Spike and the UFC have done a really fantastic job of chronicling the best UFC fights of all time on the "Ultimate 100." The fights were chosen by a fan vote, and then unveiled on five, hour-long shows on Spike. Though Mike Goldberg's narration is sometimes grating, the production of the show has been truly enjoyable.
One of the best parts of these episodes is hearing the fighters themselves talk about their bouts. Hearing Randy Couture talk about why he spanked -- quite literally -- Tito Ortiz, or the mixed emotions Frank Mir felt after beating Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, has been illuminating. Outside of the ten-second interview in the Octagon, when the fighter is usually still bloody and dizzy from the fight, we don't usually get to hear a fighter "talk through" his bout. They've also discussed their path to the Octagon with the enthusiasm of little boys. It nearly brought a tear to my eye to hear Forrest Griffin talk about the arc of his life from fighting on "The Ultimate Fighter" to coaching on it. Except ...
The only fighters who are involved are ones who are still in the UFC. Sure, it's great to hear from Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre and all the rest, but I'd also love to hear from Royce Gracie, Tito Ortiz, Tim Sylvia, Ken Shamrock and all the rest of the fighters who played a part in building the UFC, but for some reason have fallen out of grace with Dana White and friends.
Wouldn't this have been a perfect time to reach out to them? Say, "No, we don't want you fighting here, but you did help us out at one time. Tell us what you remember from these fights." I had a fleeting thought that said, "Maybe they did reach out to them, but the fighters said no." But I can't imagine that every fighter who is in the countdown but not in the UFC could have possibly said no.
Some of these fighters are some of the most publicity-hungry people on the planet. You mean to tell me that Jason "Mayhem" Miller, who was at the TUF 9 finale and offering lewd acts to Joe Rogan for a ticket to UFC 100, wouldn't want to be on camera? Sylvia's not up to much these days. Shamrock, Gracie, Dan Severn -- you couldn't get any of these Hall-of-Famers on camera?
It's a weak, petty move to not reach out to these men, and it's hurt what would otherwise been a damn near-perfect show.