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Props to fellow jackal Gaston for tipping the Fightlinker forums off to the next big thing in combative sports: Japanese Bug Fights!

These mixed martial arthropods give the fans what they really want: exoskeleton-crushing appendage locks and the occasional spinning-back-sting.

Though I’ve become a big fan of Stag Beetle (those underhooks are vicious), Round the 10th with Praying Mantis vs. Wasp (above) was by far the fight of the night. Praying Mantis has a phenomenal clinch game, and one of the stiffest jabs I’ve seen in years, but when Wasp gets side control it’s all over. Even with his superior height and reach, Mantis’s lack of a ground game becomes his downfall. Basically, he’s the Tim Sylvia of bugfighters.*

It turns out the commentary is actually Mauro Ranallo speaking Japanese. I’ve translated it below:

Let’s hope our contenders don’t have any butterflies in their stomachs tonight as we get ready for our main event! I feel like a fly on the wall at this epic battle between Praying Mantis and Wasp. Oh, and it really looks like Mantis has stirred up a hornets’ nest in this; round the 1th of our main event. And though the young Wasp is barely knee-high to a grasshopper, he manages to drop Mantis like a fly. Whoa Nelly, like a moth to a flame, Wasp makes a bee-line to the downed Mantis and jumps into side control! Looks like lay-and-pray might not have been Mantis’ best gameplan! Wasp told us backstage that he wouldn’t hurt a fly, but it looks like he has nothing wrong with hurting one’s relative. Oh no, and it’s lights out for Mantis as Wasp tells him “don’t let the bed bugs bite!”

(*) Tim “The Praying Maine-tis” Sylvia?

EDITS: Embedding Round the 10th instead (even though saying “the 3th” sounds way awesomer). And added a hidden picture.

According to the Fight Network, yeah:

The relationship lasted less than a year. MyNetworkTV has severed ties to the International Fight League, which had provided taped content for the network since March 12. MyNetworkTV officials confirmed this week that IFL programming “would no longer be on the schedule.”

According to Kurt Otto, maybe not:

The one thing that could easily separate the IFL from the rest of the pack is a deal on broadcast television. After reaching out to MyNetwork, a network spokesperson reports that any IFL programming for 2008 is “on hiatus,” meaning it may or may not return to the airwaves. However, Otto remains more optimistic.

“(The network) is excited about having us. Our ratings went up 20-percent,” says Otto. After all, there is little other programming that so reliably delivers the coveted male 18-36 year old demographic to networks and advertisers.

Of course, the IFL probably wouldn’t even be around if they didn’t have a way to spin all the shitty stuff that happens to them in a positive light. 10 cent stocks? That just opens up the company to a wider investment base! Off MyNetworkTV? Just a temporary thing, they’re actually super duper excited to work with us!

Although I am kinda surprised – it’s not like MyNetworkTV has anything better in the wings. The slot which once held Battleground is now hosting ‘Paradise Hotel 2’. Actually, come to think of it, I’d rather watch that than the IFL too.

Back in the good old days of ‘Not giving a shit’, I used to just download UFCs a day or two after the event. However, since I’m now ‘in the industry’, I figured it would be pretty hypocritical of me to continue stealing from the companies that I’m making a living off of. Daddy Dana already thinks of us as parasites as it is, so nowadays I buy the PPVs online and watch them like that.

Of course, it always drove me nuts that I had to pay the same amount as Joe Sixpack did on his fancy dancy telemavision. After all, there’s no PPV network assraping the UFC on rates here. There’s also the fact that the stream wasn’t exactly crystal clear. Maybe if you jizzed on crystal and then smudged it all up and left it to dry in the sun for two days. But that’s about as close as I’d say it is to crystal clear. So why the hell am I stuck paying the same amount to watch this on my laptop?

Anyways, I’ve accepted the fact at this point and all I can hope for is improvements down the road. So I’m cautiously optomistic about the UFC’s deal with Yahoo to stream their PPVs from there. Same ass rape price, but with better quality? Yahoo did a sorta good sorta bad job with the Strikeforce shows: image quality was good but the aspect ratio was all fucked up. But who knows if that was their fault or Strikeforce’s fault? I guess we’ll find out at UFC82 if this is a step forward or a step backwards.

Apparently, some MMA fans are dumber than dirt – they think that Kimbo’s beard is an unfair advantage that absorbs punching power.

Yes, for real. I shit thee not.

When I first read about this on CagePotato, I thought “No way in fucking hell did anyone really think this. It must just be some attention grabbing bullshit.” But lo and behold, do a couple of google searches and you will find numerous threads on lots of different message boards where intellectual champions argue the finer points of beard physics. at least had the decency to delete a lot of these (you know your thread is dumb when…), but Google Cache is your friend. I can now rest easy knowing that if I die in ass surgery today, you guys will have enough funny MMA content to last you at least a week or two. Or three.

The ‘controversy’ got so big that Bas Rutten even responded to the topic:

This is a beard from hair for crying out loud. If you believe this than you have to believe also that Kimbo has also less speed because the beard is not aerodynamic and will slow his head movement down, so that will make up for the impact absorbing BS, hahaha, man, they should glue some hair on air bags, people now will survive the crash because the one layer of beard took the impact away.

I have to believe that this whole thing is being perpetrated by retarded 13 year olds. I have to. My faith in humanity on an average day is shaky at best. Darfur, slave labor, the rape and pillaging of the earth’s natural resources. And now people think beards protect you from punches. I weep, people. I weep.

Pretty shocking that stuff like this happens out of the blue:

Rene Ayangma, 20, died suddenly Tuesday night following a light sparring session at the Largo Fitness Centre in Stratford, P.E.I. Ayangma was preparing for his second professional MMA bout which was scheduled for March 15 at ECC 7: Bad Blood against Kyle Sanford.

According to The Canadian Press, Ayangma fell to a knee and then forward onto the floor where he lost consciousness. An instructor rushed to Ayangma’s aid and attempted to preform CPR as he still has “shallow breathing.” He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Just a reminder that MMA is extremely demanding on your body, and if you’re going to get serious about it then it makes a lot of sense to get a thorough checkup with your doctor and run your diet and exercise routines past an expert. I’m not saying that Rene didn’t do this … details on this entire story are very short, and there’s 1001 ways this could have happened. But it’s worth reminding people whenever something like this happens: Be careful with yo’selves, don’t cut corners with your health.

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