Welcome, Maniacs, to the weekly series where we help you catch up on some of the original reporting done by other sites in the vast MMA landscape. Like Randy Couture and Kim Couture pictured above, we can all "get along."
Teaming up with MMA sites like MMA Fighting, Cage Potato, Fight Opinion and The Fight Nerd, we'll provide an opportunity for all MMA fans to read some fresh and original voices in the sport.
This week, Ben Fowlkes of MMA Fighting writes an incredible piece on Dan Hardy, The Fight Nerd counts down the best upsets of 2011 and Bleacher Report speaks with Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.
The full list of links is after the jump.
- Exclusive photo gallery of Satoshi Ishii's training (LowKick)
- Six fighter letters to Santa (Cage Potato)
With Christmas around the corner, we figured it would be a good time to share some of the letters we got our hands on from fighters to Santa. From Wanderlei to Alistair, Nick to Chael, it's interesting to hear what these guys want from St. Nick this holiday season.
- Grappling with Issues - 12/22/11 (Five Ounces of Pain)
Will lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez face a Strikeforce or UFC fighter next?? What would you like Dana Claus to bring you this year for Christmas? Would you lock horns in the cage with Cristiane Santos for the right price? Who in MMA deserves a lump of coal in their stocking this year?
- The Outlaw and the losing streak (MMA Fighting)
If Dan Hardy had his way he would have shaved the mohawk by now. Five minutes with some clippers, one quick swoop down the middle of his head, and the signature hairstyle that makes him so recognizable to fight fans could be gone. Maybe then he could blend in. Maybe then he could get a moment to be alone with himself and figure out just what in the hell is going on.
- UFC 142 betting odds (5thRound)
- Nick Diaz highlight by LazieTheSavage (MiddleEasy)
LayzieTheSavage just dropped his latest quake inducing Nick Diaz highlight: Fight to the Finish Line. It's the spiritual sequel to Hey Nick, Nice Shot and it was a long time coming. Finally, it's here to reduce us to tears of rawesomeness.
- The 10 biggest MMA upsets of 2011 (The Fight Nerd)
Everyone loves to see the underdog win, especially because they never expect it. In MMA, unpredictability is a constant variable that truly makes it one of the most exciting sports out there. Sometimes, it's not even the underdog, but rather the fighter that most thought had zero chance at all to win, let alone survive the fight.
- Randy Couture: Title IX really crippled wrestling programs badly (Fight Opinion)
"I think, unfortunately, Title IX has been pretty hard on our sport over the years and I've done some fundraising and been involved in kind of raising some awareness about that and some of the college problems that have been put on the chopping block in recent years like Fullerton and University of Oregon's program and others and hopefully, you know, through Mixed Martial Arts I think we can turn the tide."
- 11 for 11: No. 9 UFC's big shows in Toronto and Rio (MMA Payout)
UFC 129 in Toronto was the company's first stadium show which set records for attendance, gate and bonuses. The bonuses were the biggest ($129,000) in recent memory. It also held the first of two UFC Expos held this year. In the end, the UFC had a substantial impact on the economy in Toronto. Read more "
- Scott Coker on the future of Melendez, Cyborg and the Showtime deal (BleacherReport.com/MMA)
"I think we can do both. We will find girls. There's girls around the world that will come to fight her. I think there's some girls that can be competitive with her. She's a tough girl. There's some guys that probably would want to fight her, right? She's a beast. At 45, she's pretty much dominated that division for awhile now. She said she wants to go to 35 to fight the girls. But personally, I'm not sure she can make 35. She's talking about fighting at catchweight first."
- Jim Genia's 2011 holiday wish list (MMA Convert)
I wish promoters would stop giving Jens Pulver fights. At this point, it's clear the former UFC lightweight champ isn't angling so much for a graceful retirement as a painful and debilitating permanent exit from the cage. Which means it's up to the promoters of the world to stop giving Pulver fights. Yes, he's beloved and charismatic, and at one point his name was synonymous with "stand and bang". But alas, those days when he could be competitive - and take a punch - are gone. So please, anyone out there with matchmaking duties, just cut it out. Let the man ride off into the sunset in peace.
- The Daily Line: Knockout of the Year (Fightline)
2011 has been a huge year for MMA, both in terms of growth and the sheer entertainment value of the fights that have been waged. Over the next week, FightLine will take a look at the best performances turned in over the last year before the apocalypse.