Friday, March 4, 2011

Autism and MMA Reporting 1

This may be a recurring series, so I put the one up there. The idea behind this is just writing as an autistic MMA reporter; the challenges, advantages, and hopes therein are the main subjects. First off, an advantage.
Small time media, which would be composed of myself, The Doctor (my boss who runs MMATalkRadio), Dizz (TalkMMA), and several others, is perfect for an autistic. We don't have the connections that Sherdog or Junkie have, so let's be honest, we aren't going to be breaking any stories. Therefore, our way of gaining readers is to be able to put something on the table that no one else notices. People like to think of autists as paying no attention to detail, and for the most part, at least for me, that's quite true. However, if we put enough thought into something, and we're pretty deep thinkers, you'll eventually find a gem. A lot of the stuff I've written, simply put, I will have no idea how no one else came up with this.
Advantage number two of course has to do with my particular breed, known as Asperger's Syndrome, more commonly Asperger's or AS. There's part of the diagnostic criteria known as the "special interest"; in layman's terms, we put a lot of focus into our hobbies. That focus that I can direct to MMA allows me to focus on those details that I wouldn't otherwise care about. Thus this kind of directs into the first line of reasoning.
Autism does have its challenges (hacking me off will carry a lot more consequences for you than it would an NT, and it is easier to hack me off) but it also has it's advantages. Unfortunately most autism organizations are after a cure; all that does is throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interview with Bill Hoyler

For my second interview, I took a few minutes to talk to Bill Hoyler on Twitter. Bill is a big MMA fan who has had some form of pancreatic cancer for over five years; this is his fourth fight.
TPS: First of all, how long in total have you been battling pancreatic cancer?
BH: I've had it for over 5 years. It was found in an ultrasound and I was told January 7th of 2006. I'll never forget the day or date.
TPS: Dang bro. Did you choose to focus your awareness campaigns on MMA because you're a fan or do you train?
BH: Well, I've been a fan of MMA since UFC started in 93. I trained in Martial Arts for 12 yrs. Isshin Ryu- 7yrs, Tae Kwon Do- 4yrs and Kenpo- 1yr. If not for partying and lack of focus, I could have done something more with it. But, I watch MMA every day.
TPS: Could you describe what it is you do for cancer awareness? There's probably way too much to list in Twitter-length I know.
BH: Well, I have a page on Facebook that helps people who have questions about dealing with either having cancer or if they know someone with it. Twitter has been great as well. Outside of the internet, I have been helping in the Tampa Bay area with the hospital I go to and foundation I work with. I want to answer in more detail but they dont have enough room on here.
TPS: The limitations of the software go far and wide my friend. Have you ever been put in contact with any of the UFC top brass?
BH: Jennifer Wenk, but she hasn't responded to messages left by the head of PR at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Joe Rogan txt me to say the ufc won't work with any other charities.
TPS: Other charities meaning besides the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund?
BH: Exactly. I don't know why. Joe never gave me an explanation on it. I want to try Strikeforce if the UFC doesn't work. I just think MMA is perfect for awareness of PC and cancer in general. Talking to someone high up in the UFC would help me out so much. I want to be the face of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness and use MMA to help me.
TPS: Well something you said that I was really interested in was the "Fight for Cancer" idea. Do you believe it could pull the millions Fight for the Troops has?
BH: I think it would raise as much, if not more, than Fight for the Troops. Cancer has affected everyone. Everyone I know has been impacted by cancer; I'm sure you have been as well. But, I want to focus on Pancreatic Cancer for different reasons, including my own personal ones.
TPS: So, depending on the promotion (Strikeforce or UFC) what would be your dream main event for such a card?
BH: For Strikeforce, I'd like to have someone like Tyrone Woodley and Nick Diaz. The UFC would be Roy Nelson and Frank Mir. I never really thought about it.
Well, it's true. Everyone has been impacted by cancer, including me. My Aunt Bonnie is a new breast cancer survivor. This is a big deal and it would be sick if one of the big promos stepped up.
If you would like to follow Bill, on Twitter he's @Pancancerfightr. I couldn't get the FB link from his website to work, otherwise I'd give that out too. The one-man-show here at TPS will definitely be praying and rooting for Bill as he goes through this again.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rules for Standups

According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission Unified Rules, a referee can stand the fight up when there is a "lack of action". Unfortunately this is incredibly vague and can lead to refs becoming almost Thai-esque in separations and standups (in Muay Thai, on average, it takes the referees five seconds to separate the fighters). Therefore, these rules hopefully would make things a little bit more objective.
1. Time minimums. King of the Cage had it right when the referee counted down five seconds for inactivity and then stood the fight up. I would grow that number to ten seconds.
2. No standups other than the guard or half guard. The nature of the other positions (side control, mount, back control) is inherent to activity and finishes.
3. No standups during a submission attempt, no matter how pathetic they are. It doesn't happen often, but I have seen people submitted by desperation guillotines, even when the person throwing the choke is mounted. Also, once again, finishes are inherent in the nature of submissions.
The one thing you never want to advocate is the stupid IFC two-minute rule: no finish on the ground in two minutes meant a stand-up.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Jorge Santiago Signs with UFC

At first glance, this seems like another run-of-the-mill signing. The UFC stole another promotion's champion to take on their roster, possibly culminating in a matchup with the champion (in this case, Anderson Silva). If you take a closer look however, this becomes one of the more interesting signings the UFC has made in a while, yes, even over Jake Shields. The key to the puzzle is Santiago's prior experience in the UFC.
Because Santiago was once in the UFC, compiling a 1-2 record, it will surely ignite some fans into a debate of whether the UFC can truly lay claim to the best promotion in the world. The key thing to remember is that after his first UFC run, he ran off nine straight wins, becoming Strikeforce's first tournament champion and the first Sengoku Middleweight champion, a title he was forced to vacate without losing. The UFC crowd has a corner on the debate; if he does well, he simply will have improved since his first stint in the Octagon, while if he doesn't, the UFC wins the battle. The key thing to take away from this is that even if the answer is obvious, it can still be quite interesting to ask the question.
According to MMAJunkie, Santiago and Brian Stann will go at it at UFC 130.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What If #1: GSP Vacates

In my last post, I made the case to give Okami his shot at Anderson Silva. However, it increasingly looks like that's not going to happen if Georges St. Pierre defends his welterweight belt against Jake Shields. Even if Okami gets his shot and GSP wins, the GSP/Silva fight will still be on. Therefore, I begin a new sporadic series, "What If" with "What if GSP vacates?"
The story is that if GSP defeats Shields, consensus states that he will have cleaned out the Welterweight division in the UFC and should move up to 185 permanently. According to, he had even discussed his plan retirement prior to his defeat of Josh Koscheck at 124; he would strongly consider it if he defeated Anderson to become the world's Pound for Pound champion. That would obviously leave the Welterweight belt wide open. Therefore, I would like to suggest something that the UFC hasn't done since 2003: a non-TUF tournament to determine the new Welterweight champion.
The main reason to put on such a tournament is because setting up an immediate title fight with whoever Dana White deems most worthy is arbitrary at best. Several fighters will have earned shots at the belt; it would be at least unfair to grant the shot to only two. The second reason, of course, is the fact that tournaments excite the fanbase. Before the Heavyweight tournament was announced, Strikeforce was only known as the promotion that had Herschel Walker and female fighting to casual fans. After the tournament has been announced, Ariel Helwani reported on Twitter that people are beginning to call it "the premier MMA organization in North America". The fact is, tournaments get people excited and will sell PPVs.
I came up with some seeding with the help of Sherdog's Welterweight rankings. My proposal is an eight-man tournament with two alternate bouts.
1. Jon Fitch-easily the consensus #2 welterweight
2. Thiago Alves-the only two people he hasn't beaten yet are GSP and Fitch
3. Josh Koscheck-He's lost more than a few fights, but he has earned his spot just the same.
4. Jake Shields-This is completely contingent upon him not having a medical suspension, but his defeat of Kampmann certainly qualifies him for a shot.
5. Martin Kampmann-Only Semtex and Jake Shields have been in the way of the Hitman's run.
6. Carlos Condit-Outside of his debut loss to Kampmann, the former WEC champion has gone through three quality opponents on his way to the top.
7. John Hathaway-His only loss to Mike Pyle, the British wrestler has fought his way to near the top of the division.
8. Dan Hardy-Even though the scrappy Brit has lost two straight fights, his clinch warfare style has been enough to roll past Marcus Davis and Mike Swick, the latter of which gave him his unsuccessful title shot against St. Pierre.
The alternate bouts:
Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Ellenberger-A matchup of two brilliant wrestlers and well-rounded fighters could end up being the fight of the tournament.
Mike Pyle vs. Anthony Johnson-The classic striker (Johnson) vs. grappler (Pyle) matchup would be a great test of both mens' abilities.
I would have no issue making this a TUF season as was considered for the Flyweights in "Urijah Faber & Dominick Cruz on TUF 13"; they already did something like it with Season 4. However, the best option the UFC would appear to have is to make it a PPV series. Will it happen? Probably not. Should it happen, if the circumstances it requires come true? Definitely.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Give Okami His Shot

It's old news now that GSP/Shields at UFC 129 is for the champion's right to face Anderson Silva for the title of true all-time P4P king. While that's all well and good, there's another guy who has earned his shot at The Spider named Yushin Okami. While Okami certainly hasn't been around the block as long as GSP has, he has a 10-2 record in the UFC and the fact remains that his fight with Nate Marquardt at 122 was confirmed to be for a shot at the belt. Even when one thinks about it deeper, this may very easily be a better stylistic matchup for Okami than it was for Sonnen. While Okami was outwrestled by the Team Quest product at 104, Okami has much better submission defense and is still a very good wrestler in his own right. The bottom line, however, is that while Dana White isn't exactly a man of his word, he explicitly stated that since Okami won, he would get a shot at the winner of Silva and Vitor Belfort. The "legacy" match can wait as it has since at least Silva/Demian Maia at 112; the time to give Okami what he's earned is now.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Urijah Faber & Dominick Cruz on TUF 13

Here's the basic bits and pieces of what's going on in my head right now about the new search for TUF 13 coaches and whatnot. Eventually, maybe after both win a fight or two, a rematch needs to be made between the California Kid and the Dominator. It's a title fight between two extremely exciting fighters. However, the hype just isn't quite there yet among the casual set who may know absolutely nothing about either. So how do you hype such a fight? By giving both of them the TUF coaching reins of course! Not only can you give the guys some much-needed exposure, but they'll do their own hyping for the fight. Just think about how much people started caring about the Mir/Big Nog fight, or the Rampage/Rashad fight, or especially GSP/Koscheck because of the hype they created during their time in the house. So if either of them can get their best trash-talk on, it could sell a lot of PPVs.

However, I have a better idea than just giving them the reins now, especially since the casting call was for Welterweights and Middleweights. On the next Ultimate Fighter, make it a Flyweight-only season and make the entire show for the belt. It would be the first title fight on national television, which would be a huge media event. Even if Dana & company wanted to make it a PPV, just think of the drama around the final fight that having a tournament would create, let alone a tournament in the context of a reality show!