By MMA analyst Joseph Lupoli
It’s the future of MMA.
While it may not save the likes of Ken Shamrock, I think a 40-and-up MMA league is long overdue. Aging fighters should be rewarded, not neglected or tossed out like yesterday’s newspaper. Remember: Somebody’s bruised; over-ripe bananas are somebody else’s tasty banana bread. Wouldn’t you like to see Bas Rutten vs. Don Frye go at it? It can be billed as: “Age in the Cage.” Well, here at the Fixodent Fighting Championships, you can have your Cream of Wheat and eat it too!
For starters, the heavyweight division is stacked with crotchety, arthritic warriors. Some were light heavyweights in their prime, but these days they need ‘relaxed-fit’ jeans. Besides Bas and Don, we’ve got, Dan “The Least” Severn (who is, at 52, already reaping AARP benefits); there’s Mark “The Hammered” Coleman, Randy “Captain Crunch” Couture (especially if he can’t get by “Block” Lesnar); we have David “Tanked” Abbot, and Maurice “I Beat Abbot” Smith.
But wait! Why even bother with weight-classes? These grandpas are already in a separate age class. Hell, since they’ll soon be too old to train, let’s just call it “The Overweight Division.” Toss them all in … even the guys who are not yet age-40, but almost.
How about inviting Royce, Carlson, and Rorion “Graceless”, Kimo “Slice” Leopoldo, Shonie “Mr. International House of Pancakes ” Carter, Gary “Big Granddaddy” Goodrich, Jeremy “Ear” Horn, “Toto” Ortiz, “Cry” Metzger, Wallid “Ugly As Sin” Ishmail, John “Big Bust” Dixon, and Chuck “Canvasback” Liddell.
Of course, we need a referee who’s old enough to identify with the fighters, but young enough to remember their names. So, who better than the former LA cop and UFC veteran, Big "Job" McCarthy”? He wasn’t really ready for retirement anyway. And to insure fighter safety, four fight doctors, including a heart surgeon, a geriatric nurse, and an Alzheimer’s specialist should be in the ring during all fights.
Picture this: Instead of having the fighters aggravating their gout and bursitis by walking to the cage or ring all the way from the locker-room, they should drive themselves there in MMA approved Power Scooters. And for Heaven’s sake, replace those hard ring-stools with Lazy-boy recliners. Also, oxygen tanks should be fastened to the outside of each ring-post or cage-post. I mean, what if some poor sap has a seizure while in the clinch? Have him suck on some oxygen, then resume the action.
Also, it might be a good idea to hold FFC events close to a hospital and an “Independent Living Retirement Community.” There, fighters can train in water aerobics and shuffle-board to keep their minds and bodies sharp in between fights.
Now for the fight structure: Three 5-minute rounds with a one hour break in between rounds. And to keep the fans entertained during the breaks, Jackie Mason and Jerry Stiller can provide some MMA related stand-up (or sit-down) routines. Maybe Wayne Newton and Tony Bennett can woo the ladies with a few numbers.
Just think of the promotional possibilities here! I’ll bet there’s Probate Attorneys who are dying to buy space on the fighter’s trunks. That would practically finance the entire venue. Instead of MMA gear logos and energy drinks names plastered on the ring/cage canvas, the ring posts, and on the fighter’s trunks, replace those with geriatric products. Nobody wants to talk about ‘Depends’ and ‘Preparation H’, and Metamucil, and that’s exactly why those companies will pay big bucks for advertising space.
And last but certainly not least, especially in this case, save a spot on the canvas for Guardian Health and Life Insurance.
With this kind of a set-up, Randy Couture could become the Jack LaLanne of MMA!