1. JIU-JITSU DOES WORK!
Previously believed to be just another promotional tactic used to increase the already considerable wealth of the Gracie family, this myth was dispelled when several key victories were achieved using this sacred Brazilian martial art (adopted from the Japanese). One example was UFC 153, where heavyweight fighter Dave Herman claimed that "Jiu-Jitsu doesn't work [on him", only to be defeated by an armbar from a 36-year old Nogueira, who has been in more fights than birthdays (most of which usually involve him being on the receiving end of a serious beating only to win in the end via BJJ).
In hindsight, Herman's rash claim could have been prevented if someone had told him to either watch re-runs of the old UFC fights involving Royce Gracie, or, to go through the entire career of Melvin Guillard to see how BJJ can be used to defeat a physically superior-yet-mentally limited opponent.
2. BELLATOR, LOLZ!
When Bellator FC first came around, it's tournament format was unique, fresh, and guaranteed fighters a more regular chance of fighting. Fast forward a couple of years, and it is easy to see that 2012 has not been kind to the promotion. Here are a several reasons why:
A) THEIR MOST VALUABLE COMMODITY LEFT:
Hector Lombard, the human highlight reel machine and resident can-crusher left Bellator FC when his contract expired in 2012. Although Bellator were feeding him chumps for Lombard to devour, part of the reason for their success was because fans wanted to see how spectacular a Lombard KO would be.
Years of can-crushing led to an absurd comment by the Bellator CEO, that Lombard was "the best middleweight in the world". Alas, Lombard's stock and Bellator's took a huge dent when "the best middleweight in the world" lost a decision to Tim Boetsch, a fighter who is more tough than talented.
B) THEIR SECOND MOST VALUABLE COMMODITY HAS LEFT:
Despite Michael Chandler being the promotion's Lightweight champion, their most popular fighter in that division was the man that he beat for the title, Eddie Alvarez. This is mainly due to the fact that Chandler has only fought once, against Akihiro Gono in a non-title fight, whereas Alvarez has gone on to defeat Shinya Aoki, a perennial top-10 lightweight, and against Patricky Freire, a rising star in the division.
The farewell fight that Bellator gave Alvarez was even more puzzling - instead of feeding him a can, which would have done nothing for Alvarez's appeal if he had won, yet would have been potentially damaging if he had lost - they decided to have him square off against one of their brightest prospects. Way to go to shoot yourselves in the foot, Bellator.
C) THE CHAMPIONS:
Heavyweight Champion Kole Conrad retired because he got bored of having no-one decent to fight, Light-Heavyweight Champion Christian M'Pumbu lost in a non-title fight to Travis Wiuff, Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard jumped ship to the UFC, Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Dantas lost in a non-title fight to Tyson Nam (now being sued by Bellator for winning the fight), and their female Champion recently fought...on the preliminary card of the most recent event. Winners.
3. BORING FIGHTERS ARE NOT ALWAYS BORING!
You know the saying, "new year, new start". There have been several fighters who have taken this phrase to heart and who have, in 2012, tried to dispel the myth that they are booked in on fight cards to provide a toilet-break opportunity for the crowd. The most recent 'bore-shedder' was Jon Fitch, whose fight against Erick Silva at UFC 153 was a potential "Fight of the Year" candidate.
Another image-reinventor was Nik Lentz, previously the lightweight version of boredom personified, who decided to shake off that label by knocking out Eiji Mitsuoka in the first round. Unfortunately, there are some fighters who have yet to get the meme, namely Ben Askren (1 fight in 2012, 1 decision) and Antonio McKee (2 fights in 2012, both decisions), although there is still 1 month for them to redeem themselves in the year. Wishful thinking eh?
Well, this has provided a break from playing 8 hours of Football Manager 2013 straight. I'll probably type up Part 2 after another marathon Football Manager session.