R.I.P. Muhammed Ali

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The fastest hands of any heavyweight you’ve ever seen… The fastest feet of any heavyweight you could ever imagine… The quickest wit ever gifted a pugilistic combatant… More heart and determination than seems humanly possible… One of the toughest SOBs ever to walk the earth…  You see what happens when you start talking about Ali?  You can go on and on, forever and ever… That’s why we all just throw our arms in the air and call him “The Greatest”.

That said, this man can’t just be reduced to a boxer who punched people in the face for money.  He was a civil rights activist, a political activist, a social activist, a human rights advocate, a shining beacon of anti-establishment populism the world over.  Surely, you would be hard-pressed to find a human being in this world unfamiliar with his name or his message.

Perhaps best known was his conscientious objection to fighting in the vietnam war.  Ali faced incredible opposition and ridicule from every direction, including:  His government, the general populous, fans of the sport, as well as some of his own fellow rights activists.  He was even presented with the option to serve the military in an entertainment capacity to boost the morale of the troops.  Ali was disgusted, and he refused to submit to these external pressures, preferring instead to hold fast to his beliefs.  This led to him being arrested for draft-dodging, robbed of his title, his license to box, and his ability to earn a living.  A new battle arose for him to fight, this time inside a court room instead of a boxing ring.

After 4 years of delivering speeches in colleges all across the country, and the rising tide and blood and guts overseas, this iconic figure of counter-culture reform won his battle by clear knockout.  His conviction was overturned, and he was once again licensed to box professionally.  I think you’ll find that almost nobody even attempts to justify the action in Vietnam today, and it’s really easy to condemn that war in hindsight, but not quite so easy at the time when you’re coming under fire from all directions.  You were right champ, you were right.

On the topic of mixed martial arts that we all love here, Ali was involved in one of the earliest, highly publicized mixed martial arts contests that ever took place.  He faced Antonio Inoki in a special rules match that was watched by over a billion people worldwide.  The match did end up being a bit of a debacle, bit it was an historic moment none the less.

Always the warrior, Ali has battled against Parkinson’s disease for 32 years.  This degenerative neurological disorder slowly robbed Ali of his unparalleled physical dexterity, as well as his legendary verbal abilities.  Undeterred, this great champion refused to acquiesce, continuing his crusade of equality and reiterating his beliefs whenever the opportunity arose.  He was criticizing some of Donald Trump’s political rhetoric as early as December of last year. Sadly, he died yesterday at a Phoenix hospital while being treated for respiratory complications at 74 years of age.

This is a man who embodied courage in every way imaginable.  The thoughts and feelings he inspired are undeniable, his legacy indelible, he was…. “The Greatest”.  Far be it for me to try and look back at his life with any semblance of perspective or experience to try and relay his message… Let’s hear it from the man himself in his own words.

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-Muhammed Ali – “The Greatest of All Time”

Geek Talk MD Episode 17 Part 2 – BJJ MMA MO UFC

Some buddies of mine from back in the days have been doing a geeky podcast, and the topic of discussion was martial arts, so they asked me to join them to talk about it. This is basically a brief history of BJJ and the origins of the UFC. Many of you already know the story, but if you have some time to kill and need something to listen to during your cardio training, go ahead and give it a listen.

Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino Set to Fight at UFC 198


Wow, with all the back and forth negotiations for YEARS now (including a bizarre state of affairs including Tito Ortiz as a manager), Cris Cryborg is now set to make her debut at UFC 198 on May 14th in Curitiba, Brazil. The card includes pretty much all your favorite Brazilian fighters (sans Wanderlei of course) including: Werdum, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Jacare, Shogun, little Nog, Demian Maia, etc, etc…

While this is the perfect card for Cyborg to join, it still manages to confuse me. I’m not out here nitpicking these stories guys, this is legitimately another strange move by the UFC brass. Cyborg is the Invicta FC featherweight (145 lbs) champion, and the main reason that she didn’t get the call from the UFC to fight Ronda Rousey (apart from Tito’s shenanigans) was that she couldn’t make 135 pound bantamweight limit. Her opponent at UFC 198 is Leslie Smith, who is a current UFC bantamweight, but has fought at 125 lbs in the past. So here’s the thing, Cyborg STILL can’t make 135, so it will be a catch weight fight at 140 lbs.

Just to reiterate… Cris Cybrog (15-1) the Invicta 145 champion, is fighting Leslie Smith (8-6-1) an undersized bantamweight nowhere to be found on the top 15 rankings. Maybe they’re just giving her an easy fight to build her up right? sure, nothing strange about that, it happens all the time.. but! … She can’t make the weight! She herself has said she can’t make the weight, Tito said she will die if she tries, and her doctor said it would be very dangerous. Sooooo, does this mean her next fight will be a catch weight too? I know Miesha Tate said she would fight Cyborg at a catch weight, but does it make any sense to have a fighter on the roster who is incapable of fitting into any weight class offered by the promotion? I’m so confused…

What??? McGregor vs Diaz 2 for UFC 200?


I can’t believe this… I’m absolutely disgusted… My man Frankie Edgar is getting passed up for a title shot AGAIN, what is it now? 4 times? Undefeated in the past 3 years, with wins over: Charles Oliveira, BJ Penn, Cub Swanson, Urijah Faber and Chad Mendes. Not to mention that 3 of those wins are by way of stoppage with 3 performance of the night awards. But nah, screw Frankie, screw the title, screw the entire featherweight division…

Instead, let’s set up a rematch with Nate Diaz. Are they trying to find some kind of legitimacy here by having them meet at 155 lbs to find a #1 contender for Rafael dos Anjos? Nah, let’s have them fight at welterweight again for no apparent reason, which has no apparent ranking or title implications for anyone.

This is the perfect example of why me and many other fans have become disenchanted by the sport, or rather, the UFC in particular. With all Dana’s rhetoric about not going down the road that boxing did, that’s precisely what he’s doing. Let’s protect our golden goose from the real contenders and have him fight 2 weight classes higher, that way, it doesn’t even matter if he loses. It’s about money and absolutely nothing else. It’s a business, i get that, but can’t they just make a ton of money while retaining some semblance of legitimacy? Nope, legitimacy be damned, it’s money 100% at the cost of anything and everything.

On the plus side, it’s nice to see Mitrione is making the move to Bellator. It’s nice to see that Rory MacDonald is considering making the move over to Bellator. Who knows, maybe the whole UFC roster will move to Bellator and Dana can just have McGregor fight Rousey every weekend.

UFC 196: McGregor vs Diaz (Fight Video)