Hello folks. We’re back with another edition of the Bloody Elbow mailbag. I would have set this up earlier, but we were in full UFC 193 blitz mode before and after the event so I figured it could wait until things have calmed down a bit. We have calmed down, right? I hope so.
Anyway, today’s questions look at a few different things, from Ronda Rousey’s possibilities at a new camp, Fedor Emelianenko’s reputation, some video game talk, and even some beer talk. Yeah, the last one shouldn’t be surprising coming from me.
Let’s get to it!
Like many fans who came into MMA in the early 2000s, I was captivated by watching Fedor fight. His time in Strikeforce notwithstanding, I am wondering if there is any concern about his legacy when we consider legitimacy of PRIDE as an organization. Does Fedor’s reputation survive the promotion’s corruption?
Zane Simon: I honestly think fans have to get over Pride as some sort of ultimate bastion of bad sportsmanship in MMA. It was a reflection of the broader MMA culture at the time. There were places and moments where that was taken to it’s extreme, but to treat it like it’s this great outlier and tainted everyone involved is just wishful thinking. Fighters in the Pride era were great, successful competitors, and their wins and fights should largely stand on their own merit as much as almost any fighter of that era can.
Anton Tabuena: It has so far, so why would it change now? We already know all that about PRIDE years ago. The only thing that will be affected is the appreciation newer fans will have of what he has done, since they will only recall his fights after his prime. But that’s a different topic altogether.
Mookie Alexander: If Fedor’s reputation doesn’t survive the promotion’s corruption than neither should Cro Cop, Big Nog, Wanderlei, or any other legend who competed in PRIDE. I don’t see why it needs to change now.
Karim Zidan: If Sakakibara’s reputation seems to have survived Pride — his new promotion, Rizin, is back on Fuji TV — then I’m quite sure that Fedor’s reputation will be just fine. Apart from Pride being an entirely different era, MMA fans are callous to what fighters do or affiliate with outside of the sport. UFC heavyweight Werdum is affiliated to Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov and no one seems to care, so why would they now about Fedor’s affiliation 10 years ago?
Mookie: If anything, Fedor’s reputation has taken a hit more out of losing those 3 fights in Strikeforce than anything he’s done in PRIDE. It’s losing in Strikeforce that has some idiots rewriting just how damn great he was in PRIDE and how he didn’t really fight the best.
Are any of you gamers? Best combat sport video game. I’m talking combat simulators, more like Madden than Blood Bowl, ya know?
Tim: I don’t play video games any more so I have no idea.
Karim: I’ve never been into video games. I was the nerd who read books growing up. That captivated me and captured my imagination more than any game ever did.
Zane: I don’t know about combat simulators, but Soul Blade was always super awesome. I’ve always found combat sims to be clunky as hell and lacking enough realism that they defeat their own purpose.
Mookie: Tim hasn’t played video games since Pong came out.
Tim: Pong ruled. Mookie’s parents won’t let him get a Playstation yet. Two more years.
Mookie: I hate you.
Anton: He already has a playpen. That’s more than enough happiness.
Tim: Kids have it differently nowadays. He probably has a DVD player in the playpen.
Zane: DVD player, more like Apple TV.
Anton: Bluray, Tim.
Tim: Now I sound old.
Anton: You are old.
Mookie: I was a regular video game player, mostly on N64 – Perfect Dark, Mario Kart and Mario Party, James Bond’s TWINE, Madden and NHL 99, but for the last 4-5 years I’ve drastically reduced playing video games.
Tim: NHL 99! We were pros at NHL 94.
What was the last technique you saw in a MMA fight that surprised you or impressed you? Who did it, what was it and did it change your mind about a certain skill set or part of MMA?
Anton: Holm’s head kick obviously surprised me, but I don’t think that’s what he’s asking…
Zane: I’d say probably Edson Barboza’s KO of Terry Etim. In terms of things that had me re-thinking how the game is played. That opened up a lot of new avenues into the idea that you could have a more evolved kicking game than just leg kicks and the occasional high kick.
Mookie: Jon Jones’ spinning elbow on Stephan Bonnar was some eye-opening stuff. Just the fact that someone had the athleticism to do that and the creativity to use standing elbows in such fashion.
Mookie: Johny Hendricks’ big left hand starching Jon Fitch impressed me.
Tim: I hate you.
Zane: I’d also say, Ronda Rousey’s win over Miesha Tate in Strikeforce, really announced the idea that you could have a functional judo throw game in MMA in a way that even Karo Parysian never really had.
Tim: Basically none of us have anything recent.
Zane: Well a lot of the submission grappling and wrestling have been integral parts of the sport since the late 90s so it’s hard to see any of their technique as revolutionary.
Anton: Dominick Cruz’s footwork, and T.J. Dillashaw adapting and adjusting it to his game has always been impressive and intriguing to me.
Mookie: What a staggeringly boring answer, Anton.
If Ronda Rousey did decide to change camps, which would would be the best fit for her right now?
Mookie: Kings MMA with Rafael Cordeiro. Initially there was the issue with Cyborg being at Kings but apparently Ali Abdel-Aziz said on The MMA Hour that Cyborg is no longer there. But looking past that, I think Cordeiro can coach her into being the type of striker she probably needs to be.
Anton: I don’t think it should be about moving to another camp. I believe she should just do a boxing style camp. She has the money, so why not fly in better coaches and training partners that all centers on her preparations?
Zane: I’d say Skrap Pack since it’s already in her comfort zone but has a lot better results.
Doc Brown rolls up in the Delorean, and he offers you a chance to go back and change the outcome of a single fight. There’s no risk of destroying the world or becoming your own grandpa, all you do is change a zig into a zag and the universe continues on as normal. What fight would it be, how would you change it, and what would be your reasons for doing so?
Tim: Mine would be Takanori Gomi defeating Kenny Florian in his UFC debut. Damn that Florian and his jab.
Zane: I’d probably change the outcome of B.J. Penn vs. Caol Uno back at UFC 41 to give BJ the win in the hopes that it would stop the UFC from scrapping the LW division.
Anton: That’s a good answer. Makes my planned replies — Brandon Vera beating Randy Couture, and Diego Sanchez losing all those decisions to get the proper outcomes — sound petty.
Mookie: The question said 1 fight and you chose like 5.
Anton: Couldn’t decide which bad decision I care about the most. Haha.
Tim: Mookie’s just tearing Anton apart here, it’s hilarious!
Anton: I’m telling on him.
Mookie: My answer: Mirko Cro Cop vs. Gabriel Gonzaga. Really wanted to see Cro Cop vs. Couture and we never got that.
I’ve been told that you enjoy brewed alcoholic beverages. What is your opinion on IPA’s? Trash or Garbage?
Tim: I can’t stand them. If I wanted to drink something that tasted like napalm I’d go find a battlefield 50 (?) years ago.
Anton: I really don’t get the IPA hate. Some go crazy over the top with their hops marketing, but there are really good brews. That said, I can’t stand double IPA’s.
Zane: I avoid them. Every now and then I stumble across one I enjoy for a brief pint, but as long as dark ales, stouts, browns, kolsch, ambers, and the like are in the world I’ll go with beer I know will be good every time rather than something that’ll taste like I’m sucking the sap out of a pine tree.
Anton: How do you guys come to the conclusion that IPA’s taste like napalm or sap from pine trees? You guys have weird hobbies.
Zane: They taste piney to me. I grew up around a lot of pine trees, and played outside a lot. I know what pine tastes like.
Anton: Okay. And napalm, Tim?
Tim: They taste napalmy to me. I grew up around a lot of napalm trees, and played outside a lot. I know what napalm tastes like.
Zane: At the moment I’m drinking Fremont Bonfire Ale, and it’s the best beer ever.
Tim: IT’S 9:34AM! Even I don’t start that early! Well, not on work days.
Zane: I’m not actually drinking one right now. Just over the past couple months. Jeeze.