Wednesday, November 4, 2009

By MMA analyst Joseph Lupoli

What’s that you say? Boys don’t play with dolls? Banana oil!

I, myself, played with dol… err…action figures when I was a kid. GI Joe, Batman, Superman, and of course, those little green army men all crowded my toy-chest. Frequently, my action figures needed to be interrogated. And, as my boss is fond of saying, “Heads will roll!”

And now the UFC sells dolls. They are caricatures of Top UFC Fighters. Some of the dolls have oversized heads. Tito Ortiz’s head is already oversized. He stood out amongst the other dolls. It looks to me that Tito Ortiz needs some harsh interrogation.

In fact, I might buy a Tito doll just to voodoo him with darts. After all, any MMA fighter who walks into the octagon wearing a t-shirt lettered with disgusting words berating his opponent should not go unpunished. I’m sure Jerry Bohlander would agree.

From what I understand, fighters are required to sign a contract of permission before the UFC can have their doll manufactured. And not all UFC fighters want games and dolls made in their image. Wasn’t Jon Fitch temporarily fired for refusing to sign a merchandising contract?

Personally, I think that past UFC legends and non-UFC fighters and color commentators should be rewarded with action figure contracts, too.

But that might create a problem. For instance, imagine a 6’1”, 176-pound toothpick, Royce Gracie, and that 6’8”, 700-pound Buddha by the name of Emmanuel Yarborough, as the same sized dolls. They wouldn’t look right on my office desk. How could any MMA fan seeing Emmanuel Yarburough and Royce Gracie dolls standing next to each other keep a straight face?

And, with today’s technology, what good is a man’s doll unless it can talk? Those UFC dolls should be able to say something—even if only a few words. Maybe just a catch-phrase would be perfect for this man's doll. Surely, every MMA personality has something to verbally offer. So, there should be a button on the back of every doll. Pull-strings are long obsolete, although they’d come in handy during a good side choke attempt.

Push the button and the doll speaks. But what should the dolls say? Well, let’s take ten random MMA personalities and give them a catch-phrase. Feel free to add your own quotes.

Fedor Emelianenko:You’ll have to ask my manager that.”

Chuck Liddell:I’m ready to go!

Joe Rogan:Wow! That was a Superman punch! And that UFC punch was brought to you by Bud Light... pure drinkability…Wow!

George St. Pierre:I was not impressed by your performance.”

Bas Rutten:I’m the most handsome man in MMA.”

Matt Hughes:I tried to instill my Christian faith in my team.”

Tito Ortiz:Dana knows he’s my bi**h!

Ken Shamrock:That’s bulls**t! I was robbed!

Royce Gracie:He’s a liar. I did NOT tap out!

Don Frye:Settle down, Gilbert. We can do it again.”

There. Now isn’t that better? MMA dolls are so much cooler to have if they can talk. Now, us men can come out and proudly boast, “We play with dolls!”

Support your local fighter! Buy a doll right now and become cool again!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Movie revue by Joseph Lupoli

Hello fellow film buffs. Tonight's feature is:
Woman in the Dunes, directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara 1964

When a school teacher and entomologist (Eiji Okada) leaves Tokyo to collect an unclassified species of beetle in a remote vast desert in Japan, he misses his bus back to civilization. He is persuaded by villagers to spend the night in the home of a young widow. To get there he must climb down a rope ladder into a giant hole in the sand. At the bottom of the hole sits her dilapidated shack. The following morning, he realizes that he is trapped when he discovers the rope ladder is missing and that his shouts for help go unheeded.

What transpires is one of cinema's most hellish and unnerving battle of the sexes, including a nightmarish depiction of the daily struggle to maintain existence by manually removing mass quantities of sand from inside the hole to keep from being crushed by rapid sand erosion. To explain why the villagers pull the buckets of sand up to the surface... and what they do with it would be the spoiler.

Director, Hiroshi teshigahara received an Academy Award nomination for best director.

Netflix this gem at once! This is a uniquely surrealistic film that will hold you captive from beginning to end!
By MMA analyst Joseph Lupoli

So,'s life in UFC land?

It seems the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manuel Marquez Championship fight exceeded UFC 103 PPV numbers. Are you surprised? Of course you aren’t. And why should you be?

After all, UFC 103 featured no title fights, plus the card was on the tail-end of a barrage of UFC events that you packed in over the course of the last several months. But I’m aware of your competitive fire, and I know what you’re thinking.

Both you and I are disgusted over the fact that Floyd Mayweather can publicly disrespect MMA, and then go out and make millions by turning his fights into track meets—jabbing and running his way to boring 12-round decisions. Meanwhile, we MMA fans know that even the most lackluster MMA matches in UFC history were far more compelling and entertaining than nearly all of Floyd’s fights.

My question is: would you like to see the UFC outdo boxing for good and propel its way into the casual MMA fan’s living room? The UFC has most of the best fighters in the world. And the fact is I truly admire your work ethic and what you’ve done for the sport of MMA. Because of that, I’m going to offer you a possible solution—a counter attack that’s not complicated. Let’s take a look.

In January of 2001, the Fertitta brothers, along with you, the organization’s president, purchased the UFC. Almost immediately, the three of you collectively aimed the UFC toward mainstream recognition, partly by reconstructing the organization’s production design. Naturally, your marketing team researched until they found where the real money was, and then zeroed in on it: the 18 to 34-year-old demographic fan base.

And now that the UFC’s target audience has proven itself to be dependable and secure, your organization is faced with yet another obstacle: pro boxing. Yes, pro boxing is pinching the UFC PPV numbers—by how much is anyone’s guess. Who can say how many more boxing fans that also follow MMA would tune into a UFC event if a pro boxing championship fight was aired on the same evening.

Of course, we are both aware that the disparity in media coverage between pro boxing and MMA is one the UFC's biggest setbacks. And this is exactly why MMA needs more big time organizations, especially here in North America. Why?

This isn’t Japan. MMA in America has major sports competition, including pro boxing. Thus, it’s important to note that there's growth and stability in numbers, not in isolation. Sure, cross-promoting might sound like a bad idea now, but just think: what happened when the NFL took the risk and merged with the AFL? Answer: the NFL became richer! And did the NBA lose money when they fused with the ABA?

Unfortunately, the UFC’s aggressive advertising—not to mention your own media tirades, is what’s holding you back. Another problem is that you would rather squash what you perceive as potential MMA rivals. Well, instead of sabotaging other MMA organizations, why not allow some of them to help push the sport as a whole toward mainstream Utopia?

Riddle me this: Why shouldn’t Brock Lesnar fight Fedor Emelianenko? I’ll bet if those two locked horns, the UFC PPV numbers would make Bob Arum choke on his pheasant under glass! I mean, look at the big picture here!

Why can’t you work out a one-fight revenue sharing contract with Scott Coker? So what if you insulted him and his MMA organization. Scott doesn’t care. He’s is too busy allowing the Fedor vs. Rogers match hype itself! Come on, Dana, Brock vs. Fedor is a gold mine waiting to happen!
Okay, maybe you’re not sure about that proposal. Then here’s another suggestion to digest. Have you considered widening your UFC target consumer base in order to augment your PPV numbers…but you quite weren’t sure how to effectively achieve this?

It’s simple—almost too easy. Just tell your marketing personnel to tone down its caustic heavy metal music theme that encases the UFC’s garish laser-light production theatrics, and screaming fight announcers, to a more mainstream-friendly presentation.
Why not let only the fighters in the octagon display the sport’s violent aspects to the fans? Do you really need to have your graphic artists and media advertising personnel manufacturing a hostile atmosphere? Isn’t there enough testosterone-laden aggression within the octagon? MMA isn’t Pro Boxing or Pro Wrestling. There’s no need to demonstrate an abrasive, "in your face" approach to this sport.

Remember those original, UFC tournament events? Back then the fights were far more violent than they are now, and that’s why the UFC was banned by Congress. Yet, I found calmness in the UFC’s production lure. I also noticed that the fight announcers and color commentator’s (Jeff Blatnick and Jim Brown), lack of aggression to be more appealing in comparison to what the organization offers now.

You know what they say, Dana, “Life is simple. It’s people who complicate it.” The quickest way to move the UFC forward is by taking the high road. Lay off the hard-sell fight hyping, your cursing tirades, the cheesy advertising gimmicks, and think, "The Martial Arts mean respect." Then people outside the current UFC age bracket might want to take a closer look.

...In other words; reel in more fans by introducing some sophistication and superiority to your product.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

By MMA analyst Joseph Lupoli

I wonder if a creative MMA entrepreneur would want to make something of this idea...

The time has come to form a new organization that will actually represent and respect the martial arts and all who are involved. That’s right, a brutal competition which will not abide trash-talking by the fighters or organization CEOs.

There will be no greed, no backbiting, or crooked business ethics. And demonstrations of poor sportsmanship by the athletes or their corners will not be tolerated.

This new organization shall be called simply, The World Martial Arts Championships (WMAC). It will welcome both men and women competitors. All WMAC applicants must hold a first degree black belt or higher (or a red sash for Kung Fu) in at least one recognized martial arts discipline.

In order to compete, the athletes would be obliged to be sponsored by their dojo. The WMAC head referee must hold a master’s rank in at least one recognized martial arts discipline and all mat officials must hold a first-degree black belt or higher in one or more disciplines.

The athletes shall not be paid. They will compete to win the prestigious World Martial Arts Championships. Additional motivation may include competing for themselves, for support of their dojo, their students or instructors, and will be to show that their style of Martial Arts is the best—perhaps they'll want to test their skills for all of those reasons.

The WMAC will absorb the cost of the athlete’s transportation (from anywhere in the world), lodging and medical examinations. Here’s how the WMAC would work:

The WMAC shall be self-governed and detached from interference from the State Athletic Commissions. Similar to the original UFC's inception, its event format will consist of an open weight class, eight-man tournament. A random draw will determine the contestants initial match-ups.

To be declared champion, an athlete must win three consecutive single elimination fights in one event: the quarterfinal, semifinal, and final match. Alternates will be available to replace competitors in the event of injury. And that is where the parallel between the UFC and the WMAC ends.

Unlike the UFC's early regulation, alternates cannot be declared champions unless they are called to step in from the very beginning. However, they will receive an automatic bid to compete in the next event.

Also, if an athlete wins a fight but cannot continue to the next round due to injury, a "loss" will not be entered in his or her record. Instead, a "no contest" will be recorded. Should a match go the distance, five judges decide on the winner.

The WMAC regulations:

Fighting Surface

Different from the current MMA format, the World Martial Arts Championships won’t take place in a cage or a ring. They'll be no ropes to get tangled up in or a cage to be squished up against. Instead, the WMAC will use a circular mat, similar in looks to a freestyle wrestling mat—only much larger.

Ten feet inside the outer edge of the mat will be a circular blue line, and five feet closer to the edge will be a circular red line. These circles will act as borders. The fighters are not permitted outside of the blue line while engaging in stand-up, and they must stay within the red line while grappling.

Any competitor who crosses either line as a means of escape is subject to a yellow card. Two short black lines in the center of the mat are where the fighters stand behind to receive pre-fight instructions.

Athlete and Referee Attire

Each athlete must wear the full uniform representing the discipline in which they were trained. In the event a fighter holds black belts in multiple disciplines, they must select one on the same day as their pre-fight physical.

The head referee and the mat officials must also wear the uniform of their respective disciplines. The fighters are not permitted to wear gloves or hand-wraps, and shoes, pads or foot-wraps are not allowed. A mouthpiece and a cup are mandatory.

The WMAC rules are what will separate it from other Martial Arts Events. For instance, no hand strikes to the head achieve two things: This rule is necessary if interference by the States Athletic Commissions is to be prevented. The rule also avoids the need for gloves. It's not a tough-man contest.

However, knees to the head are permitted when both fighters are standing, and knees to the body are permitted from any position. Elbows to the head or body are permitted from any position.

(1) Each match shall be 20 minutes in length.

(2) No groin strikes, head-butting, biting, fish-hooking, or eye-gouging.

(3) No hand-strikes to the head, face, or neck, and no hand grips of any kind to the face or throat.

(4) Kicking to the head is permitted only when both fighters are standing. However, up-kicks are permitted from a downed fighter only if the opponent is standing and with no other limbs on the mat.

(5) Knee-strikes to the head or neck are not permitted when one or both fighters are in the down position.

(6) A yellow card will be given at the discretion of the referee as a warning for stalling or fouling. Three yellow cards result in immediate disqualification.

(7) A red card will be issued at the discretion of the referee for a flagrant foul that injures an opponent. A red card results in immediate disqualification.

Ways to end the match:

(1) Decision

(2) Knockout

(3) Referee stops the fight

(4) A fighter submits by tapping out on the mat or on his opponent, or verbally submits

(5) Disqualification

(6) Corner throws in the towel

(7) Doctor stops the fight

A big part of the WMAC is its simplicity. In comparison to the amount of rules and regulations incorporated by some mainstream MMA organizations, such as the UFC, (which has 31 rules and regulations), the WMAC would have less than half that number.

And since the athletes won't be paid or be forced to sign locked in contracts, the financial and commercial pressure to win will be virtually non-existent. Consequently, athlete steroid use loses its motive and appeal.

Naturally, mainstream MMA fighters would be welcome to try the WMAC. Of course, they would have to abide by the same rules and regulations as everyone else. And if an MMA fighter should be defeated, the loss will will not go on their record because the fight would be classified as an "exhibition match."

We know that the UFC won't permit their guys to compete elsewhere, but many other MMA organizations have no such restrictions. Who knows? Adventurous MMA fighters such as Fedor Emelianenko, Gabriel Gonzaga, Anderson Silva, Gegard Mousasi, or Alistair Overeem might find the lure of the WMAC just too intriguing to pass up.

Now, wouldn't that be compelling.


Copyright 2010 Joseph's corner.

Theme by
Blogger Template by Beta Templates.