OH- Being from the east coast I always enjoy higher quality fight cards within driving distance. The final between Barnett, a legend in the sport and Cormier, the somewhat upstart wrestler who found the knockout power in his hands will be a fun one to watch. Couple that with it being held (somewhat) in conjunction with the Arnold Classic, well now we are talking! The Arnold is always a fun time for manly men interested in their physique and women interested in looking like men. As Joe Rogan famously said “There are women walking around that place that look like Kevin Randleman!” I can appreciate the time and dedication involved in getting yourself that huge and the equal time and dedication to keeping yourself there. That is something athletes in both MMA and Bodybuilding, without a doubt, have in common. So we have a good old fashioned HW Grand Prix Tourney Final and the convention all in the same small city of Columbus, one of my personal favorite cities anywhere.  The Arnold is a great place to meet stars from both Bodybuilding and MMA and holding an MMA event the same weekend is just pure awesomeness.

Rousimar Palhares Sees Sports Psychologist- This entry could easily be put under either category, depending on which part of the story you are reading, whether it be his crazy outbursts or the fact that he is getting help to address his issues. This story could also be a full blog of its own. I chose to put it in the positive category for the simple reason that he is choosing (or someone is choosing for him) to get help. He has had a string of bizarre incidents in the Octagon starting with his refusal to let go of a heel hook submission over Thomas Drzwal. He then had an incident at UFC Fight Night 22 when he attempted to grab Nate Marquardt’s legs and after being unsuccessful gestured toward referee Herb Dean and during his meltdown was pounded out by Nate “The Great”. Even after the fight he was insisting that Marquardt’s legs were greased or oiled or something other than baby smooth. His manager Alex Davis openly admits that Marquardt did absolutely nothing wrong. The next in the line of the oddness was at UFC 134 when facing Dan Miller Palhares landed a headkick that knocked Miller down and Palhares followed him to the ground landing punches and inexplicably just stopped, walked away and leapt up onto the Octagon fence and began celebrating his victory. The only problem with that was the ref had not stopped the fight. Eventually order was restored and Palhares picked up a decision win but this just perpetuated the craziness. Lastly, or most recently Palhares was competing at ADCC in had minor dust ups in two of his matches. First against David Avellan where he attempted a hell hook as the tow were headed out of bounds, he again, jumped up celebrated and later found out that it wasn’t going to count. He had the heel hook in at one point the ref told him to stop and he again, refused to let go. IN another match at ADCC he faced Andre Galvao. Palhares was bending Galvao’s thumb backwards to break the grip, which is illegal. Later he roughed up and man handled Galvao in the clinch, doing his best dirty boxing impersonation, the only problem is that this was a BJJ tournament.  What many people don’t know is the background of Rousimar Palhares. He was born and raised in conditions in Brazil that we here in the States and others around the world could hardly imagine. He lived in an extremely poor area in rural Brazil and literally ate swine ration, yes swine ration, when he could get it, when he could get it. Any type of drinking water was virtually non existent there. He lived this way until he was a young adult and moved to Rio. Stories are all over the place about how we literally slept in the gym, he had no clothes, no food nothing. Find any quote from MMA Legend and mentor Murilo Bustamante about Palhares and you will see in detail what kind of struggle he dealt with. By all accounts Toquinho is a great person but his upbringing had to affected the person he is today in many ways. In my very blunt words…That kind of shit really fucks you up.  Here’s hoping that he gets the mental side of his game to match the physical side. If he does, the sky is the limit.

UFC Introduces Flyweight Division with Tournament- A number of great things here…First of all the fact that the UFC is adding the Flyweight Division is fantastic. So many talented guys have been fighting a weight class up just to get a break in the big show, or fighting outside the big show altogether, can now fight at a more natural weight. How exciting is this weight class going to be? Very exciting! The four man tourney consists of Demetrious Johnson, Tachi Palace Fights Champion Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez and former Shooto Champion Yasuhiro Urushitani. A new weight class and crowning the champion in a tourney format is just about as good as it gets.

Awesomely Stupid

Junie Browning Arrested in Thailand- Seriously, have we not heard enough about this dude already? Have many fuck ups are allowed before a community and the people in it completely wash their hands of you? He has surely had his second chance, and third and fourth and so on. Since he broke into the mainstream on TUF and garnered attention from the masses for being a douchebag he has become an even bigger headcase and screw-up, if that’s even possible. From arrests after a suicide attempt and drug enduced rage against hospital staff in October of 2009, to his run in with the law in Phuket. I say Phuket! He was beating up a woman at a seedy bar when he was jumped by others and ended up again, in a fight in the hospital. Maybe he would have a better career and fight record if he could just fight chicks and only in hospitals. Anyhow, after a manhunt he is being held in Thailand and in hot water with the government/Mafia there. God knows what else he is doing right now. I seriously can’t even waste any more of my time writing about this.

Greg Jackson “…Get Some Fans…” Comment– Now I know, some might say this is much ado about nothing but I feel that it’s at least worth mentioning. If nothing else it shows the ulterior motives, and true colors of the team behind the public persona they (Jackson’s Camp) put out there for us to see. After Jon Jones submission victory over Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 trainer Jackson told Jones to “Go check on Lyoto. Get some fans.” For Greg to come out in the following days and say that it wasn’t his intention to say that, I feel is complete bullshit. That is a pretty straightforward comment and there is not really any other way to take it. Jackson, he of the strategery, he of the constant gameplan and Yoda like focus, communication and the like,  tried to backtrack and make the comment something it wasn’t by saying he was in “military mode” and “shorthanded” his comment to Jones. He also stated that Jones was “a public figure” and there is a certain amount of “cage etiquette”. So Jackson doesn’t take his own advice? On one hand he is excusing his comment but on the other he is telling his fighter to remember that he is in the public eye, standing in the very same cage that he was at that moment. Interesting thought process. Jackson then stated that he’s sure he will soon say something else to piss everybody off. With this comment, the comment to GSP to “stay in full guard” to avoid any harm or take any unnecessary chances (i.e. play it safe) and countless others; I would have to agree with him there. We, as MMA fans are smarter then you are giving us credit for, Greg. We know what we heard and we know that you meant it just the way it came out. I would have more respect for you if you simply owned up to what came out of your very own mouth.  As Yoda himself said “When you look at the dark side, careful you must be. For the dark side looks back.” In my mind Jackson’s Camp is the dark side.