Thursday, October 16, 2008

"B" Grade MMA for the Masses

This topic was sparked by the live Elite XC event that went down on CBS two weekends ago featuring Kimblo Slice vs Seth Petruzelli. Oh yeah, that internet street fighting guy and who? Seth "Failed in the UFC and then took a year off from fighting" Petruzelli that's who. Slice was originally supposed to meet Ken "Why isn't he retired?" Shamrock in what would be his fourth professional MMA fight, but Shamrock played to rough in warm ups and was medically disqualified for the fight. So in the the last minute facing what would surely be an angry crowd, Elite's officials came to Petruzelli to fight their rookie MMA cash cow (Slice).

Slice, a heavy weight street fighter, has supposedly been turned legit MMA fighter over night under the tutelage of Bas Rutten. Prior to the Petruzelli fight he had only fought tomato cans and over the hill legends. Shamrock was supposed to be at least a minor test for him on the ground. What he got out of Petruzelli was a rude awakening. A young guy with some technical skill, power and an unjaded hunger fighters from the old folks home can't muster. He dropped Slice in 14 seconds post opening bell. It was embarrassing, by the time Slice came to he was trying to double leg the referee and Petruzelli was celebrating on the other side of the cage.

While it was nice to see Slice get a slice of reality (Oh man that was bad), it was scary to think about the virgin MMA viewer mistaking this as the premiere offering from the sport. The CBS contract Elite XC scored means all kinds of fresh eyes are watching MMA now. Are they being introduced to the right kind of MMA though? It is like giving someone who has never had a steak a plate full of fat and gristle. It is not just the main events that are minor league, Jake Shields won his fight with a telegraphed arm bar that took near 10 seconds of squating to set up. The show is far less technical and just plain sloppy to be honest.

At the end of the day the UFC, WEC and maybe Affliction seem to be the only legit games in town. If they plan to grow outside of their current markets, which they are doing slowly, they may need to land more high profile TV contracts. Sure the WEC has Versus and the UFC has Spike, but a network deal would mean a big boost in viewership. I'd like to ultimately see a sustained model that did not include any pay-per-view events. One because I hate paying for them and two because new fans won't know the difference otherwise. It is that or the unwashed masses can keep thinking Taco Bell is authentic Mexican food and I'll keep palming my face.

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The Wise Man's Fear
Dynasty of Evil
100 Bullets Vol. 07: Samurai
Batman: Batman and Son
100 Bullets Vol. 06: Six Feet Under the Gun
100 Bullets Vol. 05: The Counterfifth Detective
100 Bullets Vol. 04: A Foregone Tomorrow
100 Bullets Vol. 03: Hang Up on the Hang Low
100 Bullets Vol. 02: Split Second Chance
30 Days of Night
100 Bullets Vol. 01: First Shot, Last Call
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1: Back on the Street
Uzumaki, Volume 1
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