There is no competition. Mixed martial is the sport made for bloggers. The fights are great but with trash talking fighters, a headline stealing UFC president, rival organizations and hot chicks it made for an unreal 2008 in MMA. Picking the big fights or who was going to be the next big star was a dangerous proposition. Let's run down the best of the best from the cage fighting blogosphere.
Story of the Year: One punch, one radio interview and lots of bad business decisions. The Kimbo Slice upset and EliteXC subsequently going out of business garnered more attention on the web than anything that happened in the UFC all year. Seth Petruzelli hastened the fall of the struggling fight promotion with his fight fixing statements.
Honorable Mention: A close runner-up on pure comedic value was the Andrei Arlovski-Tim Sylvia love triangle. Arlovski later dropped his infamous pee-pee line ... Affliction's owner Todd Beard sounded hammered during a satellite radio appearance and Randy Couture called him out during an interview with Cage Writer. Less than a month later he "resigned" from the company when it came out that he had a lengthy criminal record ... Female fighters Gina Carano and Tonya Evinger made us happy with their party photos. Evinger took it to another level when she said that she wanted a piece of the internet punks who were calling her ugly ... Tito Ortiz stole the show at the UFC 84 weigh-in with a t-shirt and then topped himself by nearly getting tossed from the post-fight press conference ... It was happy day when Couture ended his contract squabble with the UFC ... There were sadder days when Rampage Jackson was arrested and even worse when former champ Evan Tanner passed away.
Video of the Year: Things really heated up towards the end of the year. A brawl in the stands at UFC 91 that started between a fat woman and a K-1 fighter got over 400,000 hits on Youtube. The fighter Ray Sefo told Cage Writer that he was more afraid of the woman than his 7-foot-3, 360-pound opponent two weeks later.
Honorable Mention: If you were looking for gross vids, MMA delivered with the Corey Hill snapped shin matched by this 2006 fight and this injury to Pele Landi in February ... Chuck Liddell got hit in the face by Ron Jeremy's kick (that's right KICK) ... Ortiz bloodied up some dude on MadTV ... Carano violated a lucky fella, Phil Baroni did the same to a radio host and then rubbed up against a female reporter ... Two guys were wrestling in a cage when they were joined by a naked guy ... This Liddell fan sang the blues after "The Iceman" lost to Rashad Evans ... Kimbo actually lost his first fight to David Blaine.
Honest-To-Goodness Reporting and Analysis of the Year: A crooked cop tried to bilk Matt Hughes out of major bucks. Hughes was asked to apply a choke for a fan photo. He was taken to court but the suit was tossed out of court in June.
Honorable Mention: Referees go wild as EliteXC ref Jorge Ortiz costs Roy Nelson a chance at an upset while UFC ref Steve Mazzagatti lets Jason MacDonald get in extra shots on Joe Doerksen ... A female fighter allegedly beats the snot out of her hubbie ... UFC partner and supplement maker Xyience is raked over the coals by a blogger ... UFC fighter Jon Koppenhaver doesn't go to jail for choking out a civilian on the street ... Good thing he didn't mess with this 63-year old ... Budding journalist Ricco Rodriguez told us what (expletive) Sandwich is ... The obnoxious Jim Rome of Canada found out that Dana White sucks at geography.
Media Bird-Doggin' of the Year: Cage Writer took a lot of media folks to task for their coverage of this fledgling sport. Gus Johnson was our biggest victim with his screams of Rocky! Rocky! when Seth Petruzelli pulled the mild upset on Kimbo.
Honorable Mention: His partner Mauro Ranallo ruined an earlier EliteXC with his over-the-top hyperbole ... The UFC tested the Minneapolis market only to be greeted by a hoard of 70-year old writers ... Mike Wilbon sounded just as clueless when claiming that Kimbo fight was thrown ... Deadspin drew a correlation between a mouthpiece and a murder-suicide ... ESPN is worried about steroids in MMA but won't address the topic in the NFL ... A Dallas writer said the XFL and MMA will have the same life span ... Bill O'Reilly said he couldn't show an MMA highlight because it was too violent but immediately followed it with video of a man hit by a car ... ESPN the Magazine writer LZ Granderson likened Kimbo to Roots' character Kunta Kinte.
The Best in Guest (Fighter) Blogging: Fighters sure do like MySpace and Facebook. It was a must read when you saw a new bulletin posted by
Jon Koppenhaver War Machine. After seven months of maniacal posts, he topped himself when he told everyone why he changed his legal name to War Machine.
Honorable Mention: The creepiest moment of the blogging year was Tanner foreshadowing his own death on his SpikeTV blog ... Shockingly, one of the most boring fighters is the most boring blogger ... Junie Browning wasn't the craziest guy on The Ultimate Fighter 8 ... There's one fighter who's not getting it done with the ladies ... Sylvia needed spellcheck and Jenna Jameson tried too hard to sound smart ... Japan brought us Akihiro Gono who talked about not being able to use his left in the bedroom and now he can't even pay for help.
The Year in Lists: Definitely the meanest but most rib rattling list of the year. Why did my favorite Octagon Girl Edith miss UFC 80?
Honorable Mention: The 10 worst cuts in MMA history was just disgusting ... Cage Potato's list of top MMA photos was exhilarating and gross ... Four fights that should've never happened was right on the money ... MMA can be funny in the cage or ring.
The Year in High Fashion: Does it get any better than Carano wearing a skirt while doing the worm?
Honorable Mention: Sylvia told everyone that he wore his title belt while servicing a lady ... This fighter had an awesome pornstache while Dustin Hazelett and Petruzelli won Facial Hair of the Year ... A middleweight title contender partied in a diaper weeks before his fight with Anderson Silva.
Interview of the Year: This one is a slam dunk. Cage Writer got to talk to President-elect Barack Obama on the eve of the election and ask a question using Matt Hughes' political theories.
Honorable Mention: White ranted about how EliteXC was ruining things for everyone ... Kim Couture called Jared Shaw a pervert ... Liddell talked about having sex right before fights ... ESPN's Tom Farrey almost got a Lesnar boot in the face ... Karo Parisyan was in no mental state to fight and this fan Corrie, isn't stable enough to be around White or Cage Writer ... Octagon Girl Arianny Celeste struggles with jiu-jitsu and the spoken word.
What huge, funny or interesting stories did we miss in our MMA blogosphere recap?
More Y! Sports year of the blog posts: The Y! Sports Blogs (general), Shutdown Corner (NFL), Big League Stew (MLB), Ball Don't Lie (NBA), Puck Daddy (NHL), Dr. Saturday (NCAAF), The Dagger (NCAAB), From the Marbles (NASCAR) and Devil Ball (golf)
- Seth Petruzelli