The UFC once again brings its roster of top mixed martial arts talent to the FX network Friday night with UFC on FX 4: Maynard vs. Guida. The marquee attraction sees a lightweight affair between “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-1-1) and “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (29-11) as they battle it out for potential title contention in the UFC’s 155lbs. division. Supporting the main event are the likes of “Hands of Stone” Sam Stout (17-7-1) and “The King” Spencer Fisher (24-8) duking it out for the third time in a lightweight tilt, 170ers “Bad Boy” Brian Ebersole (49-14-1) and TJ Waldburger (15-6) facing off in what will likely be a brawl on the canvas, and British TUF alum “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (13-5) and WEC veteran Cub Swanson (16-5) fighting to ascend the 145lbs. division ladder. Though much of the MMA fan base will have their eyes glued to the main card on FX, as always, the prelims on Facebook and Fuel TV offer some entertaining match-ups as well, featuring some of the best up-and-comers in the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. Among the long list of promising undercard fighters to keep an eye on is “Super” Steven Siler (20-9).
Last night the UFC closed the books on its fourteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, the last season to be broadcast on Spike TV and to show bouts pre-recorded as opposed to live. The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale card was one of the more entertaining cards of the year as TUF 13 winner “El Cucuy” Tony Ferguson (13-3) took down longtime lightweight veteran Yves Edwards (41-18-1), “The Magician” John Dodson (12-5) and “Ceara” Diego Brandao (14-7) scored a pair of six-figure UFC contracts by taking out TJ Dillashaw (4-1) and Dennis Bermudez (7-3) respectively, and “The Count” Michael Bisping (22-3) dealt “Mayhem” Jason Miller (23-7) a one-sided beating in the battle of the coaches. There were a few disgruntled fans, as always, but as a whole, the card was welcomed as a resounding success by the majority of the MMA community and was a very entertaining offering of mixed martial arts action.
—MAIN CARD (on Spike TV)—
Michael Bisping vs. Jason “Mayhem” Miller: Bisping via TKO (Strikes), Round 3, 3:34
Dennis Bermudez vs. Diego Brandao: Brandao via Submission (Armbar), Round 1, 4:51
John Dodson vs. TJ Dillashaw: Dodson via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 1:54
Yves Edwards vs. Tony Ferguson: Ferguson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Johnny Bedford vs. Louis Gaudinot: Bedford via TKO (Knees), Round 3, 1:58
Some people watch The Ultimate Fighter purely for the fights and don’t like the reality TV element. These people tend to be party-pooping wet blankets who think that they’re too good for a little mindless voyeuristic entertainment. Either way, the stuffy “purists” were treated to almost two hours of nothing but fights on the Season 14 premiere of TUF on Wednesday. The fights were pretty solid – as to be expected from bantamweight and featherweight fighters.
Dear Dana White,
I like to consider myself an intellectual. Not in a pretentious way but more in the sense that I don’t think being smart or educated is something to be ashamed of or mocked. Early on in high school I was picked on by a couple of jocks. By in large most of them, like most of everyone else didn’t really notice my existence but a couple of jock douchebags decided to pick on me and my indifference to sports became a seething hatred for meathead jocks. Granted, it was unfair of me to judge a whole group of people, namely athletes, by the actions of a couple of assholes but when you’re fifteen you’re generally not blessed with a philosophical and objective perspective. Even to this day, despite being intellectually evolved and more open-minded, that knee-jerk prejudice against jocks is still there. I make a distinction here between “jocks” and athletes, which doesn’t erase my prejudice, just makes it more selective.
When I first became aware of MMA I didn’t know it was MMA. I, like a lot of people saw it for how it was marketed at the time, as a brutal, no rules, barbaric bloodsport. Unfortunately, this angle repulsed me. It seemed to be everything I hated: dumb, meathead, uber-agro jock dicks that thought bashing someone’s face in and sending them to the hospital was cool. If they didn’t market it like that, I likely would’ve become a big fan of Royce Gracie – this little Brazilian beating much bigger and stronger guys with technique, with brains. I would’ve eaten that shit up at the time, if I had known and understood more about the sport; if it was marketed as mixed martial arts and not “No-Rules Cage Fighting”. It was your doing with The Ultimate Fighter that showed me that this was a real sport with athletes who trained. Martial artists rather than blood-thirsty barbarians. Not to say it’s not violent and primal and occasionally brutal and not to deny the visceral appeal of that element but it’s also a lot more. And we also got to see that most fighters weren’t typical jocks. They’re athletes but most of them had to be a little bit nuts to want to do this for a living.