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We all know what a jerk and a meanie Dana White was to Randy Couture, and now we get to find out that Gareb and Kurt from the IFL aren’t all sunshine and lollypops either. I don’t want to sound all Zach Arnold doom and gloom, but this has not been a good week to run a mixed martial arts organization.

So you all remember that the IFL ditched two of the only fighters people gave a fuck about for their dumb grand prix, right? Right. Well, the story gets even better! The general gist of it was the IFL tried to blackmail agent Monte Cox into re-signing Ben Rothwell by threatening to drop Jay Hieron and Mike Whitehead. I gotta hand it to the IFL – this was some serious hardball, and perhaps if anyone actually gave a shit about the IFL Grand Prix it might have worked. But I’m pretty sure Ben Rothwell is more interested in making more than 20k a fight, and it’s not like Monte Cox doesn’t have bookings falling out his ass for his guys. So yeah … no dice.

A big favorite of most people talking about this story is the fact that the IFL tried to get Jay Hieron to sign a contract in the back seat of a car:

Then the next day Keith Evans calls Hieron and tells him they need to meet. So they go meet and drive off and Hieron calls me and says, “You’re not going to believe this. I just went for a ride with the IFL and they tried to get me to sign a contract in the back of their car. They said that ‘Monte wasn’t doing a good job and he’s not handling things properly and you need to sign this thing and you need to do it now.'”

Hieron said “I’m not doing anything without my manager” and he didn’t do it. Then he called me. I’m like, what is the IFL, is this the Sopranos now? So I had them FAX me the contract and I looked at the contract. It was the same contract I had already approved. I already said we’d do this. So I went “Jay, it’s a good contract. I’d sign it.” So Jay signed the contract.

The car thing is amusing I suppose, but my favorite part of all this is how lame the IFL are at being bad guys. First off, the whole threat to Monte was that Hieron wouldn’t get to fight in the Grand Prix if Rothwell didn’t sign. So if that’s the leverage, why the fuck did they try to sneak around and sign Hieron on their own? And with the same contract Monte already agreed to! Are these guys retarded?

This is pretty shitty for the IFL because even though we all knew they were stupid and going bust, at least we thought they were the nice guys. I’ve rooted for them over the past year like I rooted for that kid with down’s syndrome who tried to run that marathon. Sure he didn’t make it more than half a click before pissing his track pants, but damn if he wasn’t kind and gentle and all that shit. Now the secret is out of the bag: when push comes to shove, the IFL is just as evil as the UFC. They’re just a lot worse at it.

Oh, UFC. You’re so sneaky with your Orwellian double-speak. The Bush administration should get you guys on the phone and ask you about damage control, because while you’re not good enough to fool the hardcores, your responses are more than adequate for those drinking the kool-aid. The news that Randy Couture has told the UFC to fuck off is still rockin’ the internets like a tsunami off the coast of Indonesia, and already Dana White has issued the following statement:

“I’m not surprised at all by Randy’s decision. I talked to Randy several weeks ago and he said that if he couldn’t fight Fedor, then he has nothing left to prove in the sport of mixed martial arts.

He has been doing a lot of acting, and I know he is in South Africa right now filming a movie. I think it’s a great move for Randy’s acting career to retire from fighting while he is on top.

As we all know, Randy retired before. The landscape in MMA changes every day. So when he is ready to come out of retirement again, he is still under contract with me, and I’m ready to promote him.”

There’s one big glaring problem with the above statement: Randy never said *nothin* about retiring.

The UFC seems to have a serious fucking problem with preemptively retiring fighters. Do you remember after Ortiz-Shamrock 3, they asked Ken if he was going to retire and he basically gave a non-commital answer? And then the announcers said “SHAMROCK RETIRED!” and they played a 10 minute tribute to Ken Shamrock retiring? Yeah, that was classy.

Also, do you remember all that Liddell retiring hogwash that was going down after his loss to Jardine? Well, for those of you who didn’t know, the majority of those rumors were caused by Dana White spending a lot of time waxing philosophical with reporters on the idea that Chuck might very well be washed up.   I’m sure that really made Chuck happy.

And now looky here … Couture says “I’m resigning from the UFC” and once again the UFC is saying “OMG RANDY RETIRED. GOOD LUCK RANDY IF U COME OUT OF RETIREMENT WE’LL SEE YOU THEN LOL!!!!!11!”

Yeeeah right.

He said that Africa is hot, the Rock is a really nice guy, and the UFC CAN GO FUCK ITSELF! Okay maybe that wasn’t Randy Couture I was talking to. Maybe I wasn’t talking to anyone. In fact, maybe I’ve been in my cellar the past few days drinking peyote and hallucinating. That would certainly explain why this site has gone downhill the past few days, huh?

Let me just say that things have not been going very smooth over in Fightlinker Land lately. At least I’m not alone. To put things lightly, things have not been going smoothly for the UFC either. I’ve run out of creative ways to mock the UFC 78 main event, even the undercard is unraveling, HBO told them to go suck an egg, Fedor was snapped up by a mystery corporation, and now this: Randy Couture just quit the fucking UFC.

This is really amazing to me … how the fuck did Randy Couture quit? How was it even possible for him to quit? This is the UFC we’re talking about here, right? The company that writes contracts so evil and ironclad that black smoke comes out of them forming skulls. I’m flabbergasted that someone over at Zuffa thought it was a good idea to rely on Couture’s good will to stick around once he had the heavyweight belt. Probably one of those soft Fertitta dummies.

Randy’s “I quit” statement (mailed to Dana White and to The Fight Network, how about that?) mentioned the UFC’s inability to sign Fedor as a reason for leaving, plus being “tired of swimming upstream at this stage with the management of the UFC”.

Of course, you know who’s really responsible, right? Yeah. That fucking Yoko bitch Randy married. And to think I wrote a positive piece about this Judas with a vagina last week. I feel dirty and violated. It’s always like this with Randy – his last wife was such a pain in the ass about the whole MMA thing she convinced him to quit. So I guess this is a step up … this wife hasn’t gotten Randy to retire, she’s just gotten him to quit the UFC.

God fucking damn it. Women are the spawn of evil and nothing good in MMA will ever come from them being involved. It would be nice to imagine that Randy will magically show up on the new M-1 roster to fight Fedor there, but my bet is the Hollywood big bucks have lured Couture away for good. Perhaps his wife isn’t the only one to be blamed. I have to wonder if Randy hasn’t been spending too much time talking to another particular son of a bitch who left his respective organization when his movie career took off.

Luke Thomas wrote an annoyingly short critique of fighters who get into the ring without a game plan, so rather than write him an angry letter demanding all his posts contain 400+ words of original content, I’ve decided to steal his good blog topic and do it right myself.

Good fighters have game plans. Wait … correction. Good fighters have GOOD game plans. I feel my IQ drop every time I’m exposed to those pre-fight videos where a pimply fighter   with a faux-hawk (2002 called and wants their dumb hairdo back) says he’s going to try and keep it standing against a wrestling or jiu-jitsu master. That might hack it at Fightfest IX in Des Moines Idaho, but it certainly doesn’t in the UFC or any other league that isn’t run by a bald fat guy named Art.

Of course, Randy Couture is the man when it comes to gameplans and really should be credited with pointing out how fucking dumb a fighter is going into a fight without any kind of coherent strategy. He didn’t have to say anything. He just let his actions speak, and the actions of the fighters he cornered. And it seems to be working out pretty well.

There’s already a mentality that fighters need to do more cardio, do more strength training, spend more time on the mat and more time hitting the bag. But I’d love to know how many guys are pushing to see more tape on their opponents, talking to guys who’ve fought their opponents before, and all that jazz. That’s what I’d do if I was a fighter. Actually if I was a fighter I’d probably send my bodyguard out to hit my opponent in the knee with a steel baton. Then when they put me up against some last second replacement I’d get subbed and cry to the judges that my glove laces snapped. Then maybe I’d do a sex tape, some celebrity boxing, and then fade into obscurity. How’s that for a gameplan?

You’d imagine with all of the hard work the UFC has done to repair their shitty heavyweight division over the past year, they’d have a better bout for #1 contender than Brandon Vera vs Tim Sylvia. However, the guys at MMAJunkie normally won’t give you their opinion on the fucking weather, but they ARE saying that’s what it looks like:

Current champ Couture will likely return to action Feb. 2 for a SuperBowl weekend card in Las Vegas. There’s been speculation that he would face Fedor Emelianenko, but the PRIDE heavyweight champion seems to be in no hurry to sign with the UFC. And, as of now, no Plan B has been mentioned.

Additionally, a bout between top contenders Cheick Kongo and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has been pushed back until early 2008, so the fight’s winner wouldn’t be ready for Couture in February.

As for other possible opponents, a rematch with Gabriel Gonzaga seems unlikely, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has lost two in a row (and reportedly isn’t returning phone calls from the UFC), Andrei Arlovski still hasn’t gotten a new deal (and would probably need a tune-up fight anyway), and Fabricio Werdum seems to have fallen off the face of the earth since a lackluster loss to Arlovski in April.

Okay, so lets ignore for the moment that I’m about two days behind on the news and that Couture has quit the UFC. It doesn’t really change the fact that all the dudes the UFC brought in to pad the weight class have fucked things up a la Three Stooges. Mirko’s had two chances to get himself into the title running, and the UFC is pacing Big Nog’s performances at glacial speed.

The UFC’s refusal to sign Josh Barnett, re-sign Andrei Arlovski, ignore Werdum, and of course land Fedor have added up to create quite the quagmire. I’m sure no one expected us to come full circle the way we have with no better contenders than ballroom dancer Tim Sylvia and overhyped Brandon Vera.

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