My thoughts on Yamma: Digest Edition
In no particular order.....well...actually there is an order. First the bad, then the good.
- It was 1993 all over again! Idiotic commentators! The same giant headsets for said commentators! Excessive smoke machines for fighter entrances! Cheesy early 90's synthesized guitar background music! Home video quality camera footage! And a roster of fighters who for the most part were too out of shape to be fighting in any reputable organization! Oh sweet memories. All it needed was Royce fighting in a gi, and a Kimo + Crucifix walk-in, and I woulda been compelled to bust out my VHS player so I could tape it and show it to all my friends back at the Kempo dojo so we could talk about how we'd totally kill those clowns if it was a street fight.
- The Yamma itself: It FAILS. There is no other way to put it other than complete failure of an idea. A failed idea that COULD have been tested BEFORE they created an entire organization founded on this gimmick. They could have had fighters try it out and go, "ya know what....this is fucking stupid. We should just fight in a cage." Either that or just surround the Yamma with a croc-infested moat, and make the surface one giant slip n' slide. Every fight had some fighter trying to work some semblance of a clinch game, only to be backed up to the edge, where they promptly lose their footing and fall down. The edge doesn't keep the fight in a stand-up battle, it just makes them fall laughtastically to the mat, where they are now fighting for some half-mountish half-guardish position that no can capitalize on. I'd rather watch two blind dogs attempt to mate.
- The announcer. Someone choke him with his pack of Parliament lights and put him out of his misery. I don't know which was worse, the sound of his voice grating at my ears, or the vibrant red ring around the cage burning my eyes.
- The commentators. I don't know their names, so I'm gonna call them the names I made up as I watched the event; Donald Trump's stunt double, Quagmire, and of course, Dopey. Quagmire had some genius commentating throughout the whole night, which essentially constituted fighter bashing. Gems such as, in response to an attempted superman punch "I don't like that...jumping stuff" and in response to a fighter who had his back taken while standing, and was defending a suplex attempt "I don't respect a man who doesn't face his opponent."
Dopey was the best though. His constant bashing of the event itself was perfect, as he spoke my mind time and time again. Such brilliance like (and I paraphrase from memory) "Oleg Taktarov versus Mark Kerr! Now this is a fight that we all would have dreamed about, say 10 years ago. But does this fight really matter at all now?" Que the awkward silence from his co-commentator, and they earned a smile out of me.
- Oleg, you are better than this. Quit now, and never look back.
- Bob Meyrowitz held to his promise to bring back that "UFC 1 Tournament feel." I coulda swore that this whole thing was filmed as a failed UFC prototype in 1992. Reminded me of the Chappelle skit where Tupac's songs were played, for those who know what I'm talkin about.
- Seeing that fighter who tried to run up the edge of the Yamma to throw a big punch on Ricco Rodriguez was priceless. Good attempt to use the terrain to his advantage, only to overthrow himself, MISSING RICCO COMPLETELY, and then proceeded to spin in the air until he landed.....in Ricco's BACK MOUNT. That spot earned about 15 slow motion replays.
- Production was horrendous. Very UFC 1-like with the wrong stats being displayed on the tale of the tape, the camera's filming fighters who weren't being introduced or interviewed. Awkward segments of dead air. Luckily though I didn't experience that as much, since I recorded the event, and was able to fast forward through much of that.
The good that came with it? Was there any?....
- There was no booing in the crowd. They all seemed to be passionate fans (though probably the majority of those there were from the respective fighters training camps...).
- The fighters all came out swinging (even though some of them couldn't keep that up).
- Pat Smith actually looked pretty decent, especially so for a guy in his mid-40's.
- NO EARLY STOPPAGES. That is how fighting is supposed to look like. Maybe it's a Jersey and not a Yamma thing, but the refs let a few fights go on WAY LONGER than I've ever seen at any UFC event barring the first 5-10.
Butterbean getting pummeled on the ground for that amount of time, and it only ending because he made the conscious decision to tap out was quite refreshing. Travis Wiuff bloodying Chris Tuscherer, only to knock Chris to the ground (which I thought to be an instant KO by UFC standards) but seeing Chris permitted to continue to try and fight and get pounded on really got me interested to see how the fight would end. From what I've seen in the UFC lately, they are playing by Street Fighter/Tekken rules, where all you gotta do is hit the other person unanswered 4-6 times and suddenly you get a KO/TKO. Good to see in Jersey they let the fight go on, as long as it should go on. If you're still conscious you're still fighting.