Note: To those who care, Part 11 can be found here:
To those who don't: Rejoice! This is the final installment.
You can spare me the: "Finally!" It's about time!", "I'm glad this series is over", "You need to get a life", etc.
I feel the same way.
2013's feast of fists continues in December as Christmas comes early in the form of UFC Fight Night: Mark Hunt versus Bigfoot Silva live from Australia and free on Fox.
Bethe Correira makes her UFC debut and wins a split decision against Julie Kedzie. She celebrates with a Dance Dance Revolution session in the middle of the octagon.
Soa "The Hulk" Palelei lives up to his moniker and smashes Pat Barry into retirement from MMA in the first round.
HD thought the best way to defend against the mount is to slip your arm under your opponent's knee as he's transitioning.
In the upset of the night, Mauricio Shogun Rua KOs hometown favorite James Te Huna.
And in the main event of the evening:
As is customary for Mark Hunt fights, a hush silence fills the arena and the audience once again dons the appropriate gear to truly enjoy the moment:
The Gods of War were pleased as this fight was so epic it now has its own clothing line:
In the most unquestionable decision of all time, it was rightfully judged a draw.
When two giant demigods of destruction beat each other into oblivion for 25 minutes, everyone is a winner. Best heavyweight fight of all time. Ever.
Both men were awarded an extra $50,000 for their performance (presumably to pay for palliative care when brain damage inevitably sets in later on).
Afterwards, they met backstage where they snapped a photo together in their street clothes.
Hunt posted it to his Twitter account with the following caption:
"Brothers in arms well done Bigfoot 1 love."
1 week later it's time for the Teeny Tinys to do their thing on UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2.
After an undercard filled with close decisions save for Abel Truhillo trouncing Roger Bowling, it's on to main card where:
Joe Lauzon defeats Mac Danzing by unanimous decision
Proving that he's packing quite the heat in those child-like hands, Mighty Mouse Johnson puts an end to the Benavidez hype train with a beautiful KO just 2 minutes into the first round.
2 weeks later, sandwiched between Christmas and New Year's, it's time for arguably the most important rematch in the history of the sport: Silva vs Weidman 2 and I'm making the trip with a buddy of mine.
We had so many questions heading into this one:
Will Ronda go nose to nose with Miesha and flip her off at the pre-fight press conference?
Will she head-butt her again at the weigh ins?
Will Anderson and Chris kiss one last time, or will the Spider go right up in Chris' face repeating: "I kill you. Is normal. Is normal".
The pre-fight conference call turned out to be a dull affair.
Anderson and Ronda were monosyllabic, Chris seemed too happy to be there and no one even bothered asking Miesha a single question for the first 29 minutes - not even:
Miesha, would you say that your tits and ass are sumptuous or scrumptious?
Things picked up a little at the press conference with Chris playing mind games of his own with Andy:
At the weigh-ins, Ronda redeems herself for her behavior on TUF:
Andy, feeling prude, took his precautions when it came to his staredown with The Chris:
The next day, after nearly missing the flight (my fault), we manage to get to Sin City on time and starving because airlines no longer feel the need to feed the economy class during 6 hour long flights.
We head straight to Diablo's Cantina where, to my dismay, I find out that Tequila shots are $14 a pop. I may as well buy a Mexican on the strip to pour me some straight from an agave plant.
As a nice surprise, Michal Bisping and Cat Zingano are there shooting the shit with fans.
Bisping's eye looks worse in person and, despite clearly being under the weather, Cat is really chipper and happy to be there. (Little known fact, Bisping is a nice guy. His seeing eye dog was also cute).
We then head straight to the MGM to have a drink with that same UFC contact (who probably thinks I'm crazy because I keep sending him this drivel. For the record, I'm not, my mother had me tested.) we had met the year before in Toronto and kept in touch with ever since.
In a moving gesture, he would upgrade our seats to 9th row center.
I shed a tear and we head to the MGM Arena.
Uriah Hall makes Chris Leben quit on his stool at the beginning of the second. Leben would announce his retirement from MMA shortly thereafter (muttering something about Breaking Bad and making his own designer painkillers).
Dustin Poirier defeats Diego Brandao by KO with 5 seconds left in the first round. Brandao had come in 7 pounds over the weight limit for the fight.
Hapa continues his streak of destruction and annihilates Josh Barnett with a big knee and Hellbows in less than a minute.
We have not seen Barnett in the octagon since. (We presume he is dead).
In the co-main event of the evening, Miesha Tate comes out to Katy Perry's Roar and the loudest cheers I've ever heard at a live event - including GSP fights and Habs games in Montreal.
Despite Cupcake holding her own and managing to last longer than all of Ronda's previous fights combined, she would be thrown around in every way possible by the champ before finally being (Surprise!) submitted by armbar:
Ronda would then solidify her heel persona by refusing to shake hands with her rival and put an end to the feud.
I had never heard louder boos in my life,including Koscheck, Diaz and the Boston Bruins at the Bell Center.
She would then fully embrace her role as the bad guy at the post fight press conference through a clumsy analogy involving herself as Batman, Miesha as Tony Montana and the Women's divisions as Gotham City.
And now, it's time for the main event of the evening.
After getting over the shock of seeing Anderson coming out first and looking like he had a bad omen backstage, Weidman makes his way to the Octagon.
Both fighters are introduced and:
After a first round dominated by Weidman, the two square off again. Everyone is up on their feet.
All of a sudden, one minute into the second round , we see Anderson fall to the ground for what seemed like no apparent reason from our vantage point.
The replay, which (as usual) would be shown ad nauseum - literally - revealed that Weidman had checked one of Silva's leg kicks, breaking Silva's left fibula and tibia and ending the fight via TKO.
A technique dubbed The Destruction by Ray Longo.
It shattered both Silva's leg and legacy.
After the fight, we head back to the hotel a little shell-shocked at what we had just seen.
I text my wife: "Anderson kicked Weidman so hard he broke his own shin."
She texted back: "Did he win?"
I wrote back: "I don't think you get it. His foot ended up wrapped around Chris' leg."
She replied: " :( "
I could not have said it better:
2013 has given me the equivalent of a curb stomp. What an end to the most glorious 12 months the MMA world has ever witnessed.
On the plane ride home, my friend and I were talking about what we had just seen the night before.
The topic of 2013 being the greatest year of all time comes up.
For some reason, it dawned on me to become Sisyphus incarnate and commit to reliving this Epic year, month by month.
What was supposed to be a one-off post turned into this
wretched series which could have very well been called: Why 2013 is the Sickest Year of All Time.
December Folklore and Tidbits
Cyborg offers to train with Miesha for her upcoming fight with Ronda
In the most unintelligible interview ever (and sounding worse than his parody on Tommy Toe Hold), Wanderlei discusses Chael's safety on TUF Brazil.
Chael invites Anderson Silva to coach on TUF. Silva declines, but not for lack of desire (a properly checked kick a couple of days later would ensure it would never happen).
Following his fight with Mark Hunt, Bigfoot heads to Disneyland. I can just picture him in Mickey Mouse ears and the countless kids crying at the sight to behold: "Naaaaaaarmm! Miggy Mouaaaaz"
5 days later, it is revealed that Antonio had failed his drug test and his postfight bonus was awarded to Mark Hunt. Bigfoot would quickly respond and blame his doctor for the TRT overdose.
Legend has it this doctor is now in the witness relocation program.
S-t, I need to get on some of this s-t. F-k, I don't know how these guys are doing this s-t. I should get some of that s-t, too." "That's news to me. I haven't heard anything of it. I don't know what to say, honestly. I don't know what it is, but kudos to me for the bonus, eh?"
I've said before and I'll say it again:
I love this man. It's like Brute Strength and Not Giving a Fuck made a child.
Quote of the Month
"In the pre-op area, his [Anderson Silva's] questions were, 'When can I train?'"
Dr Steve Sanders, the UFC's orthopedic surgeon, who operated on Silva for "about an hour," inserting a titanium rod into his broken tibia, to ESPN, December 30th 2014 - two days after the "Crack!" heard around the world.
Note: February 6th 2014: Anderson Silva is back in the gym with no crutches.
I also heard from a reliable source that they have inserted adamantium into his legs and spider venom into his fingers and forearms.
Watch out Nick Diaz. The Spiderine is coming for you.
With my 3 favorite fighters out of commission (one beaten, one broken, one retired) and my wife no longer giving a shit about MMA (save for the occasional "Teeny-Tiny" fight), MMA fatigue has settled in.
My stance on Goldberg has also softened since the football debacle and I'm now merely apathetic.
For the first time since circa 2008, I find myself missing live events and not losing sleep over it. Considering I used to schedule other events in my life around the UFC calendar (save for weddings and funerals), that's a pretty big deal.
Don't get me wrong, I still love a good fight. But it seems we were promised the world in 2014 and no one fought.
Most of my enjoyment of this sport in the past year (until recently) has come from thinking, talking and salivating about events - only to be disappointed in the end.
Wanderlei vs Chael, Gus vs Jones II, Jones vs Cormier, Vitor vs Weidman, Melendez vs Khabib, Cormier vs Evans,Gus vs Nogueira, Barao vs Dillashaw 2, Mousasi vs Munoz, Werdum vs Velasquez, among countless others, never materialized.
Thank God it ended on a strong note, because until late October, the best thing to come out of this year was finding out that Bigfoot was lactating.
Lactating. Let that sink in. This Easter Island headed bastard was leaking milk from his man tits. Even Melissa McCarthy wouldn't touch that.
But there is hope.
January 2015 is quite possibly the most stacked UFC month of all time.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the fight game, I've come to expect the worst and hope for best.
Considering the odds are I'll probably never feel passionate about this sport enough to ever write about it at length again, here goes:
Special thanks to my wife who's celebrating her birthday this weekend: thank you for your patience. Consider this series being over as your gift. Kidding!
To my family, friends, acquaintances and contacts who encouraged me with their laughter.
To my UFC compatriot and friend who is just as obsessed as I am by this "beautiful violence" and has been banned from these waters so many times I've lost count. This would not have been possible without your "Dude I'm dying of laughter @ work" e-mails" (and the fact that I never empty my mailbox). Congratulations for your beautiful baby girl.
To the hardworking, SBNation moderators for allowing me to post this novella (yup... sad but true): I know I've walked on a very thin line the past year and appreciate the latitude.
To those who thought this series was in bad taste, vulgar and a complete waste of time: You're absolutely right.
To: 15Minutes2ADream, anick.bouzouita, asymptotic spatula, Baba Booey, Call Me Shark, Chaya, ChinUpHandsDown, Corey Nielsen, davidstmartin, Ebinch, e-thug, EvenSteven24, flibit, Gefop, JellyBelly, Johann, John.Carmack, kaptenstofil, Keithhackneysmullet, Kid Nate/Nate Wilcox, krste, lanky6, letstalkmma, Lol2, MagicMt, mmazing, Mulefloyd, Nate Wilcox, pabloXL, Peregrine, Phil Mackenzie, quad_damage, Rapter5000, Retrocentric, RockZord, scott1 seapants, smerf, Taiter, tap or snap bons, The Pride/Andrew Richardson, TheAmericanGangster, Tim the Enchanter, Tommy Toe Hold, Ukblitzkrieg, Warbreezy, Waristotle, Wisetoad, wolfman13, Zane Simon,
As well as MMAfighting's Morning Report for making this series "Fanpost of the Day" more often than not, every SBNation member that's clicked the rec button (January, February and March took over the recommended section simultaneously on all three sites when this series was introduced in January 2014 - the spark became a flame), or was forgotten, Pooly2, Vhw_ and Womb Raider.
You all were instrumental in keeping me going.