Locked in the Guillotine MMA News Report 9.7.12 Generic Fighter Edition
Welcome ladies and gentlemen, I have come once again to provide you with all the information necessary to exist in this lovely world of MMA. I am your host, Robert Winfree. This week things were mostly quiet, though that doesn’t mean nothing happened. It just means it wasn’t as explosive as a few weeks ago. Plus the hatred grows further this week, though you’ll have to scroll down to see just what will be fueling our collective anger this week. Caught you looking down, and just like that you’re Locked in the Guillotine again.
Nippaleon had the only comment last week, and he tempered the hatred with a different perspective. My issues with Goldberg and Rogan aren’t just the occasional slip of the tongue, as he said that shouldn’t really detract too much from the experience, it’s the long string of mistakes or biased commentary. I forgot to mention that the Strikeforce commentary trio does just speak louder instead of trying to take turns or be articulate. Thanks for the comment, they are always appreciated.
Koch out, Edgar in: Eric Koch suffered a knee injury while training for his upcoming title fight with featherweight champion Jose Aldo and was forced to pull out of the fight. This sucks for Koch and his fans, but for the rest of us it works out because former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has agreed to take his place. This means we’ll get to see Jose Aldo fight Frankie Edgar for the featherweight title, and I’m personally quite happy about that prospect.
Dana White speaks: UFC President Dana White sat down with Ariel Helwani and gave a long interview that aired on Fuel TV’s UFC Tonight. Sadly I, like everyone else, don’t get Fuel TV, and was forced to find segments online. This interview follows the standard Dana White operating procedure, he reacted very emotionally, did a big media call, buried Jon Jones and Greg Jackson, and got his spin on events while he was emotional and not operating with all the information. In this interview he shifted some of the blame for UFC 151’s cancellation to Dan Henderson, who knew two weeks before he had to pull out of the fight that he was hurt. The reality of that whole situation is that everyone handled it badly, and now that Dana’s emotional tantrum is over he can speak objectively and much more intelligently about the entire situation. Sadly, in this case, his emotional reaction also involved canceling the event instead of his usual rant.
TUF broadcasting: The UFC announced that the new international season of The Ultimate Fighter, which features a U.K vs. Australia format, will air online at TUF.tv for those who wish to watch it online. This is a good move because the version of TUF airing in the states isn’t all that interesting and having the option of seeing how the UFC handles more international markets will be telling about the future of the program.
Mayhem charged: Former UFC middleweight fighter Jason “Mayhem” Miller was charged over the week in connection with his alleged break into a church and resulting hijinks with, among other things, a fire extinguisher. Miller has been charged with one count of misdemeanor vandalism, and could potentially face a year in prison if convicted.
UFC sets to debut in China: The UFC is set to debut in China this November, and they have set most of the card. The main event will be Rich Franklin taking on Cung Le, given Le’s involvement with movies in the Chinese market this is a smart move. The card will also feature South Korean Dong Hyun Kim taking on Paulo Thiago, and Chinese native Tiequan Zhang fighting UFC newcomer Jon Tuck. This event will air on Fuel TV, which means most of us wont be able to watch it, but for a debut in a new market it looks like a solid card.
Strikeforce signs McMann: Olympic silver medalist in wrestling and undefeated MMA fighter Sara McMann signed with Strikeforce this week. McMann was previously fighting for Invicta FC and recorded a unanimous decision victory over Shayna Baszler in her last fight. This is a good signing for all parties concerned, and hopefully McMann gets at least one fight before a possible showdown with Ronda Rousey.
Wait, who?: Strikeforce has announced the fights for its November 3rd card in Oklahoma City. The show will be headlined by the heavyweight fight between Frank Mir and Daniel Cormier, but the big surprise comes in the form of Lorenz Larkin. Larkin just made his middleweight debut in his last fight, a unanimous decision win over Robbie Lawler, and now he will be fighting Luke Rockhold for the Strikeforce middleweight championship. This is strange, especially since former champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza won his last fight and should probably be the number one contender. Honestly this is just baffling on many levels, Larkin has done nothing to really earn a title shot, and certainly hasn’t earned the right to leap frog over someone like Souza.
Jose Aldo in a car accident: UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo was in a car accident this week, he was riding his motorcycle when he was struck by a car. Fortunately Aldo wasn’t injured and this doesn’t appear to have any effect on his upcoming title defense against Frankie Edgar. I am actually surprised the UFC doesn’t have a dangerous activities clause in their contracts, plenty of professional sports have clauses that state that if the athlete is injured doing a dangerous activity, like riding a motorcycle, certain terms of their contract are automatically voided. Maybe at those fighter summit meetings the UFC needs to have Frank Mir give a presentation on certain activities and how badly they can mess up your career.
TUF debuts next week: The new season of The Ultimate Fighter, with coaches Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin, debuts next Friday. I bring this up purely for informative purposes, because I had no idea it was coming up that quickly and I assume some of you may not have been aware as well. This season is pretty much set to revolve around Roy Nelson and his goof interactions with Dana White and Shane Carwin. Looking over the roster of fighters this season no one really stands out, though a name or two is familiar from fights in Strikeforce.
I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying this segment, hopefully you are as well. This week, I’m taking aim at something that really gets on my nerves. I really, really, hate Generic Fighters. What exactly do I mean by that? The Generic Fighter is something that is becoming increasingly common in the world of MMA, and the UFC in particular. The Generic Fighter isn’t really about fighting style, or wins and losses. It’s the attitude with which they approach everything. The Generic Fighter doesn’t really want to make an impression, doesn’t stand out in any real way, and even when it looks like they’re going to break out of that mold, they somehow find a way to return to it.
One of the biggest area’s that you can view the Generic Fighter is the post fight interview. The post fight interview inside the octagon is a huge opportunity for a fighter to make an impression. You are given essentially an open microphone to the live audience and the people watching around the world, a chance to make yourself memorable, to give those people watching a reason to care about you. Sadly, that rarely happens. You see, the Generic Fighter doesn’t really care about this opportunity, he has very little to say that hasn’t already been said. The Generic Fighter post fight interview goes something like this:
“Yeah Joe, he caught me with some shots, I caught him with some better ones and it went my way tonight. I don’t care who I fight, I’ll fight whoever the UFC puts in front of me, that’s Joe Silva’s job and I don’t want to take it from him. Thanks for coming out guys, and my after party is at _________.”
How many times have you heard something almost identical to that? In fact, former featherweight title contender Chad Mendes actually scored a TKO victory in the UFC, and rather than differentiate himself, he said he liked the game plan he had in his title fight with Jose Aldo where he was KO’d in the first round, and shilled his after party. Imagine for just a moment the enormity of that missed opportunity. Chad Mendes hadn’t finished a fight since April of 2010 prior to that fight. He was coming off of a pretty brutal knockout loss to Jose Aldo, but was still very near the top of the rankings. A finish on what has been to this point the biggest PPV of the year, and when he had a microphone in front of him he did nothing to make an impression or to make himself seem any different from anyone else. Chad Mendes seems determined to remain at the Generic Fighter level. Mendes makes no attempt to make people care about him or what he does, and as such he is a Generic Fighter.
By contrast, there are fighters who understand that opportunity. In January of 2009 you couldn’t find a less interesting fighter than Lyoto Machida. Machida was undefeated, but his style of fighting didn’t lend itself to exciting fights or finishes. In fact prior to January of 2009 Machida had finished just one opponent in the UFC, and that was Sokoudjou by arm triangle choke. His last fight was a unanimous decision victory over Tito Ortiz, but the fight certainly lacked action over the course of fifteen minutes. So what changed in January of 2009? Lyoto Machida scored the first knockout of his UFC career when he stopped Thiago Silva at the last second of the first round, but that alone wasn’t the whole story. In addition to getting that impressive stoppage, Machida cut a great post fight promo. He gave us a reason to care, to want to see him fight again, and it wasn’t just the impressive performance. The actual fight is certainly important, in many ways much more so than the interview, but the interview is your chance to connect with the fans. It is your chance to give people another reason to remember you, and it seems like most of the current UFC fighters don’t take full advantage of that opportunity.
That does it for me this week. Next week I actually get to preview a card again, though I’m not sure how much of a good thing that is. In addition to previewing UFC 152 you’ll also get my take on news that happens, as always. I am still open to taking suggestions for things you hate about MMA, or even things that just annoy you a little bit. My vitriol has been released for yet another week, and you’ve all survived till the bell and escaped the Guillotine. Until next week, keep your heads up and your necks safe.