I wasn't planning on blogging tonite. After all, it is Christmas.
But, Santa was good to me this year, leaving a classic DVD in my stocking -- "The Smashing Machine."
The HBO "docudrama" follows former UFC fighters Mark Kerr and Mark Coleman through the early mixed martial arts (MMA) days -- back when it truly was no holds barred -- up until the PRIDE FC Grand Prix in 2000.
Bas Rutten, Kevin Randleman, Ricco Rodriguez, Igor Vovchanchyn, Wanderlei Silva and others also make appearances. There's also some sweet bonus footage that includes "Fight Day" with Renzo Gracie.
The primary focus of the film, however, is the rise and fall of Kerr.
Here's a former world-class wrestler turned MMA fighter who just overpowers his opponents with unstoppable takedowns and BRUTAL ground and pound. The carnage isn't limited to the poor souls on the wrong end of his headbutts, knees and punches, however.
Kerr develops and almost deadly addiction to painkillers (he overdoses in the film) and an unhealthy relationship with his alcoholic girlfriend, Dawn.
He eventually kicks the drug habit, but can't shake the old lady. Her affect on Kerr is significant, hampering his training and focus come fight time.
It is a prime example of how a woman can bring down a great fighter.
So, when I checked MySpace this evening and had two messages from Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson, it made me think a little bit.
Here's the message from Tito:
This has been a great year, so I'm going to end it with a bang! I want to thank all of you that support me and Punishment Athletics. All I want for Christmas is my belt back. That's it!! I have three more days left of training, then I drive to Vegas. I'm focus and ready for the fight. Thanks for the support.
And from Jenna:
I am spending the next couple of days preparing for my week in Vegas ... I have such butterflies in my tummy, knowing that Tito's fight is on Saturday. But, bottomline ... Tito is so prepared for this fight mentally and physically, I know he will win. I watched him train, and I couldn't believe his capabilities. He is a complete athlete, and deserves this win more than anyone on this planet.
It's no secret that we've covered the Tito-Jenna lovefest blow-by-blow here at UFCmania (for all the links click here). Some think it's because we are Tito haters.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, our scrutiny is pure greed.
I want nothing more than for Tito Ortiz to show up at UFC 66 in the best shape of his life. I want him to give Liddell everything he can handle and take him the distance, which is something no one has been able to do since he's been champion.
Put simply, I want to watch a war on December 30.
There's no doubt that Ortiz will show up in shape -- he's got better cardio than Peter North. It's Jameson who has made me think twice about his readiness for the biggest fight of his life.
But, on second thought, perhaps all the distraction talk has been overblown.
By all accounts, Jameson has been a positive influence on Ortiz. He's extremely confident, and she is possibly a big reason for his current mindset.
There's something to be said for a porn queen, er, woman who supports her man.
Just hope she's the one for Tito.