THE ROCKTAGON
W/ JAMES SWIFT
 

Well, this is something of a bittersweet gala.

As I gawp at the night's line up, I can't help but reflect on my bygone era of youth; seeing that massive "100" stationed atop the poster heading for tonight's PPV, I recall my feeble eight year old being watching a videotape of UFC 1 for the first time and being absolutely floored by the phenomenal, fantastic bloodshed and brutality before me.

Yeah, wrestling was always cool, but at the same time, at had that whole "Not being real" stigma to make you feel like a retard when you watched it. But this, this newfangled "Ultimate Fighting" WAS real! It was essentially professional wrestling in a form that you could enjoy without being called a faggot, and in that, I was instantaneously hooked by sweet lady MMA.

Oh, and what an amazing spectacle it was! In the very first fight, this Dutch kick boxer dude sent Samoan teeth a-flying into the crowd, firing what is veritably the first salvo of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Later on in the show, this gangly Brazilian fellow named Horse Gacy or something came out and you were thinking, "Well, this guy is going to get the living shit stomped out of him", and then he went into battle, against a guy that was nearly triple his girth, and snapped him arm on live television without even pondering the consideration to help up the poor guy he had just kind of crippled. And from that day forward, I was besotted by the UFC.

Man, the first three years were great. Pretty much everything from the first show up until Ultimate Ultimate '96 was worth watching, and the memories those shows granted us shall last an eternity; watching Joe Son utilize his home-concocted SAFTA fighting technique to get his ball sac turned into a speed bag by Keith Hackney; Fred Ettish introducing the vaunted half guard fight-like-a-crying-toddler defensive stance (which was later perfected by Thales Leites in his fight against Anderson Silva from earlier in the year), the half hour epic betwixt Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock in which they just circled one another for thirty minutes because John McCain said he would arrest anybody that threw a punch during the night's event in Michigan. . . all memories I wouldn't relinquish for the world.

Of course, there were also some pretty great fights that went on, too, from Royce Gracie and Kimo's David and Goliath remake at UFC 3 to the sixteen minute war betwixt Royce and Severn at UFC 5 to the knock-down drag-out retard fight between Olag Taktarov and Tank Abbot at UFC 6. In actuality, those little bouts became just as much a part of my emerging adolescence as NHL '94 on the Sega CD and living for weeks on end with only a Dr. Dreadful gummy maker to provide me nourishment.

From the timeframe from 1997 to 2004, truthfully, the UFC kind of sucked. For a long time, they were booted off pay-per-view, which is probably for the best, because anybody that's willing to sit through UFC 39 is probably a masochist or Dave Meltzer. In the interim, the UFC's slanty eyed cousin that's really good at math named Pride Fighting Championship kind of became the industry's preeminent leader in the meantime, introducing the world to face pounders like Fedor, Andersen Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, Rampage, and about fifty different kinds of Noguiera.

And then, a little fight between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar transpired on live, (and much more importantly) free cable television, and suddenly, the UFC was on the fast track to becoming a bona-fide national phenomenon. With a little ear-twisting from a foul mouthed frat boy millionaire named Dana White, the Ultimate Fighting Championship soon became the hottest trend to hit mall culture since the advent of the Orange Julius, and as an effect, a shit load of money has been made.

And as I, frail Intranet pundit J. Swift sits here awaiting the opening shot of UFC in the triple digit numbering, I can't help but reflect on the wild and wooly ride it has been from the days of the sport being decried as human cockfighting to the concomitant, in which my small, rinky-dink Georgian hamlet now has a massive billboard of Frank Mir's craggy puss overlooking Billy Bob's House of Discounted Furniture and Hot Fix-Ns'.

Man, how far we have all come. . .

As is the norm, this here report is being filed LIVE from the quaint and cozy Sidelines Grille in picturesque Acworth, Georgia, former residence of Michael Francis Foley. No, go ahead, re-read Have A Nice Day and wallow in the rare notion that I am not full of shit for a change.

Typical "Gladiator" themed opening to begin the gala, as always. Yeah, that shit isn't outdated or anything.

Speaking of the outmoded, Crank up the nu-metal: it's go time for UFC 100.

Dear god, the casual fans are out in droves for tonight's showing. Nary a Sengoku connoisseur in sight here in northwest Georgia. Bad news for me, bro.

Calling the linguistic shots this eve are Mikey Jewberg and the dude from Fear Factor. How do you think will win tonight's main event? Text in and prove your sheep-eopleness.

Dear lord, from being decried as blood sport to corporate sponsorship from Burger King. I miss the Clinton Administration, people.

Middleweight Bout
Yoshirhiro Akiyama versus Alan Belcher

Our opening bout is being contested betwixt whom is possibly the single greatest heel in the history of Japanese combat-entertainment and some guy nobody's ever heard of whose last name just so happens to be colloquially no different than the moniker of Burper. Yeah, kind of a discrepancy there.

Anyway, this is Akiyama's heavily hyped UFC debut, which means, yeah, he's going to knocked out in the first round by a flying head kick. It's like cops getting shot the day before their retirement; FATE DICTATES IT.

Basically, all you need to know is this: Akiyama has cool entrances (his operatic Michael Jackson debut from K1 show a few years back may very well go down in history as the single greatest ring side stroll in recorded history) AND he was greasing it up WAY before GSP made it cool. So, yeah, Akiyama is basically an O.G, which stands for, uh, Oriental Guy, I guess. As far as his opponent . . . Let's face it, not even Belcher's own mother gives a shit. Morose, albeit veracious, Alan.

Belcher , the pride of Jonesboro, Arkansas, is out first. It's technically impossible for me to root against a man with the sack to get a tattoo of Johnny Cash on his bicep. It just is. Requisite cage run follows.

Akiyama's entrance is a.) awesome, and b.) actually kind of subdued for being an Akiyama entrance. Wait, exchanging the gi for a Silver Star tee? FUCK YOU AKIYAMA!

Round One

This is a WM3 crowd; even the fucking announcer is getting a voluble pop. Yeah, this is the veritable zeitgeist of MMA absorption within the mainstream popular culture. Get it in writing.

That worthless flesh bag from some shitty show in E! is the ring girl for tonight's show. Where is a rampaging Kimo when you need him?

SLO-MO NUT SHOT TIME! Akiyama scores one right in the sac. Keith Hackney must be ecstatic. Obvious timeout for that one.

REALLYYYY good round there, with both guys exchanging punches that dropped the other. Awesome spot in which Akiyama superman punches Belcher and subsequently gets dropped before locking in an triangle attempt. Yeah, all that shit happened in the last thirty minutes. Punches and kicks galore in this one. Phenomenal stuff.

Round Two

Akiyama shoots in for a takedown and keeps Belcher (whom kind of reminds me of the dude that played Scotty in the first Evil Dead movie) anchored for half of the round. Stand up at 2:00, and Akiyama is absolutely dominating it. Alan is doing all he can with his kicks, slicing at Akiyama's ankles like a lumberjack with a dental tool. Huh, that was somewhat poetic. I'd give both rounds to the squinty-eyed fellow thus far.

Round Three

Damn good fight. The advent of the Alan Belcher escape roll will henceforth go on to become a staple of MMA folklore after this evening. The part where Akiyama ate a Superman punch after beckoning for Belcher was equally as awesome. Still, I'd give it to Akiyama, who's sporting a Popeye glare after eating some nasty Arkansas punches.

Anyhoo, Akiyama (whom looks like Yao Ming's anorexic cousin) wins it by split decision. Really, someone saw that bout in favor of Belcher? One of the casual fannies beside me must be texting it in from the grille area.

Brock and Frank are making their way around the backstage area, 1993 WCW style. I like.

Weight supplements are a pseudo-XYIENCE if you ask me.

Middleweight Bout

Dan Henderson versus Michael Bisping

It's no surprise that the UFC wants Bisping to win this bout REALLLLLLY bad, as evident by the fact that the winner of this bout takes on a Forrest Griffin ravaged Anderson Silva for the Middleweight gold in, wait for it. . . London by God England!

So, yeah, these were the two coaches for the last season of The Ultimate Fighter, and both guys are, how do I put this delicately? Oh yeah, prone to putting on BORING as all hell bouts. So, considering the spoils on the line, and the gravity of the night, will tonight's showdown be a predictable, ennui-filled three rounder won by Bisping or a predictable, ennui-filled three rounder won by Hendo? The Excitement is killing me!

"Song 2' for Bisping, for when you feel heavy metal. HYUGE pop for Henderson. Really? Must be the utilization of "Lunatic Fringe".

Round One

What the fuck? Corporate backing from the U.S. Today now? Unbelievable. Bisping is getting booed like Michael Vick at a PETA convention, whilst Henderson gets a Hogan-esque homecoming. I cannot believe how hot this crowd is tonight. Anyway, Hendo pretty much lead that one, as Bisping plays the role of chicken shit heel perfectly. Every time he shoots in, the crowd reacts like a 1987 MSG crowd. This is such a killer atmosphere.

Round Two

AND IT IS OVER! Hendo just knocked BISPING THE FUCK OUT with a Satanic hook. Bisping wakes up after four minutes of being out cold, awaking with a look upon his phizog comparable to a pup that had just ingested an entire chocolate cake (because dogs are allergic to chocolate, that's why my metaphor is comedic).

Winner: Dan Henderson, 3:20 (KO)

Well, I'm shocked shitless. Fucking Hendo finished something, and Bisping shut the fuck for a full five minutes. Tonight, the impossible is possible, apparently.

BOW DOWN BEFORE YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR ROYCE GRACIE. That corndog looking Brazilian makes me smirk a most healthy smirk.

Dana White encourages utilization of UFC on Demand. Oh, and hell damn shit fuck balls piss because he has a reputation for excessive cursing in his vocalizations.

Hype job for Pierre / Alves. A commendable offering, as always.

UFC Welterweight Championship Bout

Georges St. Pierre (Champion) versus Thiago Alves

First and foremost, I believe it's an officially un etched mandate that if your moniker includes the title "Thiago", you are required by U.N. treaty to become an MMA fighter. Regardless, really, what can I say about GSP that hasn't already been stated before? He's Canadian, he's all ripped and stuff and he kind of looks like journeyman NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia. Also, he may have utilized Crisco to beat BJ Penn back in January, but that's a flame war for another day.

Thiago Alves, on the other hand, kind of looks like he has DOWN syndrome, but then again, pretty much all Brazilian dudes do. Long story short, if Alves can't beat St. Pierre tonight, they might as well superglue the belt to GSP's waist, because that mother fucker ain't coming off anytime

Alves comes out looking like a Portuguese Paul Wall. GSP, as expected, gets an Ultimate Warrior-esque pop as the French Hop kicks in. As always, he comes out rocking the gi, as a multitude of security guards escort him octagon side. Might want to check him for vegetable oil before he steps, in, fellows.

Round One
Very good first round that, begrudgingly, I would give to GSP, whom took down Alves like five or six times. Alves, to his credit, survived a nasty near-RNC attempt and held his own for the majority of the round. This one could come down to being a war of attrition.

Round Two
Very good ground battle, with GSP keeping Thiago locked on the ground for the duration of the bout. Alves has a nasty gusher pouring from his maw. With about thirty seconds to go, the bout gets stood up and Thiago takes a few shots. Easily GSP's round.

Round Three
Wow, Thiago came this close to having the fight stopped, as GSP started raining punches during the final minute of the round. GSP's wrestling is just too damn much to overcome. You got to admire Thiago's tenacity, though. Three straight for GSP.

Round Four
Fuck, Alves is basically a Houdini, as he snuck out of a sure-fire submission yet AGAIN. That being said, although this was far and away the closest round of the bout, it was still in favor of GSP, thanks to his takedowns. Look's like we're headed for a raging climax in this one.

Round Five
Takedown city, as GSP routs his way to a five round unanimous decision. All in all, a very good performance by St. Pierre, as it is clear that his wrestling is unparalleled in the company. The big question now is, who's next for Rush? Of course, if I had my way, a certain guy named Moussasi would be dropping poundage and training in a dog catch next week, but how often does such fortune smile upon me?

Winner: Georges St. Pierre, Unanimous Decision

Post bout, GSP teases a potential super bout against Anderson Silva as Joe Rogan strokes his ego cock right there in the middle of the ring. Disgusting. Way yes, I am a BJ Penn fan, how did you know?

Trailer for The Inglorious Bastards. Because, you know, that's TOTALLY fighting related.

Apparently, 56 percent of the general populace think Brock will win tonight's main event. Cue the hype video that exalts the first fight as being the MMA equivalent of Jesus karate fighting Mohammad. Nope, no hyperbole here. None whatsoever.

UFC Heavyweight Championship Unification Bout

Brock Lesnar (Champion) versus Frank Mir (Interim Champion)

What a weird world in which we live; here we are, at the biggest card in UFC history, and it's being headlined by a color commentator and a guy that used to F-5 one-legged kids for a living back in 2003. Really, it's this kind of unpredictable shit that keeps me waking up in the morning, folks.

I really don't think Brock needs much exposition; he made his UFC debut in a losing effort against Frank Mir, but came back to slaughter Heath Herring before beating Randy Couture with what is basically the real-life utilization of the Donkey Kong Country ground slap from Super Smash Bros for the UFC heavyweight strap.

Mir, conversely, is riding what is perhaps the greatest comeback in the history of mixed martial arts, being a guy that was effectively retired by a motorcycle accident that has since gone on to hand Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera his first in-ring stoppage loss, but is still probably more famous for his WEC play by play than his actual competitive track history. Shits to be Mir, apparently.

Round One

Mir comes out to some dirge sounding shit, because he is a PROFESSIONAL. Believe it as such. It's midnight, and Brock Lesnar hasn't even strolled out yet. You think John Fitch and Paulo Thiago are pissed about that one? (Hint: I am.)

Say your prayers little one, because Brock Lesnar is making his way ringside. This is SO Kip Alan Frye era WCW it's not even funny. Damn, there's a lot of gristle in Mir's middle-school-ish beard. Guess that isn't really a concern when you're staring down Big Van Vader across the Octagon. Brock gets the monster heel pop, as expected, while a bunch of dips hits to my wayside talk about MMA as if they know an armbar from an armchair. What does "Vale Tudo" mean? It means "You're a shit", that's what, mall rat.

Mir is a legit 225, but he looks anorexic beside the puffy, red mass that is Brock Lesnar. Breaking out the blatant choke pinning technique, Brock basically feeds Mir's nose fist sandwiches for five straight minutes. This one ain't pretty, folks.

Round Two

Ladies and gentlemen, the monster heel of our generation has just been birthed. From the Frankenstein lab of Dana White, Brock cuts a SUPER HEEL post--bout promo that rules all worlds as he soaks in boos like a sponge that feeds on jeers.

Erstwhile, Mir's face looks like chewed corn beef hash. Well, this ought to make the purists REALLY happy. It's probably for the best that you don't log on to any MMA message boards for awhile. Brock and Sable then leave the arena, as Lesnar suggested earlier, to probably hump. Eww.

Winner: Brock Lesnar, TKO (Ref Stoppage punches) (1:54)

Huh, it looks like Thiago and Fitch get to tear it up after all. Well, that's nice of them.

Welterweight Bout

John Fitch versus Paulo Thiago

This really should be perchance the best bout on the card, as it features two rugged sons of bitches ready to tussle like lumber jacks. Wait, that wasn't gay sounding at all, now was it? Hey speaking of homoeroticism, frequent Rocktagon patron "Rambunctious Roderick Piper" was the first person to mail me the title of a non- "In the Navy", "Macho Man" or "YMCA" Village Persons song, and as promised, I now get to question his sexual preference. COCKS IS WHAT IT IS THAT HE LIKES, LAUGH OUT LOUD INTERNET. Anyway, John Fitch is reeling from his five rounder loss to GSP back in August (he had a decision win against some guy back in January that no one cares about, so we'll overlook that fig) whereas Paulo Thiago is still reflecting the sheen of Josh Koscheck's knocked out ass from a few months prior.

This one ought to be a good one.

Well, as it turns out, I kind of lied. That last fight sucked. Fitch wins a decision contest in about everybody had left from before the first fist was even thrown. Yeah, what a way to showcase your welterweight division guys.

That's it folks; UFC 100 ends not with a whimper, but with a mutated hulk of steroids and suspicious inflamed meat pounding on another human being's face like a retarded orangutan. In a way, that kind of makes sense that the sport, with all of its highfalutin "technical athleticism" celebrates its roots by returning to the era of vicious idiots pounding each other like rioting prisoners.

Yeah, in the long run, that's probably really bad for the sport, but for the time being, wow, what an entertaining little card.

"Tonight, we learned that fighting was not what we thought it was,"
- Jim Brown, UFC 1

"Dude, that BRACK LESNAR is one MEEN DUDE, man!"
- Random retard patron beside me.

Oh, the wonders of linear progression. . .


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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).