Tag Archives: James the colossus thompson

BILLY ROBINSON & CATCH AS CATCH CAN

 

CATCH BLOG COVER

 

 

I’m sad to say that most of you won’t know who Billy Robinson is or the style of fighting that he mastered. Even though Catch wrestling is one of the most effective grappling styles, it’s somehow been over-looked. I was introduced to Catch wrestling (“catch-as-catch-can”) by the legendary Eric Paulson and Josh Barnett at their home in LA, CWS. My grappling brain wasn’t developed enough to capture  the golden grappling information that was flying around the gym at the time. But it did peak my interest, and as the years rolled by I continually, but sporadically, dipped my toe into the ignored yet massively effective world of Catch wrestling without ever fully submerging myself. 

 

I decided fairly recently, after coming across the website http://www.scientificwrestling.com, that this had to change. So after trawling though 100s of different Catch wrestling vids, including on YouTube, and ordering up loads of Catch wrestling books – like “Say Uncle”, written by the aforementioned Billy Robinson along with Jake Shannon, a man who has committed himself to breathing new life into this effective but sadly forgotten grappling art – I also bought books by legendary Catch wrestlers like  Frank Gotch and Farmer Burns and, of course, Billy Robinson. When my books finally dropped though the door, I ran down the stairs like an excited kid at Christmas who’d overdosed on sugary treats. I started explaining to my long suffering other half, the Merlean, what the finer differences between Catch and Jujitsu were, and how I was going to submerge myself into this sport, get as good as I could get etcetera, etcetera, etc. But after one too many eye rolls, which signify she was about to tap out – or even worse, about to make me tap out for inflicting this blitzkrieg of unwanted information on her – I ended her misery and instead tried to decide which of my new books I’d download into my cerebral cortex. But just then I saw the sad news on Facebook that Billy Robinson, a bonafide legend of the grappling art Catch, who taught MMA greats like Sakuraba and Josh Barnett the art of Catch, had sadly passed away in his sleep at the age of 74 at his home in Little Rock, Arkansas. I’d made vague plans with myself around seven months ago to go train with Jake Shannon and Billy in the States, but life and all it entails had got in the way and now, on the day all these great books had dropped through the door, the man who contributed to them all in so many different ways had died. I’d never been more gut-churningly sick at the passing of someone I’d never met, and I curse myself for procrastinating  and missing the golden opportunity to meet and learn from a legend. I made a Facebook status about his passing and nothing, literally nothing – no comments, no likes, nowt. I’m not a person who attributes the importance of things by how many comments/likes something gets; I think it’s a dangerous thing to do, but in this case I was mad. In a world of tap out wrestling and ‘I do UFC’ wannabes, all who claim to love the sport of MMA and all it entails, where was the love for this great man who had done so much for the grappling world and, indirectly, MMA? So I contacted Jake Shannon to see about plans to go over and train. I was shocked but delighted when he contacted me recently to tell me about a two day Catch seminar in Doncaster he was putting on from the 5th to the 7th of this month. Here’s the link:

 

http://certifiedcatchwrestler.co.uk

 

If you’re into your grappling, it doesn’t get any better than this. But unfortunately, me being me, by the time you read this, the seminar will already be happening. Yeah, sorry about that. Find out about the next one through  http://www.scientificwrestling.com or, if you can only make one or two of the days, add Jake Shannon on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jake.shannon?ref=ts&fref=ts nd. I’m sure you’ll be able to work something out. If you live close to the below address, you’ll find us there:

 

Andy Crittenden’s Martial Arts Centre

4 Sandford Rd, Balby

Doncaster

DN4 8PL

01302 858335

 

 

Okay, back to the blog. So if Catch works, if Catch is so great, why don’t you know more about it? Why don’t more fighters know or use Catch? To answer this, we have to go back to the late 1800s to the North of England. This is the birthplace of Catch, where the coal miners and labourers would hold brutal Catch matches for the wages of a brutal day’s work. Catch wrestling was one of the biggest sports around at the time, filling large arenas with paying customers who would watch the toughest men engage in tough matches that sometimes could last hours. Over time, promoters realised  that by fixing the matches they could control the time limits and so get  more matches on the card while making them more exciting for the crowd. This turned the realest sport around into pro wrestling, the fakest sport around, making this story another of life’s great ironies. There’s a chapter in Robinson’s book “Physical Chess” which I feel sums this up. Billy Riley, owner of the long gone famous Catch As Catch Can gym in Wigan, The Snake Pit, says to his student Billy Robinson, “You owe me a steak dinner”. Robinson says to Riley “I’d love to buy you a steak dinner, I just can’t afford it”. And Riley says “That’s why it’s time: you’re turning pro”. This sums up why Catch faded away: the top guys always had to follow the money, and the money led to pro wrestling.  That’s an overview of why you haven’t heard as much as you should – if anything at  all – about Catch and how it  it gradually faded out and pro wrestling came in. Sad but true.

 

While you might not have heard much about Catch, it’s worth remembering that a lot of today’s standard moves were original Catch moves going under different names: a figure four scissors in Catch is a triangle in Jujitsu, and ask Josh Barnet how to do a Kimura – he’ll correct you and call it a “double wrist lock” before handing you your arm back to you. You see, a Kimura was always a double wrist lock until Kimura beat Helio Gracie with it. Kimura learned the move from Karl Gotch, and Gotch learned it in Wigan. The more you look back into the history of grappling, the more Catch you’ll find. One of the other differences between Catch and  Jujitsu is that Jujitsu is more of a flowing martial arts where you can fight off your back, while in Catch – like freestyle wrestling – if you end up on your back, this would be counted as a pin, thus ending the match. But in a sport like MMA where if you don’t evolve you die, I believe Catch wrestling will make a resurgence. Here Billy explains how moves and styles go in and out of fashion in his and Jake Shannon’s book ”Physical Chess”.

 

What happens is young people watch what the current champions are winning with. They copy it, even try to better it, but it’s the same hold or moves. They forgot a lot of other stuff thats won other matches, then maybe 30 years go by. One of those forgotten holds comes up again, and a champion starts to beat everyone with it. So everybody wants to learn it. Its a cycle. For example, at the 1948 Olympics in London, the Turks did very well with the top ride, and people started calling it the Turkish ride. Everybody was talking about the Turkish ride.

 

Riley said Well, what is it? So I described it to him.

 

He said come in here”. Rileys offices was a library of wrestling books and prints. He brought out etchings that were 400-500 years old of exactly the same ride and he said “The Turkish ride? We were doing that over 500 years ago”.

 

I love how Billy explains this with the database of grappling moves, old and new, growing and being learnt and taught with some being forgotten until used in a big fight – which sparks more learning, and the cycle grows and continues.

 

Like I said earlier, I never met or trained with Billy Robinson. So I asked a very close friend and student of his, Jake Shannon, if he could write about Billy. This is want I kindly received from him.

 

Billy was one of a kind. Here was a guy who could not only soak up the catch-as-catch-can knowledge from legendary old times like Billy Joyce and Billy Riley, but he could apply in championship competition and coach others to become champions themselves. I am not sure there is anyone like that in catch-as-catch-can right now. He was severe as a coach, but it’s really because he cared, he really wanted you to get it right. He came from the old school, and as such sometimes had a hard time passing along what he learned to a generation of young people distracted by video games and the Internet. At the same time, he demanded hard work, but outside the gym he played hard too. He could drink the younger guys under the table and never failed to ask for a cute barmaids phone number. He was larger than life and this world is smaller without him.

 

This is quite a disjointed blog which I apologise for. I started it when I first heard about Billy passing. But what with having to train for a fight, it’s got put on the back burner till now. Writing this it struck me how Billy and Catch are alike and how you can’t have one without the other. Billy was born in the north of England, as was Catch. While he was alive, he was a devastating force of nature because of Catch, but little is known about either. Hopefully this blog has whetted your appetite to learn more about Billy Robinson and Catch, as well as the origins of some of the holds you might learn in your grappling class or you see while watching MMA. If so, I can’t recommend his book – Physical Chess: My Life In Catch As Catch Can Wrestling – any more highly to you. It takes you back to the north of England, where both Billy and Catch were born, and tells of some of the forgotten champions, and goes into more detail how Catch faded almost completely away while being packed with plenty of funny stories and interesting grappling knowledge. Plus, you don’t get a better tour guide than the British Lion, Billy Robinson.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Physical-Chess-Life-Catch-As-Catch-Can-Wrestling/dp/1770410627

 

So all that’s left for me to say is thank you and R.I.P. Billy Robinson

 

 

 

Thanks for reading my blog, please remember to ‘follow’ it for updates as to when the next one is posted before it hits the social media platforms.

If you enjoy reading my blogs then please feel free to make a donation to the cause, the amount donated directly links to what COLOSSAL Karma you’ll receive.

Donations via PAYPAL colossalcollective@hotmail.co.uk

My Colossal Collective T-Shirt is available directly from my website page

http://www.colossalcollective.com/shop/tshirts/colossal-collective-teeshirt-black/

My Website of all things ‘COLOSSAL’ www.colossalcollective.com

My facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-The-Colossus-Thompson/199137513465142 &

My podcast Colossal Concerns on Itunes. http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/colossal-concerns-podcast/id558622595

My twitter https://jp.twitter.com/JColossus

My YouTube channel Colossalcollective http://www.youtube.com/user/ColossalCollective

DISCLAIMER

Please note, the thoughts and opinions posted here are solely those of the author and do not represent those of anything linked or related. All content provided on this Colossalconcerns.com blog is for entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.The owner of ColossalConcerns.com blog will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Colossalconcerns.com is NOT the owner of any videos that are found or embedded on this site. ALL VIDEOS on colossalconcerns.com are hosted by third party sites such as You Tube, Daily Motion, Novamov, Vimeo etc. Therefore all videos found on this site belong to their respective owners. Colossalconcerns.com DOES NOT CLAIM OWNERSHIP OF ANY  VIDEOS FOUND ON THIS SITE.

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MMA & THE EGO

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Throughout my 10 years or so in Mma I’ve gone back and forth with my opinions on the ego and how important it is in Mma.

The first thing I believe that you have to do is recognize that you have one. Seems like a silly thing to say, but I think so many fighters fall foul of recognizing when their ego is doing the talking, and maybe they should give it a rest and take over for a while. But is letting your ego run away with you a bad thing and if so why? This is a very complex, convoluted question, one which I’ll do my best to answer.

First off since everyone is different, not to mention every situation is different, there isn’t any right or wrong answer.

Now, when I first started Mma I would’ve argued that I didn’t really have an ego. I knew I was a beginner, I had no illusions of grandeur and I listened and tried to learn as much as I could. I linked someone who had an “ego” as a bad thing because like most people… I link ego with arseholes (not literally as I’m not quite sure how that would work).

Because I haven’t ever classed myself as an arsehole, I didn’t think I had an ego. I’ll explain why I was wrong.

When I was training there were no real Mma clubs about so I trained the three martial arts separately, Ju Jit su, Boxing & Wrestling. I remember when I started to get a bit fitter and I’d gained a few low level wins under my belt I watched Pride. Nog vs. Fedor. I recall thinking I’m not there yet but I’m not a million miles away. When the reality was that I was really a couple of light years away!
Looking back, what I believe would have helped me was if I had been sat down and told the cold hard truth, then again if I had then I might not have even stepped foot in the ring/cage to start with.

The problem is that positive thinking can be part of the problem itself, but it will only take you so far when it comes to your ego. Reality caught up with me and let me tell you it has a hell of a right hand.

This is what I was talking about earlier. Once your ego takes a body blow, how will you react to it? When something like this happens the vast majority of fighters lose. I used to get pissed off when I detected a bullshit excuse from a fighter about losing a fight. I’d think come on now. I think it’s essential to look back see the mistake you’ve made hold your hands up and improve on them. The bullshit excuse stops the fighter from doing this and so I didn’t see any plus side in it.

These days I see things a little bit differently. Although I stick by my previous comments I now also see those ‘bullshit excuses’ are a safety device as for a lot of fighters. Bullshit excuses are an airbag that save the ego from taking too much damage. It’s needed because too much damage to the ego can really have a negative effect on a fighter’s mentality.

When it comes to fighting you have to really believe you’re going to win. If you can write off your loses with an excuse, but still train hard and improve what you need to improve, then you’re laughing.

This is why I envy some fighters out there who aren’t really too self-aware. They believe their own bullshit, which can be really helpful especially if you have a good coach who can see this and knows how to handle you with kit gloves and improves your weak areas.

Myself, I am very self-aware. For a while I thought I was TOO aware. When my trainer would say before a fight “ come on James, you’re ready for this, you’ve trained hard” I’d think no I haven’t, I’ve spent most the time at the blackjack table. That’s how I reacted to decisions that I saw as unfair back then.

I used to see this self-awareness as a disadvantage but it wasn’t. It will only work though  if you’re putting the time in at the gym. You can’t spend all your time listening to Antony Robbins tapes, enter Mma and then take the title in blitz of carnage and mangled bodies.

So to sum up. It’s important to listen and learn, stay grounded and realise you’ll never know it all, but at on the other hand if you hear a fighter giving excuses you don’t believe, give him a pass. It’s a tough sport and going out fighting in front of people takes a lot mentally and physically. Sometimes a fighter needs that ‘ego air bag’.

I remember Rampage Jacksons saying in a Pride interview

” I’m not going to give you excuses for my losses, but I have an excuse for all of them”

I realised if I wanted to fight and if I couldn’t baffle myself with my own bullshit then I’d better start putting the effort in. That way, win or lose, I could be satisfied I had done everything I could.

Being injured after the Lashley fight, then having a whole array of sickness and injuries, has given me a lot of time to reflect on my career and now I’m healthy (although fat at the time of writing this) I’ve looked at my weak areas and took apart my training, so next time so you see me you’ll see a more ‘in tune’ Colossus, mentally and physically, who will be dishing out some damage and finishing the last part of his career on top…. Grrrrrrrrrr… I told you I had an ego ;)

 

 

Thanks for reading my blog, please remember to ‘follow’ it for updates as to when the next one is posted before it hits the social media platforms.

If you enjoy reading my blogs then please feel free to make a donation to the cause, the amount donated directly links to what COLOSSAL Karma you’ll receive.

Donations via PAYPAL colossalcollective@hotmail.co.uk

My Colossal Collective T-Shirt is available directly from my website page

http://www.colossalcollective.com/shop/tshirts/colossal-collective-teeshirt-black/

My Website of all things ‘COLOSSAL’ www.colossalcollective.com

My facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-The-Colossus-Thompson/199137513465142 &

My podcast Colossal Concerns on Itunes. http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/colossal-concerns-podcast/id558622595

My twitter https://jp.twitter.com/JColossus

My YouTube channel Colossalcollective http://www.youtube.com/user/ColossalCollective

 

 

DISCLAIMER

Please note, the thoughts and opinions posted here are solely those of the author and do not represent those of anything linked or related. All content provided on this Colossalconcerns.com blog is for entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner of ColossalConcerns.com blog will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Colossalconcerns.com is NOT the owner of any videos that are found or embedded on this site. ALL VIDEOS on colossalconcerns.com are hosted by third party sites such as You Tube, Daily Motion, Novamov, Vimeo etc. Therefore all videos found on this site belong to their respective owners. Colossalconcerns.com DOES NOT CLAIM OWNERSHIP OF ANY AND ALL VIDEOS FOUND ON THIS SITE.

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MEETING MY HERO – THEN HIM KICKING THE SHIT OUT OF ME

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Meeting my hero
(then him kicking the shit out of me)

This was originally meant for the book I’m writing titled Gym tales and COLOSSAL adventures.
But seeing that I’ve got so many exciting, action packed, fun filled tales I thought- what the hell I’d throw out a bit of a free taster for you guys. Why? Well that’s just the kind of guy I am. So join me as I take a trip down memory lane and recall what it was like to meet my hero, Randy Couture, then have him kick the shit out of me.

So, I had been fighting mma for just over two years. I’d had two fights in pride and the daunting task at hand was starting to dawn on me. You’d think it would have hit me before this but a mixture of ego and the fact that I’m a slow learner delayed this process. I started to realise that if I wanted to improve- which I did- I needed to be pushed. Even though I was by no means the most skilled person at Trojan mma club where I was training at the time, I was the biggest and I’d muscled my way out of trouble thus far. I realised when I fought some one that was my own weight I wouldn’t be able to do this and there wasn’t anyone my size to spar with at Trojan either.

It became clear I was going to have to travel to get the things I needed from training. Where to go, where to go?

I decided on team quest in Portland, Oregon. I knew I was fighting in two months for Pride FC and since it was in Pride I was getting used to the fact that I had no idea who my opponent might be so I opted for team quest. Home of such greats like Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and Matt Lindland. How could I go wrong training with guys like that!? Whoever the’ Pride powers that be’ saw fit to pit me against… I’d be ready.

So I made a phone call to Team Quest. They told me there was a motel I could stay at that was literally across the road from the gym and that I’d be welcome to train there so I told them when I’d be over, put the phone down, booked my flight and counted down the weeks till I’d be there.

I can’t remember that much of Oregon. I think it’s because for the most part of the eight weeks I trained there I was literally on the same road that had my motel on. The super market was just across the road from Quest and that was all good for me.

I arrived late, around ten pm. I checked into my motel and said hello to my crack head neighbours. They seemed nice enough, a bit twitchy but all was good. I settled into the room, got my training kit ready for the next day and resisted the great temptation to buy the ‘miracle knife’ which was a on an infomercial I found strangely entertaining.

The next day I was up early. I found a nearby restaurant and had breakfast then made the short walk to Team Quest. I was an hour early but whatever; I could get a feel of the place and warm up a bit.

I entered the gym from a side entrance. There was a small room with mats and bags then the reception in the middle then the main room which had a huge matted area. I approached the reception area and introduced myself to a lady called Willow. Willow looked a hippie but strangely for hippie she was in shape. A ‘high performance hippie’ if you will. I half expected her to try and sell me a dream catcher as I explained who I was and why I was standing in front of her. She was as nice and welcoming as could be and showed me to the changing rooms.

I got myself ready and made my way to the main room to start warming up. Half way through my third round of shadow boxing a voice said “Hi buddy do you want to spar?” I ceased my devastating combo of punches and I can tell you my imaginary opponent was VERY relieved. I turned round to see the voice belonged to Mr Randy Couture. His back was towards me and he was rummaging in his training bag. I don’t know why I was so shocked to see him standing in front of me, I mean this was his gym after all, but I was.

Even though I had heard him my response was “eh??” I don’t know why I said this. Was I buying time while the reality of the situation absorbed into my frontal lobe? I immediately thought this sounded rude when Randy said “Sparing, would you like to spar?”

This was unreal. Would I like to spar with Randy Couture? This was too much, of course I would!

I said yes, well I actually said “aye” (Which is a northern way of saying ‘yes’).

A puzzled looked came across Randy’s face and he said “your eye?” in a somewhat puzzled tone of voice.

This wasn’t the first time an American had trouble making out what I was saying, in fact Americans on the whole have enormous difficulty in trying to understand what I’m trying to convey. That is until I teach them the Queen’s English.

“Of course Mr Couture I would be honoured to part take in the said duel” I said like a character out of Pride and Prejudice…

I’m only kidding I think I said something like “aye, I mean yeah I’d love to have a spar”

I’m not sure how much Randy understood me as he said “Oh you mean yes”. He must have been thinking – fucking hell this simple question is a workout in itself!

I again responded with “aye”. It was an automatic response. If I would’ve had a miracle knife to hand I would’ve willingly fallen on it.

I quickly followed with “I mean yes, great of course”.

He smiled and carried on putting on his training kit. This whole conversation must have lasted all of thirty seconds but it felt like a lifetime. I suddenly realised my mouth was so dry that my tongue seemed to be welded to the top of my mouth. I went to get a drink of water, then stopped and went to put on my gloves then tripled back as I realised it would be easier to drink water without having boxing gloves on!

I was glad Randy wasn’t paying me any attention as it looked like I’d decided to jack in Mma to start doing the robot.

Get a grip Thompson, I silently demanded to myself as I walked over to my water. I drank, put my shin pads and boxing gloves on and walked to where Randy was waiting for me. When I look back I didn’t feel nervous, I mean I’m sure I did but that emotion would have been further down the list of what I was feeling, after surrealness and just pure awe.

We touched gloves. Randy was circling out of distance and I was wondering how hard to go. I mean, I hadn’t sparred that much due to lack of training partners of my size and when I got in the ring/cage I tended to go for the ‘all out full psycho’ approach, which I would never do in training. As I was mulling over this delicate quandary, a stiff jab landed straight on my chin quickly followed by another.

I rushed forward; Randy got under hooks and took me down. I then spent a lot of time on my back being ground and pounded.

I can’t remember too much more about it as I was getting tired and hit a lot! Even through all this I am willing to bet there was no-one more happy to be punched in the face!! Other fighters started to come in to train at this point, so we called it a day.

As I was grabbing some water it suddenly occurred to me I hadn’t landed a punch or got a take down. I hadn’t done anything apart from be an ‘over happy punch bag’. My joy of being beat up dissipated and I started to feel embarrassed – When you’re a fighter of any age and you train somewhere else you always want to give a good account for yourself. I hadn’t done that and suddenly felt sick.

I introduced myself to Robert Follis, the head coach at Quest, there were a hell of a lot of fighters in the gym now. We all warmed up in the massive matted area before sparring with each other. I sparred with Matt Lindland first. I recall that I was very determined to give a good account for myself. I can’t remember much of the spar except that I got an arm bar right at the end of the round. I remember this as firstly it was Matt Lindland and secondly I never go to get arm bars.

I was feeling like I’d redeemed myself a little in this spar. We had a minutes rest and then went with someone else.

The next guy (I can’t remember his name) had only had a couple of fights and was a small, light heavy weight wrestler, but he guillotined me in the first 30 seconds. I was then arm barred by Dan Henderson from guard which I thought was out of order since I’ve never seen Dan do this. Then I got tapped out loads by Matt Horwich, who I thought was a little unorthodox in his methods, as he would tell me what he was going to do before he did it. He wasn’t actually saying his next move out loud for my benefit, he was obviously organising his moves in his own head and speaking them out loud, but it went a bit like this

“Horwich gets a under hook, takes the single leg, heel hook and then Horwich gets the tap” it just what he did sometime but it worked for him so fair play. (I’ve since met up with Horwich again when I fought in KSW and he’s a genuinely nice guy and I wish him well in multi universal life and in his Mma endeavours :)

Anyway back to Team Quest. I was exhausted by this point, when Lindland ask for another spar! My body cried out as I was tapped and pummelled relentlessly. It was a mad, painful first day but I really enjoyed it – apart from when Lindland’s glove caught my eye at the end of the last spar we had and it wouldn’t stop watering. It was painfully annoying and I couldn’t see out of my eye as it constantly streamed water.

At the end of the session Randy asked me if I wanted to get something to eat with him and Lindland which was great. I wasn’t nervous by then as I think my nerves had been beaten numb. Of course I got showered and took them up on their offer. I can’t remember much of the meal or the conversation as my eye was watering constantly and caused a massive distraction. Just my luck I thought, here I am sitting here with two Mma legends and all I can do is wince and dab my streaming eye with a napkin!

When I got back to my room I led on my bed and went through the events of the day. I started going over the mistakes I’d made while sparring then beating myself up over them which was easy as I was tired from everyone else giving me a beating. I started to feel down. I was letting my ego get the better of me. Instead of concentrating on the bad stuff which I’d been over analysing for the past hour I tried to look at the good stuff as well as the bad in order to help me improve. The things I had done at Quest, the fact I’d met so many Mma legends that were really nice people and the fact that I’d even eaten with Randy Couture and Matt Lindland… Jesus!! It had been a great day. What did I expect to come here and take over? Of course not. I realised that If I trained hard I could learn a lot from this whole experience and that’s what I intended to do.

Pride ended up giving me giant Silva to fight. A guy with not much skill but that posed a lot of difficult questions since well… he was a giant. I went into that fight feeling confident due to the fact that I’d had such a lot of help from Matt Follis (head coach at Quest) Mike Dolce who worked on my diet and strength and conditioning, and Jay White, my heavy weight sparring partner, not to mention all the legends I’ve mentioned before in this blog and a whole host of fighters I haven’t. Basically it was a great experience, one I’d recommend to any fighter to do. Get out of your comfort zone, leave your ego at home and go train.

Thanks for reading my blog, please remember to ‘follow’ it for updates as to when the next one is posted before it hits the social media platforms.

If you enjoy reading my blogs then please feel free to make a donation to the cause, the amount donated directly links to what COLOSSAL Karma you’ll receive. 

Donations via PAYPAL colossalcollective@hotmail.co.uk

My Colossal Collective T-Shirt is available directly from my website page

http://www.colossalcollective.com/shop/tshirts/colossal-collective-teeshirt-black/

My Website of all things ‘COLOSSAL’ www.colossalcollective.com

My facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-The-Colossus-Thompson/199137513465142 &

My podcast Colossal Concerns on Itunes. http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/colossal-concerns-podcast/id558622595

My twitter https://jp.twitter.com/JColossus

My YouTube channel Colossalcollective http://www.youtube.com/user/ColossalCollective

DISCLAIMER

Please note, the thoughts and opinions posted here are solely those of the author and do not represent those of anything linked or related. All content provided on this Colossalconcerns.com blog is for entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner of ColossalConcerns.com blog will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Colossalconcerns.com is NOT the owner of any videos that are found orembedded on this site. ALL VIDEOS on colossalconcerns.com are hosted by third party sites such as You Tube, Daily Motion, Novamov, Vimeo etc. Therefore all videos found on this site belong to their respective owners. Colossalconcerns.com DOES NOT CLAIM OWNERSHIP OF ANY AND ALL VIDEOS FOUND ON THIS SITE.

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MAN UP (Not that much)

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This next subject I’m about to tackle on Colossal Concerns surprises me in so much that when I first heard about it, I thought most people would overwhelmingly agree with my view point, which doesn’t seem to be the case now I’ve had the chance to read some of the articles and opinions floating around about the said subject.

So what I’m I talking about? Well it’s the transgender fighter called Fallon Fox. Fallon used to be a man and has now had the operation and medication to help her achieve his goal (it gets confusing) of being a woman. Hence the transgender part.

The part that has caused the controversy in all this is that Fallon now fights woman Mma.
Now, maybe I’m naive. When I first heard about this I thought the up roar would be immense about the fact Fallon is competing in a violent sport and the fact she used to be a man would give her a massive advantage. Not only that but Fallon KO’d two of her female opponents, that weren’t even aware of the fact that she used to be a he!

How can that be right? I mean let’s just boil it all down to facts here, no political correctness just facts, and then go from that point.

Before I go on let me just say I don’t care if you’re a midget, gay, black, fat or transgender or all of these thing put together. I’m not here to criticise transgender people, that’s not what this post is about, if it makes you happy or you think it will then crack on as it’s your business. Who am I, or anyone else, to get in your way? As long as you’re not hurting anyone else then good luck to you. But what happen when someone’s personal choice CAN hurt someone else – like in the case of combat sports.

Fallon Fox had the operation to change gender seven years ago, as far as I know Fallon never competed in Mma as a man (I couldn’t find evidence for this but I could be wrong) and has been on medicine to lower testosterone whilst increasing oestrogen which, then in turn, decreases strength and bone density along with other physical advantages a male might naturally have over a female.

On paper this supposedly makes it a level playing field.

Well… My issues, and I think Joe Rogan stated it very well when he said on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast that Fallon, even though taking appropriate medications to emulate female hormones and characteristics, will ‘still have the bone structure of a man’.

Even with all the medication in the world to make it more of a ‘level playing field’, I’m not buying it that Fallon doesn’t have a strong advantage. Let’s break it down.

Men have an advantage over woman when it comes to sports, largely because even when both sexes weigh the same men have twice as much muscle and half as much fat as a woman does (which as an aside is one of the good reasons, along with hormones that women have cellulite and us men don’t -well we do but it’s just hidden under lots of lean, manly muscle;) but the medication Fallon takes reduces that factor, right?

Ok, by how much? 50% 30% 10% someone give me a figure because I don’t know and it seems no one else does either. Why? Because the subject has not been looked into that closely and even if it was looked in to, it’s all subjective. You have the same issue when it comes to bone density and structure. Sure it depletes with this medication but by how much?

I think it’s been forgotten that another big advantage males have over females is that their organs are different sizes. Men have bigger hearts and lungs that obviously help power the body. So basically what are they telling us? That Fallon’s organs have decreased in size because of the medication being prescribed?

While all the treatment, medicine and such like, can do wonderful things, you can’t tell me that they’ve completely neutralised nature and made things a level playing field.

The only time that medicine will have come far enough to make it a level playing field will be the day that this situation occurs the other way around. A woman undergoing a sex change, to become a man, then entering the world of Mma and dominating a man because of the medication will be the only day that it will be fair. I wouldn’t hold your breath for that one.

I’m guessing a lot of people that are in favour of Fallon fighting females aren’t, in general, ‘in the know’ about combat sports. Fallon advocators are looking at the issue purely from a ‘we are all equal’ perspective. This is great but when it comes down to a physically enduring sport, where a lot of pain and damage is inflicted on someone, it’s not quite as simple as ‘we are all equal’

After saying all this do I think Fallon should be able to fight MMA… absolutely – As long her the female opponent knows what’s up.

Then it’s fair as her opponent has the choice to weigh up the facts and decide whether to accept the fight or not, that is the opponent’s personal choice. It infuriated me to hear in the media that either two or three of her opponents didn’t get to make that choice as the  fights were based on half-truths. What about THEIR rights as woman, competing in a physically damaging sport that can have lasting implications to their health. Who was looking out for the rights of these females?

I can’t image what it must be like to feel like you are trapped in the wrong body and the entire trauma you and your family must go through and, of course, Fallon has as much right to change sex and to do whatever makes her happy, that was her choice and I’m sure it wasn’t taken lightly as I’ve heard the transition is hard to go through.

As long as everyone involved in the fights knows the truth about the situation, then the choices each individual makes based on the facts are the only level playing field we’re going to get.

 

 

Thanks for reading my blog, please remember to ‘follow’ it for updates as to when the next one is posted before it hits the social media platforms.

My Website of all things ‘COLOSSAL’ www.colossalcollective.com

My facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-The-Colossus-Thompson/199137513465142 &

My podcast Colossal Concerns on Itunes. http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/colossal-concerns-podcast/id558622595

My twitter https://jp.twitter.com/JColossus

My YouTube channel Colossalcollective http://www.youtube.com/user/ColossalCollective

DISCLAIMER

Please note, the thoughts and opinions posted here are solely those of the author and do not represent those of anything linked or related. All content provided on this Colossalconcerns.com blog is for entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner of ColossalConcerns.com blog will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Colossalconcerns.com is NOT the owner of any videos that are found orembedded on this site. ALL VIDEOS on colossalconcerns.com are hosted by third party sites such as You Tube, Daily Motion, Novamov, Vimeo etc. Therefore all videos found on this site belong to their respective owners. Colossalconcerns.com DOES NOT CLAIM OWNERSHIP OF ANY AND ALL VIDEOS FOUND ON THIS SITE.

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MIND, BODY & SOUL AND ENSON INOUE

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If you would have said to me, three months ago, that I would have written on my Facebook status and started a thread on mma.tv about the fact I will never tap in another mma fight again then I would have looked at you with an element of distain, whist thinking “you really don’t know me at all”

Why would I ever feel the need to make such bold statement and put pressure on myself? Plus, if a fighter makes a mistake and gets caught in a fight the normal mantra is you tap, you lose, but you learn from it and you come back stronger (hopefully). It’s all very acceptable to tap out in a fight if you’re in an unlucky position you can’t get out of. I have thought this way for pretty much all of my fighting career. No fighter want’s to tap, but we know that it will be ok if we do as sometimes in a fight there is no other way out other than to tap… or is there…

I look at it as ‘my old way of thinking’, and now I have a ‘new way of thinking’.

Old way of thinking = ok to tap (if you HAVE to). New way of thinking = Not ok for me to tap, I’m just not going to do it.

The strange thing is, I still agree with anyone who has my old view on this subject – which makes what I’m saying even harder to understand (even to me sometimes and I’m the one that’s saying it) and I thought by devoting a blog to it, I could clarify my new way of thinking.

First off, me saying ‘I’m not going to tap in a fight again’ isn’t about being tough, it’s not about ego. All combat sport has, to some degree, ego issues but in this case it’s not the determining factor. It’s actually something much deeper, which I’m still trying fully to understand. Let me try and make myself some-what ledge able.

I was listing to the ‘Joe Rogan Experience podcast’ and his guests were Chuck Liddell and Enson Inoue. Now, I have watched Enson, a long time ago, and remembered him as being a tenacious, explosive fighter that always came to fight (understatement of the century). But while I was aware of him, I wouldn’t say I knew too much about him.
While I was listening to him on the podcast it struck me how intense, kind and thoughtful he came across. I got the impression this was a man who says what he means or he doesn’t say anything at all!

When they got to the point of discussing his fights, the subject of ‘tapping’ came up. Now, I was listening intently at this point as my view of the matter was like I stated above – tap, learn, and come back stronger because anything else is just ego bullshit. Enson took another view, quite the opposite of my own, which was the reason I was listening so intently at this stage in the podcast.

Enson hadn’t come across like this at all, in fact completely the opposite.

I remember back to watching him fight Nog and getting caught in a quick transition from arm bar to triangle and being choked unconscious. I remember thinking two things at the time. The first was that it was pointless and the second was that I had a begrudging respect for him.

HERE IS A LINK TO ENSON INOUE VS ANTONIO RODRIGO NOGUEIRA

http://vk.com/video_ext.php?oid=-38384965&id=162907026&hash=4e7a144b788f4df7&hd=1″

 

What he explained next will change the way I fight, and by doing that it will change my life to some effect (I know, heavy right)

Enson said that when he fights, he has made a peace with himself. Right to the point that he has faced the fact he could die when he steps though those ropes to face his opponent. We know he overcomes this fear as he is there, in the ring, ready to fight.

Being a fighter I’m obviously comparing what he was saying with my own way of thinking. Was I prepared to die every time I was ready to fight? Well, in a way I suppose. I guess everyone that fights makes that choice. Is it likely to happen, that we might die in there? No it isn’t. So really grasping that concept and believing it is like letting that fear go.

I never thought too much about that side of it as a lot of the time I feel like the more you think about something, the more you worry, the more likely it is to happen. So I just go in there to do my best and fight.

After hearing Enson on the JRE experience I realised I had to try to free myself from fear as it was stifling me. I was scared to lose which was slowing me down in all aspects of my life, not just Mma. Now I’m trying very hard not to be scared of being scared.

Like any problem you encounter it needs to be looked at – otherwise how else are you going to figure it out. Only, it’s not that simple. Because fear can also be a good thing, it can motivate you and keep you, well… alive. The more I listened to Enson, the more I watched him fight, the more I saw a fighter with a massive advantage over most of us and there was a man who was controlling and using his fear to his advantage. How had he done this? Well like I said earlier, he was fighting like his life depended on it because simply… it did. This in turn made him train like his life depended on it… because it did.

He had come to terms with the fact he could, and was willing, to die in the fight.

Now when you take my old point of view “I’m not going to think and just fight” and put it up against Enson’s “I have accept I might die and now I’m ready to fight” Who do you think has the advantage going in?

I realise it’s not just as easy as this, to just adopt another man’s thinking to improve how you fight, because the way you think or what you believe in also depends on your personality, which complicates this matter even more.

Maybe if you look into it as deeply as Enson you’d get more nervous as thinking or doing without fear might not come naturally to your personality type. If you’re nervously inclined then Enson’s way would make you think ‘I’m only pushing myself and having a go at Mma, I’m not on about dying or suffering serious injury’.

I don’t think people who think this are wrong; there is no right or wrong way… It’s what is right for you and the only one that can tell you what’s right or wrong for you is yourself. No one else can.

What Enson said made real sense to me. He had conquered his fears by accepting them. Which made him more dangerous a fighter and, I’m guessing, as a person.

This hasn’t always been my view. I’ve never gone into a fight with this mind-set. Training like I’m going to have a fight that could end me. In fact for some fights I haven’t trained at all. I’ve drank, gone out, taken all manner of drugs and gambled incessantly and then (surprisingly) fought and lost. Only to wash, rinse and repeat.

You tell me which those two options is more dangerous, especially given the way I fight, which is flat out no matter what shape I’m in. I think the answer (in regards to me) is simple.

So I’m changing, not just the way I fight but the way I am as a person. This started happening before I listened to Enson on the JRE but this interview only accelerated things. This is why I made the thread on mma.tv and posted a status on my Facebook Page.

You’re probably thinking why did I have to make it public, why couldn’t I just adopt that way of thinking in silence. The answer is simply that I’ve noticed when I write something down it helps me get it done. I might not even go back to what I have written but just the act itself solidifies something in my mind.

When I’m doing my YouTube videos (Subscribe to my you tube channel Colossal Collective) I write all my thoughts down on my I pad, note book thing and it’s like I’m writing them into my mind, to regurgitate them in an entertaining fashion for your amusement. I also don’t say things that I don’t whole heartily believe, I just don’t.

So something as big as this wasn’t just a knee jerk reaction. I really looked at it, into myself, for the answers to find what’s right for me… and this is what I believe is.

I’m very aware that it can be perceived as ‘easy to write and say these things’ (even though it wasn’t easy or something I taken likely at all) but there is a big difference in saying ‘I’ll never tap again’ to then get caught in a knee bar with someone like Frank Mir hanging off your leg.

I’m not in that position and have only adopted this way of thinking recently so who knows, in the future I might be writing a blog about how and why I tapped. I don’t know.

All I know is that I’m not scared. If I have to write another blog in the future about me tapping and why I had to, either to stop my having leg or knee broken, or to stop me from dying in a fight, I’m not scared anymore because I will face up to these thing if they happen and look them straight in the eye. The willingness to do this, I believe, makes it less likely to happen and empowers me massively.

I’m now taking this this same approach in my life and its working out well. This is why I love MMA. I believe to be truly great you need to face your fears and let them enhance you.

Mind, body and soul…

 

 

This is the JRE that made me look at ‘tapping’ in a completely different light

 

 

Check out the LONDON REAL Podcast, where I talk about my ‘not to tap’ decision and  loads more

Thanks for reading my blog, please remember to ‘follow’ it for updates as to when the next one is posted before it hits the social media platforms.

My facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-The-Colossus-Thompson/199137513465142 &

My podcast Colossal Concerns on Itunes.  http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/colossal-concerns-podcast/id558622595

My twitter https://jp.twitter.com/JColossus

And finally my YouTube channel Colossalcollective  http://www.youtube.com/user/ColossalCollective

 

 

DISCLAIMER

Please note, the thoughts and opinions posted here are solely those of the author and do not represent those of anything linked or related. All content provided on this Colossalconcerns.com blog is for entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner of ColossalConcerns.com blog will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.  

Colossalconcerns.com is NOT the owner of any videos that are found  orembedded on this site. ALL VIDEOS on colossalconcerns.com are hosted by third party sites such as You Tube, Daily Motion, Novamov, Vimeo etc. Therefore all videos found on this site belong to their respective owners. Colossalconcerns.com DOES NOT CLAIM OWNERSHIP OF ANY AND ALL VIDEOS FOUND ON THIS SITE.

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MMA vs. BOXING

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This old, tired, semi functioning, bed ridden ‘shitting where it lies’ debate has been given mouth to mouth and resurrected by a man that, funnily enough, fits the above description.

Tyson, real name Luke, called out Cain Velasquez ( The current UFC heavyweight champion) and any other fighter who’d ever put Mma gloves on, in what I think was an attempt to gain some kind of notoriety and get his name out in the States.

Now, I don’t want to go into this too much as I think covered it in my video (which is at the end of my blog), and verbally beating My Fury up is like taking candy from a baby with no arms, I.e. easy to do but you feel bad afterwards.

So instead I want to dissect the question: MMA VS. BOXING

I hate this question. To me it’s not even really a question. True, both are combat sports. True, Boxing is a large part of Mma, True, in both sports you have to be strong physically and mentally to compete but that’s where the similarities end.

It’s like saying ‘which is better, flying in a plane or a helicopter’? I thought this was an obvious thing but with all this Fury nonsense this debate seems to have been reignited, so I’m going to look at both sports and hopefully bring Colossal clarity to the table in regard to this matter.

Oh and please for the love of good could all you Dullards (a hybrid of a dull person and a retard) please stop telling me that if it was a boxing match, Fury would knock me out. Of course he would, like him or not Tyson Fury is a top heavyweight boxer. IF WE FOUGHT BOXING that’s more than likely to happen, but that’s not what he’s saying. He’s saying he can beat any MMA guy in the world.

Like me or not, I’m a high level mma fighter and 8/10 times (I’m being generous here) I’d power double him before choking him out. That isn’t down to my vast skill and knowledge as I know there are semi pros that would do the same to Fury.

Anyway enough of that deluded prick, I’m getting nauseous typing.

On to the topic at hand…. I’ll start with Boxing

First of all Boxing is a tough, really hard sport. Everyone, even Fury, should be given respect for getting in there. You take more damage in Boxing than in Mma because the main target is the head, whereas in Mma if I take a good crack, I can go for a double leg -

(Fury, please take note: this is where I’d lower my level, keeping my back and head straight upright. I’d cover the distance, grabbing behind your knee caps before running you over, like a stream train hurdling towards Bambi (you) producing a cheap, ugly, messy bit of road kill (also you)

- whereas in boxing your options are very limited. Also in Boxing if you get KO’d you get 10 seconds to get your head together before your opponent tries to take your head off again (Untold damage can be done in this way). In Mma the fight is over.

Now please… I’m not saying this is a good or a bad thing, I’m just stating the differences between the two sports as people seem to have trouble differentiating between the two.

When I first started Mma I thought Mma was harder to learn as you have to master more sports and mange to amalgamate them successfully to be a complete Mma fighter.

Rewind a little and look at what I was saying about boxing being a more physically damaging sport. Attacks in Boxing are limited to the body and head. As boxing is restricted to only striking with hands then Boxers, unsurprisingly, get very good at it. Shifting their body weight, head movements, the lot.

Mma fighters simply can’t spend the amount of time on any one discipline with this kind of attention to detail. Mma is so hard as you’re taking so many different disciplines and making them into one, spending limited time trying to master all of them individually before merging them together. Ironically this makes a Mma fight easier in a way as you often have other options to fall back on should one of your combat disciplines let you down. If you get rocked during stand up, you can take to the floor etc.

With Sports like Boxing it’s solely focused on the Boxing (hence the name) and one of the things that makes Boxing hard is that most boxers are at a very good level. Because of this most Boxers that take it seriously will be at a very good standard which means, with the limited options available, they’re sure to be landing heavy shots and an individual’s body can only take so much punishment. The points of impact in Boxing will mostly be focused on the head/brain.

It’s really hard to say one is harder than the other as they’re both very different sports that share some similarities.

I think this goes some way as to why some boxers hold Mma in such low regard. They see the Mma striking and are, generally, less than impressed. When it comes to Wrestling, Ju, Jit su or any other type of grappling, because they don’t KNOW what it is they look at it in a way as to pass it off as men rolling around hugging, rather than seeing it for WHAT it is. Men rolling around with the ability to “hug” you to death. I know not all boxers think this way; I’m just talking about the lowest common denominator.

So we’ve covered that the sports are different. While there are more disciplines in Mma, Boxing is in some ways more intricate as there’s less to focus on.

And that Tyson (Luke) Fury is a loud mouth Dullard (a hybrid of a retarded, dull person)

So now we’re all on the same page. Here’s the video (for those who haven’t seen it & even for those that have) of me asking Tyson (Luke) Fury. A Colossal question….

Where does delusion start and promotion end???

Thanks for reading my blog, please remember to ‘follow’ it for updates as to when the next one is posted before it hits the social media platforms.

My facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-The-Colossus-Thompson/199137513465142 &

My podcast Colossal Concerns on Itunes.
My twitter https://jp.twitter.com/JColossus
And finally my YouTube channel Colossalcollective

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“SO, YOU WANT TO BE A FUCKING FIGHTER” ?

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“So, you want to be a FUCKING FIGHTER” ?

To many who hear these words reverberating off of their eardrums from Mr. Dana White, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” But since I’m not in that pressure cooker like these new fighters are and since I actually AM a fucking fighter, I took time to ponder what the question really means.

Nowadays, this question is being asked more and more. Why? Because the UFC is having more and more shows, which means more fighters are getting injured, which means more fighters are needing to step up on some short notice, causing Dana White to bark out the inevitable question. I’m going to look at both sides of this coin, and, since every case is different, I’m going to do my best to give you my humble opinion of what makes a fighter. So are you fucking ready? Ready for some fucking MMA knowledge bombs, motherfucker?

I apologize–I’ve got that all out of my system now.

The Promoter, a.k.a. Dana White:

Now Dana’s point of view is this: if you make your living as an mixed martial artist, then you should be ready at any time to step up and fight. I mean you’re a fighter, right? He’s only asking you to do what you do. I think Dana gets constantly frustrated because he’s trying to make the best fights possible for the fans, and more and more he’s running into roadblocks in terms of unwilling fighters who don’t want to step up on short notice and risk losing. Which to a lot of people, Dana included, is the essence of what makes a fighter. And, to the credit of Dana, he has avoided the pitfalls of boxing, where to make a fight happen means a year of negotiations. I can’t see that happening (thankfully) with MMA, and the reason for that is Dana. Now, the “do you want to be a fucking fighter?” question was first asked on the TV show “The Ultimate Fighter.” Let’s always keep in mind that it’s a television show, but, having said that, it’s a valid question when it’s being posed to inexperienced fighters, many of whom haven’t got that many fights under their belt.

I remember seeing a few fighters who didn’t really want it. They had this chance to be on a big TV show, and they didn’t want to take it. You shouldn’t have to ask this question when you’re talking about fighters who are in the UFC. I mean they’re there for a reason, of course they want to be a fighter. But Dana is finding it harder to get fighters to step up, which is causing problems. Look what happened with Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen and how Dana laid the blame and heaped untold pressure on to Jones. He did this simply because it’s black and white in Dana’s mind. You’re a fighter. If the situation calls for it, you step up, it’s as fucking simple as that.

The fighter:

Now, there are many different types of situations, and I can’t go through every single one of them. So let’s stick with the Jon Jones situation. Of course, I’m not talking for Jon Jones–just where I think he was coming from by not taking the fight. Jones is at the top. He has fame, he’s making money, and rightly so. When he didn’t take the fight with Chael, who would be coming up a weight, and the UFC was canceled, a lot of people scratched their heads and went for the jugular with Jones. I mean, why not save the day, taking on a competitive, but smaller, fighter? He’d been training anyway, so just take the fight! But what people forget is that, once you’re at the top of the mountain, and you’ve gotten there through following a certain system, you don’t want to change that system. I believe in the case of Jon Jones that it was an unnecessary risk. It deviated from the system and therefore was a risk he and Greg Jackson weren’t willing to take. Jones wasn’t scared of fighting Chael…it was just unplanned. So, I guess the question is: when should you take a fight you haven’t fully prepared for? If you don’t step up, are you not a really a fighter? This is a very personal question which each fighter who is in that situation has to answer.

My opinion:

Where to start….I’ve looked at both points of view, and I can see valid points on both sides. At the end of the day, Dana White is looking at it from a promoter’s point of view. Of course he wants fighters to step up. He wants to put the best show possible on. And Jon Jones is looking at it from his point of view. Why should he take unnecessary risks? I look at it like this: as a rule, mixed martial artists aren’t scared to fight other mixed martial artists. If they are, then they’ve chosen the wrong profession. What fighters are scared of is stepping up, taking the fight on short notice, losing, and getting cut (I’m speaking in general here, not about the Jones/Chael fight). I think this is the problem with the UFC–the upside doesn’t weigh out the potential downside of losing your job. I haven’t fought for the UFC, but from being around the MMA world and knowing a lot of people it seems very dog eat dog. That’s great to a point, but when competition is so fierce, stepping up and losing while making Dana happy for the time being is risky. How long is his memory? How good is the memory of mma fans? This is why more and more fighters aren’t willing to take the risk. They know that they could only get one shot in the UFC and they have to be at their best to take advantage of that shot.

When I fought for Pride, they would change my opponent seemingly by the hour. It was just the way it was, and I know I wasn’t the only one. Were the fighters of Pride more braver, more fighter-like? No, of course not, but the difference was that in Pride, as long as you fought with all your heart and gave it your all, you’d be back to fight again. If you just fought to win, there was a strong possibility that you wouldn’t be back. The reverse is true in the UFC. I believe Dana can’t have it both ways. You can’t have fighters so fearful of their job security and then get mad when they don’t jump at the chance to take a fight at two weeks notice.

So, to wrap it up, I think if Dana and the UFC want more fighters to step up then they can’t have the threat of executioner’s axe resting on the fighters neck. Of course fighters can’t keep losing and expect to keep their position in the UFC, but I think that if you talk to most of the fighters in the UFC they will tell you that they fight constantly, surrounded by an air of uncertainty.

Thanks for reading, please remember to follow my blog to be updated on when the next one is out before it goes out on the social networking sites. If your on twitter you can find me @ https://twitter.com/JColossus or like my facebook page here http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/James-The-Colossus-Thompson/199137513465142 & finally I also write a NON MMA Blog here http://colossal-personal-concerns.com/ where I can free my mind and have a rant about all sorts of general topics.

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FREAKY MMA

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Roll up, roll up, let your eyes feast greedily upon the wonders of man as warriors from around the globe in all manner of shapes and sizes are pitted upon each other using mind, body and soul in the ultimate form of combat, MMA. Where, from the ashes of battle only one true victor will emerge and be left standing. Roll up, roll up!

This is how I imagine the M.C. of a Carnival would sound selling the ‘freak show fights’ that we witness in MMA today. If you live in Japan then you get a lady from New Zealand with a crazy cool voice to do it. With Japanese Mma now struggling and the UFC not having adopted the kind of format that showcases the ‘freaks show fights’, it looks like the ‘freak show fight’ might be on it last (overly long) legs.

So this time on Colossal Concerns I want to give my views on whether this is a good or a bad thing. To answer this we have to delve into what a ‘freak show fight’ really is.

Now, this isn’t an easy question it’s like a freakily shaped onion, by that I mean it has many strange layers. So please join me while I take a closer look at what the ‘freak show fights’ are all about (clears throat) Roll up, roll up! Don’t be scared, pay your money at the door and prepare to enter the many faceted world of the ‘Freak Show’.

The ‘freak against freak’ fight

(Zulu vs. Butterbean)

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This is what you call the ultimate in freak shows. Two freakishly strange shaped individuals facing each other in a Mma match. In most of the cases I can think of, you’re not going to see a whole lot of ‘technical Mma’ but what you will get is entertainment that makes the Mma purist weep. I like to watch a good freak vs. freak battle every now and again. No-one does these kinds of fights better than the Japanese.

The ‘out of your depth’ freak show fight

(Don Frye vs. Le Banner)

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This is a freak show fight with a difference. It’s a rarity because there aren’t many stupidly toughly individuals around like Don Frye. This is where you’ll get a stupidly overmatched opponent and (like in this example) a stupidly tough guy and throw the tough guy to the wolves. I remember watching an interview with Don Frye before he fought Jerome Le Banner in K1 rules and Frye saying something like he’s younger than me, stronger than me and better at kick boxing than me. I was watching the interview going ‘wow, he totally knows he’s going to get his ass kicked’. Frye suffered a hideous KO.

What stuck with me was how insanely tough Frye had to be to take that fight. I wouldn’t recommend this course of action though. These fights don’t happen often, which I think is a good thing, as it’s kind of the modern day equivalent of throwing the Christians to the lions. Another of these ‘out of your depth freak show fights that comes to mind is Cro cop against some poor, masked, pro wrestler Dos Santos.

The classic ‘David verses Goliath’ Freak Fight

(Sapp power bombing Minotauro)

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The classic David vs. Goliath freak show I feel embodies the essence of the ‘freak show fight’. Size against skill, can skill overcome size? It’s a question that goes as far back as time and I feel will always be asked and will always be interesting to watch.

The Freak Show ‘format’

(Yamma cage with sloping edges)

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I’m not too keen on these kinds of formats. It’s one of those that sounds good, but in practice fails to live up to expectations.

The first round is K1 Rules the next round its Mma.

One fight that springs to mind which used this format was Shinya Aoki vs ( kick boxer)Yuichiro Nagashima the first round was K1 rules and consisted of Aoki desperately doing outrageous flying kicks to wind the clock down so to make it into the Mma rounds. He succeeded somewhat and made it into the 2nd Mma rounds and ironically got ko’d from a  sloppy take down.

There are other examples of these kinds of fights but they are all pretty forgettable. Also there a picture above of the short lived YAMMA fights. They decided it would be a great idea to mess about with the cage and have sloped sides put in. This added nothing to the fights and just made it easier for wrestlers to push their opponents to the edge and get the take down.

Whilst I’m a fan of the ‘Freak show fights’ most of the time, I think messing about with the format of Mma and the cage is a step too far. It adds nothing to Mma, quite the opposite in fact. I feel like it takes it away from the sport and the fights taking place.

Conclusion

So there we have the many facets of what makes up the ‘Freak Show fight’, shining through with all its odd like glory. So, what’s the conclusion, should the freak show be left to die a quiet undignified death or should we pucker up, take a deep breath and breathe life into this two-headed fiend? It seems, at this moment in time we don’t really have a choice in the matter as Japanese Mma itself is on life support and the UFC model of Mma has no place for the Freak Show. For now at least it looks like the ‘freak show’ might be taking its last breath.

Some will say that this is a good thing, that these types of fights make a mockery out of Mma and whilst sometimes I can see where they’re coming from with this point of view, I feel that the freak show fight represents more than just unskilled, strange shaped humans doing battle. Sure, this might sometimes be the case which infuriates the Mma purists that feel Mma is being ‘dragged to new lows’, but generally it poses the age old question… Size against skill? (See example above).

Now, I’m not arguing that the UFC should start putting on ‘freak show fights’ as somehow that wouldn’t seem right. When it comes to the ‘Freak show’ there is only one nation that we can turn to that handles the ‘freaks’ with the proper love and affection… That, of course, is the Japanese. I’m not exactly sure why it is that the Japanese manage to balance the ingredients of the ‘freak show’ and get them all just right. If I were to hazard a guess I’d say it was because the Japanese match makers themselves are genuinely interested to see what happens in these match ups. This is the very reason I wouldn’t like to see the UFC taking on the freak show format.

I feel that not only does the freak show offer the size against strength question but these fights are also fun. I want to see what happens when you put Butterbean against Zulu, I’m interested in the outcome. That being said, would I like to see a Mma organisation that only puts on freak show matches? No, I wouldn’t, but one here and there does no harm at all, in fact I think it lends a different element to Mma which I can only see as a good, positive thing.

As of writing this the ‘freak show fights’ have almost flat lined but don’t worry too much my oddity obsessed friends because when Japanese Mma finds a way, and I believe it will, it will rise up and will do so with the ‘freak show fight’ in tow. I picture Dr Frankenstein (Japanese Mma) after shocking his newly invigorated monster (freak show fights) into conciseness, screaming “it’s alive, it’s alive!”

Thanks for reading &  please remember to ‘follow’ my blog to get a notification when the next one is out, before I post it up on the social media sites & for anyone that like my MMA blog, I am now doing a NON MMA/GENERAL TOPICS blog at www.colossal-personal-concerns.com. Check it out and feedback is always welcomed

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ONE GIANT MISTAKE AFTER ANOTHER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One giant mistake after another

My last couple of blogs have been of a somewhat serious nature and although I consider Mma a serious business, I thought I’d try and break it up a bit. This time with some kind of ‘light hearted’ Mma subject but, try as I might, I just couldn’t think of anything that fitted the bill, maybe it’s because I take Mma so seriously. Until, that is, I had a ‘light bulb moment’ and realised the subject was under my nose all the time, just like when the car keys are in your hand- while you’re looking for them!

So, what was under my nose this whole time? I hear you ask. The obvious answer would be ‘my lips’ but no it’s not my lips as they are more ‘sculpted and handsome’ than ‘funny and light hearted’, but I digress. What I’m getting at is why ‘try’ to pick a funny Mma topic when I can just delve in to my emergency bag of pride stories, which I usually call upon to rescue me at awkward social occasions, and since the ‘Fedor drinking story’ went down so well I reckon my Giant Silva story is just the ticket to keep you heathens happy. So, are you sitting comfortably? Good, then I’ll begin.

I got the call from my agent that Pride wanted me for their NYE show, this was going to be my fourth outing under Pride but my first ever NYE show, so I was understandably ‘excited’. “Who do they want me to fight?” I said with a fair bit of trepidation as it was starting to become clear that if you fought for Pride then you could be facing anything they wanted, from a sumo, to a masked wrestler, and anything else in between. This time it was a giant! Now, I’d also become accustomed to Pride changing opponents constantly, it was just the way it was. The guy you were meant to fight would, more than likely, change countless times. Sometimes it was because of injury, most of the time it was because the Pride executives sat round the table playing their own version of ‘who would win’ between Superman v’s Batman, only with real Mma fighters.

I know this because, a lot of the time, the opponent I was supposed to fight was still fighting on the same card, just not against me!

With the Giant Silva fight I had a feeling they wouldn’t change their minds.

Now, fighting Giant Silva brings its own set of problems, granted. Let’s not pretend he’s anything more than just a massive guy with unfortunate hair!

Joking aside, training for someone like this is hard, due to the fact there aren’t many ‘Giants’ kicking around the gym to spar with and I have to hold my hands up when I say I’m not as ‘imaginative’ as Minowa with my training methods.

Minowa training for Silva

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, I put it to the back of my mind and concentrated on getting as fit and as ready as I could.

We arrived in Japan and were greeted at the airport by the most overenthusiastic member of the Pride staff they could find. It was like the guy had been injected with pure joy and happiness!

We must have been stood in the ‘greeting area’ for at least 2 minutes, where me and my team mates took great pleasure in seeing how many times we could get our over enthusiastic ‘new friend’ to respond to us with incessantly ‘bowing’ back at him every time he ‘bowed’ at us. He was a ‘hard-core bower’ and thus so ‘out bowed’ us all, clearly a pro at that ‘bowing’ shit.

Feeling dizzy we loaded into the car and made our way to the hotel. I was excited to see what the hotel was like because usually it seem to correlate to how big the show was, and since they don’t get much bigger than NYE, my expectations were huge.

I can’t remember what the hotel was called I just remember it was more than I expected & massive. It had giant chandeliers and marble everywhere, and it took a ten minute walk to get from the door to the reception. As we were checking in my trainer/manager at the time, Charlie, nudged me and said “there you go Jamesy”

He always called me ‘Jamesy’; the fact that I hated it and asked him not to do it, didn’t seem to matter.

He was gesturing over at Giant Silvia “fucking hell” I said, and I don’t think I ever meant those words more. He was, as his name hinted at, A GIANT!

I uttered the words “I’m going to have a look”

I crossed the vast expanse of shiny, marbled floor. Giant Silva was talking to a hotel porter that he could have quite possibly taken out of his pocket, when I approached him with my charming smile, extended hand and said “hello mate, pleased to meet you”. He looked at me startled for a second before looking like he might pick me up like a ‘drum stick’ and take a bite out of me. He then shook my hand before grunting and lumbering off.

I made the hike back to the reception desk where my trainer greeted me with “Well what do you think?”

“If sideshow Bob and a hammerhead shark ever mated, that would be their love child” I responded.

Charlie laughed as my Mrs punched me on the arm and said “don’t say that, I feel sorry for him!”

“That’s comforting” I said, “you’re on my side remember!?!”

I was making a joke, but I was worried. He was the biggest person I’d ever seen, never mind fought and I wasn’t sure, literally, how to tackle this ‘giant’ problem. I slept badly that night, partly due to jet lag and partly because I kept re-living the experience of the Giant Silva ‘shovels’ enveloping my feminine, dainty, excuses for hands. I looked at my hands and moved my fingers, just to make sure Giant Silva hadn’t secretly crushed them, and tried to get some sleep.
Fast forward to fight night… All the fighters were separated and put into their ‘corners’. I remember sitting there on a chair, with all the other fighters in the same corner, waiting to go out for the introduction. I was nervous, much more nervous than usual. The ‘size thing’ had really thrown me and I still wasn’t sure how I was going to tackle the fight.

At my last fight in Pride I hadn’t done ‘The Gong and Dash’ because Lungu, the guy I was fighting, was a good wrestler/judo guy. I didn’t want to run into him and have him throw me and land on top, so I just made it look like I was going to rush him and then just walked out towards him. The crowd didn’t boo at this, it was a lot worse than boo’s, they let out a collective ‘sigh’ of disappointment. I heard this, panicked and threw a sloppy jab. Lungu hit me with a hook that looks (if you watch the fight back) like it decapitated me.

Next thing he was on top of me! Which was EXACTLY what I was trying to avoid!

This last Pride ‘Gong & Dash episode made my mind up that, if I was going to do it, I needed to really (cue inspirational ‘Nike’ commercial voice) DO IT! So, that’s what I did.

Giant Silva isn’t the greatest ‘Mma scalp’ to ever claim, but I was pleased at the way I executed the ‘Gong & Dash’. If you’re going to do it then that’s the way it has to be done… Flat out with no hesitation.

After the fight the Pride staff took some of the fighters for food at a Korean BBQ. We jumped in a taxi and we were taken to the large restaurant which had, from what I remember, a lot of different floors. We were directed to the first floor where there was a small, open room with two long tables and benches, and directly opposite to them was a bar. On the table furthest away from us were Fedor, Alexander and other members of their team. Fedor and a few others acknowledged us, we all said “hello” and sat on the other bench. I shuffled down to the end of the bench, which just happened to work itself out so that I was sat ‘back to back’ with Alexander. This wasn’t a problem, it didn’t even look like he’d registered that anyone else had entered the same room as him, never mind that I was inches from his back!

It didn’t bother me at all but it made me realise that when it came to Pride, you could be soccer kicking a guy in the face one minute then sat next to him having some food the next.

At a Korean BBQ you order your food, and then when it arrives you cook it on these little ‘hot stove’ things at the table. To me, it defeats the object of going out to eat and I hate waiting for my food pieces to cook, while I watch it ‘taunting’ me on a sizzle plate while I’m starving! It was nice enough (plus Pride were paying) so I wasn’t complaining.

The only ‘hairy’ moment was when me and my Mrs (who I call the Merlean) were fucking about. Every time she tried to pick some food up with her chop sticks, I’d knock it out of her hand (I know I’m such a joker!!) She thought this was funny the first five times, but I could see it was getting on her nerves after the fifth… so, obviously I kept doing it.

When I went to get some food with my own chop sticks (please note; I was doing this as a joke. I’m so bad with chop sticks that if I had to use them to eat all my meals, I’d starve) I managed to balance some meat on them like a true Ninja. As I tentatively brought my chop sticks to my mouth, Merlean made a grab for them and I, with my cat like reactions, pulled away. As I brought my hand back in front of me I was only in possession of my chop sticks… but no meat!!

I did one of those cartoon gulps as I imagined a piece of steak sitting on the back of Alexander’s neck.

I turned round to see a blonde haired lady looking at the offending piece of meat on her table. I put my hands up and gestured that I was sorry and that was that… Alexander didn’t even look up.

By this point we’d eaten, drank and thrown food around so we said our goodbyes and, since as it was NYE, went out to party for a bit. Everywhere was packed and people just wanted to take pictures with me which was nice but it sort of stopped the flow of the night out for us. Me and the Mrs were tired too, so we left the ‘night out’ behind and headed back to the hotel. By the time we got back it was gone half three.

Upstairs in our room the Merlean said “where’s my coat?” in a panic, hoping that I had hidden it under my shirt and was about to whip it off shouting out ‘SURPRISE, here it is!’

She had obviously left it somewhere but I did my part by saying annoying things like “where did you have it last” while she was ripping the room apart trying to find it.

After retracing our steps we figured out she’d left in the Korean BBQ restaurant. So, I went in my wallet and found the business card that the overly happy, ‘bowing’ Pride guy gave us when we met him at the start of our trip. Mr ‘king of bowing’ had written the hotel room number of the Pride officials on the back of the card, in case we needed assistance with anything. A missing coat was as good as any other emergency at 4 in the morning so I picked up the room phone, punched in the numbers and waited… No answer… “They’re probably out, it’s NYE” I said.

“TRY AGAIN” said the stern voice of a woman that was in ‘mourning’ over her coat.

I hit redial and waited. Just as I was about to put the phone down I heard a sleepy voice say “hello”

“hello, it’s James, sorry to ring so late, it’s just that my girlfriends left her coat in the restaurant, and we don’t know the name of it. Since we’re leaving early tomorrow, I was wondering, you didn’t happen to see if we left a ladies coat behind, did you?. It was black leather and three quarter length”

“What?” came the response

“A black leather coat that we left at the restaurant we were just in” I said.

“Who is this?” said the voice.

“It’s James Thompson, who is this?????????”

“Giant Silva” ……… clunk

I stood there with my mouth open, holding the phone trying to compute how I’d just been on the phone talking about my missing girlfriends coat to the guy I’d just soccer kicked and stomped on a few hours earlier.

He must really think I’m a twat!

I explained to Merlean what had somehow just happened and was met with ROARING laughter.

The only thing we could figure was that I hit the wrong number and by pure, unfortunate chance, I had got Giant Silva’s room by mistake. God knows what the chances of this were, as like I mentioned earlier, it was a massive hotel. For NYE, it was relatively early to be back at the hotel so the odds of misdialling THREE fucking numbers and ending up with Giant Silva’s room are staggering!! (Anyone that knows me though realises that the odds of me doing something like this, are actually very good)

The next morning we headed off to get our coach to the airport and who was sitting in the front seat? Yep, you guessed it… Giant Silva. He was throwing me daggers and I wanted to explain myself, but realised I’d only end up making it worse, so I used the same gesture as I did when I accidentally threw food at Alexander’s Mrs, I shrugged and moved on.

We never did find that coat but anytime Alexander Emelianenko fights, I’m always watching the crowd to see if I spot that blonde girl wearing Merleans jacket.

If you like my ramblings then please remember to ‘follow’ my blog to receive a notification letting you know when the next one is published (before I get it out to the social networking sites)

Thanks for reading

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WHEN DOES BIG GET TOO BIG -The Dangers of the UFC

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Before we go any further on this blog I feel I have to make this point. It’s sad that I have to make it but such is life huhumm (clears throat)… The UFC IS NOT MMA!!! The UFC IS AN ORGANISATION THAT SHOWCASES THE SPORT OF MMA. Simple!

Unless you’re trying to explain what Mma is to the uninitiated then those of you that call Mma ‘Ultimate Fighting’ or ‘Cage fighting’ or anything else that you think makes you sounds cool, edgy or extreme, need to please follow these instructions.

1. Please place your ineffective, useless head at the mouth of a doorway

2. Make sure the door is either heavy wood or thick steel.

3. Finally place your head in said doorway and continue to open and shut it with all the ferocity you can muster in a Vinnie Jones, Lock Stock & two smoking barrels sort of way.

If you’re having trouble with this then ask around and I’m willing to bet that there will be an army of people you’ve offended with your nonsensical & dim-witted ways that will be more than happy to smash what little contents there is contained in your head over the floor provided.

I can hear you saying to yourselves ‘what difference does it make if I call it Ultimate fighting/Cage fighting and not Mma, it’s only a term describing the same thing, what’s does it matter what words you use as long as people know what you’re on about?’. To you I would respond ‘calm yourselves down… the door will shortly be free for your use’!

Many of you might think my Point, on what nickname you give Mma, is a small and somewhat insignificant point to make, but if you look closer I think it reflects the bigger picture and is one of the most worrying things about the UFC. Perhaps I’m wrong by saying this but, I can’t ever recall hearing Dana White call Mma…MMA. I’ve only ever heard him refer to Mma as ‘Ultimate Fighting’.
Now, I understand why he’s using the phrase ‘Ultimate Fighting’, he’s branding Mma, and hats off to Dana and the rest of the powers that be as they have done this VERY, VERY well. Branding and getting the UFC out there is their job so they don’t need to ignore the fact that the sport is MMA… but, like I said, hats off to them for doing an amazing job of it as they’ve almost made MMA into UFC, just as tissues are to Kleenex & Vacuums are to Hoovers etc. etc.

It all makes perfect sense because Dana White & Co are businessmen and, as good businessmen, it cleverly put’s their brand out there constantly. It’s free advertising for them as a huge amount of Mma fans use the term ‘UFC’ when taking about Mma in general. Mma fans out there need to remember that they are businessmen with a brand and, out of that brand, they make a lot of money from big named sponsors and you ( ‘the fan’) whilst you advertise their product for free.. It’s brilliant brand marketing!

Now this isn’t an anti UFC blog. I love the UFC. How can you not? They’re entwined with Mma so massively and to such a degree that for some people it has to be painfully pointed out that they are not one and the same thing. Credit where it’s due, the UFC has also done a lot of things that are great for the sport, but it’s only fair to say ‘what’s good for the UFC doesn’t automatically translate that it’s good for mma’.

Mma is more popular than ever! The standard of Mma is rising and we are getting to see some great fighters, most of which are fighting under one organisation- the UFC. You could argue Mma fans have never had it so good and to a point I agree, BUT To a point should be underlined heavily.
The thing that worries me more than anything is that MMA is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, yet the only people making any real money out of the sport is the UFC. A sport so massively popular that five out of the top ten 2011 pay per views were UFC’s. Mma is unquestionably dominated, and to a large extent controlled, by ONE company! How can this be? Well, I think the answer lies in the fact the UFC spread their net wide and have introduced MMA to most parts to the world where they have no other means to access Mma shows. That, along with the clever branding they use, means the UFC have maintained the top spot- when it comes to Mma shows- for the longest time.

Now, we have to be careful not to fall in to the trap of vilifying the UFC for their success. I mean, “what are they meant to do, not be successful?”… no, of course not and it should be noted that the UFC has more than paid it’s dues for its current success as it was there at the start of the Mma revolution. In fact I’d go as far as to say it was pretty much the start of ‘mainstream Mma’.

In the early days the company lost a hell of a lot of money…somewhere around $30 million until they eventually stuck gold with the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ reality TV show, which got Mma out to the masses, and thus garnering the rewards. It should be remembered that no one gave them anything at the start and it was a hard road to walk. Even with that said and remembering all their early hardships, it has to be a concern. At the time of writing this the UFC are pretty much the only game in town and any time you’re the only game in town it means you get to set your own rules. Where is fighter X going to go if he thinks the rules aren’t fair? What are the alternatives?

To quote John Dalberg- Acton “power tends to corrupt, but absolute power corrupts absolutely” and the UFC has no plans to give up any of that power.

I’ve seen a UFC contract and once you sign it Dana White & Co have your SOUL (it’s rumoured Dana White uses them as paper weights in his office). It’s a tricky thing for fighters signed to them as the way the UFC are reported to go after people who disagree with them, on any number of issues, is with actions that are hard to describe in any other way…other than plain old bullying. At this moment in time Mma fighters have to just ride it out. It means they take their lumps inside, as well as outside, the cage and just hope they’re in agreement with the UFC’s view on things.

The UFC buying out Strikeforce, which was one off its last real competitors, has meant the UFC’s grasp on Mma just got that bit tighter. Since Pride went under and was bought out by the UFC it seemed it kick-started Japanese Mma into disarray and apart from the thousands of smaller shows out there, the only real competitor for the UFC at the moment is Bellator. Whilst they have achieved a lot in a short amount of time by getting shows out there and producing a promising alternative to the UFC… Dana White isn’t losing any sleep over them.

Other than Bellator you have to look to Asia to see signs of green shoots appearing.

We’ve got One FC that is putting together good quality shows with great production. They’re also holding some kind of summit, where they’re trying to bring together Mma companies across Asia, in the hope to band together to produce great quality Mma. I don’t know many details of this, if it will work or fall flat, but it is encouraging to see One FC trying to put something together and build some momentum. The people of One FC should be applauded for this.

We’ve then got the SFL (Super Fight League) who are based in India. I’ve fought for them twice now and while they’re not inviting me to meetings and showing me their blue prints for success, I do see behind the scenes of this organisation and I’m impressed with what a decent, committed, passionate team they have running the show.

In Europe the only big Mma shows I can think of are Showtime, which is a massive show that cross promotes Kick Boxing and Mma. These events sell out football stadiums in Holland but outside of Holland not many people know they exist, yet alone sell out massive football arenas. Then there’s KSW, a Polish Mma org that has a few promising Polish stars & great production quality. Like Showtime, KSW again doesn’t hold any weight anywhere in the world other than Poland. So as you can see there isn’t an abundance of choice for fighters outside the UFC realm.

I think that this monopoly the UFC holds over the Mma world will take time to change. Mma was brought to the world by the UFC and because of this it will take a long time for the casual fan to realise that the UFC is an organisation that showcases Mma fights and that the UFC is not actually the whole sport of MMA.

As Mma continues to grow then it stands to reason that in time other org’s (perhaps one I’ve mentioned earlier) will come along to rival the UFC and while the UFC will all ways be at the forefront of Mma, it will no longer be the only game in town. This is so much healthier for the fighters and Mma in general, not to mention -ironically enough- the UFC, as competition forces the best out of companies. It breeds the best out of people and companies simply because it has to… You have to be on your game to be able to survive. If you’re the only game in town, like the UFC are, then eventually somewhere down the line you get fat and lazy and everyone then suffers. There are so many examples of this through out history.

I believe we had better fight cards when Pride was around…Why? Well firstly, even though the fighters weren’t all under one organisation and Pride weren’t competing in the UFC’s backyard (apart from 1 pride show they did in Vegas) there were more ‘main event’ worthy match up’s on Pride shows to excite the fans. Pride kept the UFC on their toes as, at one point in time, Pride was genuine, healthy competition for the UFC. I don’t believe the UFC would have ever considered going down the road it seems to have now taken, in terms of aggressively adopting a boxing model for its fights i.e. one big fight per card, if pride were still around.

While on one hand it’s great for the fans to have most of the major Mma competitors under one roof, on the other I feel the fans ultimately suffer because these fights are now spread out over so many different pay per view events.

I’m not exactly sure what the pay per view costs are for a UFC card, I think it’s somewhere between $50 and $75 in the States. When there are three… sometimes four UFC PPV’s a month then not only is the talent being spread thinly, but all the PPV’s are saturating the market. This is why the PPV sales for the UFC have dropped significantly, that’s not to say that they’re not still turning over a massive profit.

The main reason that the UFC 151 was cancelled was the fact they couldn’t find a replacement fighter for the main event, which meant the card simply wasn’t strong enough to sell without their one major, monster fight.

Nowadays the UFC has to have so many events because it has so many fighters under contract that all want and need to fight. So, even if the UFC agreed that they were saturating the market it would make no difference as they would still need to keep putting on shows to keep the many fighters under contract with them busy. This is another reason why the fans and fighters need more competition and choice when it comes to Org’s.

So, what am I hoping for? I, as a Mma fighter AND fan want a viable alternative option to the UFC. Dana White would say that the reason that there isn’t another big Mma org out there right now is because it’s not an easy thing to achieve. I think he’d be a 100% right for saying that, it isn’t easy but never the less it needs to happen otherwise we’ll be paying more money… for less fights.

I, for one, want healthy competition inside the cage as well as outside of it.

As always, thanks for reading and taking time out to comment, my new weekly PODCAST is out and the link is here for anyone that wants to check it out

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/colossal-concerns-podcast/id558622595

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