Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m bad at these intros so please just skip this and dive straight into the pre-fight guide I have lovingly made just for you.
Anderson Silva and Pets in Hats: An Exploration of Meaning
After three days of deep reflection and exhaustive research, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that I am not likely to become a spirited young queen who uses her vigor and whimsy to help a small European nation break with their musty traditions and blossom as an unlikely progressive power. Also, and perhaps more relevantly to this write-up, I have realized there is not a single thing left on this planet to be said or even thought about Anderson Silva.
All of the takes have been taken. All of the words have been written. All of the “Still the GOAT” comments have met their “But steroids” rebuttals. So, as much as I would love to go right ahead and start yet another riveting conversation about whether or not he really is going to retire after his main-event fight with Uriah Hall on Saturday, I’m going to keep it simple.
Anderson Silva has done some awesome things as a fighter. He’s also some not-so-awesome things. He’s amazed us, and he’s disappointed us, he’s WTF’d us and he’s even bored us on a few occasions. He’s had a long, accomplished, weird, eventful career that seems almost made-up when you think about it. Except we know it wasn’t, because we got to witness basically all of it. Whether Saturday really is the end or not, it’s been one hell of a ride.
There is an infinity of content now available dissecting Silva’s legacy, from Combate’s outstanding series to this brilliant piece by MMAFighting’s Guilherme Cruz. There’s even some of my own thoughts, I might add, if you’re so inclined.
For now, though, I shall celebrate Silva’s complicated legacy the best way I know how:
With extremely blessed images of pets wearing silly hats.
Lest we forget
While there’s something to be said for being part of such a legendary history, Hall did end up getting a bit of a raw deal when it comes to pre-fight attention.
So I saved him a special pet in a silly hat.
Also, let it be noted that Hall is coming off two solid wins and is very much alive in the division. While “The Spider” is not exactly in his prime, or even among the UFC’s Top-15-ranked middleweights, he’s still a gifted striker who can both make this a big moment for Hall and leverage him into title-adjacent conversations.
Camo we move on? (I’ll see myself out)
OK, so maybe we do live in a broken planet that is literally melting as prominent world leaders spend their time and resources stoking racial tensions and making rich people richer. And, yeah, maybe some of those world leaders are actual fascists. And, sure, maybe we are dealing with the most basic science denialism, and human rights retrogressions, and literal rat-filled pits.
But, you know, it’s nice to know at least some of the issues of our time are being addressed.
— danawhite (@danawhite) October 27, 2020
If you’re thinking, “OK, there’s no way we are celebrating a pair of shorts. I’m sure there’s some bigger meaning that I’m missing and I need some context to really connect with the issue on a more profound level,” you happen to be in luck. The UFC, it turns out, made a whole video to show why Bryce Mitchell’s relentless campaigning wasn’t just about the shorts.
(SPOILER ALERT: It’s still… Kinda about shorts?)
“It’s not just a pair of shorts…”
— UFC (@ufc) October 28, 2020
If you remain unmoved, though, here’s how this piece of news affects you directly: Should Mitchell win his co-main event meeting with Andre Fili, we won’t have to hear any shorts-related pleas in his post-fight speech.
So I guess it’s a win for everyone, except for maybe Mitchell’s natural predators.
With that settled…
My own longstanding and arguably unreasonable beef with the shorts aside, this also happens to be a superb fight. An exciting and submission-savvy prospect, Mitchell has a chance to go 5-0 in the UFC and prove himself against a gritty and established opponent in Fili — who, for his part, has a chance to stop breaking our goddamn hearts.
Despite being one of the top featherweight talents for years, Fili has never been able to string more than two consecutive octagon wins together. And while that hasn’t really affected his standings in the One True And Absolute Rankings System (my heart), the 30-year-old might not have a lot of time left if he wants to make his case as a serious contender in a serious division.
The good news is that, no matter what happens, we’re all going to be freed from our decaying flesh prisons some day.
Greene for the Weene (I’m on fire today, aren’t I)
After months of confusion over the UFC’s incomprehensibly weird idea to sign Greg Hardy, I have developed a theory.
While taking on a universally disliked character with very little fighting experience and apparent no basic knowledge of what an MMA fight entails didn’t really seem like the smartest business choice, I now believe they were playing the long game. If the idea was to actually get us to embrace Hardy, don’t you think they would have at least acknowledged the issue? Or asked him to display some kind of remorse or regret? Or, you know, maybe refrained from repeatedly giving him top card placement over more established and popular fighters? But, see, that’s the thing — this was never about getting fans to actually like Hardy, was it?
This was about getting fans to like every single one of his opponents instead.
It’s genius, really, when you think about it. I mean, why waste resources building a single fighter when you can just get instant fan bases for an entire division?
In this case, though, I’d argue the ruse was not needed. After all, Hardy is now scheduled to fight none other than Maurice Greene, who has long taken over our hearts with his kind eyes, wholesome social media presence, and, of course, the most gloriously off-brand side hustle a UFC heavyweight could possibly have. The fact that “The Crochet Boss” (*chef’s kiss*) is coming off one of the weirdest submission wins in the very weird history of a very weird division only helps add to the mystique of a man who defies all stereotypes.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying (about understanding Bobby Green) and Love (Bobby Green)
Between his instagram videos, post-fight speeches and recent political stances, I have long stopped trying to make sense of Bobby Green’s personality.
And, honestly, I am better for it.
The way I see it, Green’s ability to carry us through the entire spectrum of human emotion within a 30-minute span is actually a gift, and should be celebrated as such. Warts — or mid-pandemic spit cloud — and all.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 2, 2020
Besides, there’s something to be said about the universe’s ability to balance itself out. Should you find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of “King” Green, consider indulging in the profound chill-ness of Thiago Moises. A soft-spoken American Top Team product from Brazil, Moises seems to face the whole concept of human bodies being battered and bent into unnatural positions with a tranquility that is both admirable and low-key terrifying.
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🇧🇷Faça o que te faz feliz, a vida é muito curta para você não viver os seus sonhos. O que te faz colocar um sorriso no rosto ?? 🇺🇸Do what makes you happy, life is too short to live without following your dreams. What makes you put a smile on your face ?? . . . . . . . . #mma #ufc #bjj #fitness #fitnessmotivation #motivation #happy #smile #brazilianjiujitsu #jiujitsu #jiujitsulifestyle #hardwork #win #victory #champion #mindset #nobodycaresworkharder #muaythai #kickboxing #boxing #wrestling #flograppling #flowrestling
At 34, Greene looks to continue his career resurgence after a streak of solid wins over Clay Guida, Lando Vannata and Alan Patrick, while 25-year-old Moises looks to untie a 2-2 UFC record and probably be super nice about it.
Speaking of *a lot*
Forget everything you know about bad luck
Let’s review Priscila Cachoeira’s UFC road.
Cachoeira first came into the promotion in Feb. 2018, when she was served as flyweight bait to the T-800 model that currently wears Valentina Shevchenko’s skin. We knew it wasn’t going to be pretty, but our terrible expectations were somehow surpassed in what can gently be described as a polite mauling. A merciful second-round submission ended our pain, but not Cachoeira’s; after busting her knee in the first few seconds of the fight, she would go on the need surgery. The recovery wasn’t easy, especially with the entire internet keeping the memory of the night alive, but Cachoeira eventually found the support she needed and was on her way back to health until, well, she very much wasn’t.
About four months in, Cachoeira was hit with a bad bout of dengue – not just any dengue, mind you, but the hemorrhaging type. Apart from sending her on a week-long trip to the hospital to control her dangerously low platelets, the illness also sent her recovery back, and Cachoeira had to be talked out of quitting MMA by her coach.
Still, Cachoeira persevered, making her triumphant return a little more than a year after the fateful Shevchenko fight.
Unfortunately, she lost.
Then she lost again.
Then she got flagged by USADA for a diuretic.
In a rare moment of cosmic reprieve, though, USADA believed Cachoeira’s explanation that she’d had a crisis of high blood pressure and had to take some of her mom’s medicine to get it under control. She got only a retroactive four-month suspension before being allowed to return to the cage.
And then she did this.
— Connoisseur of Combat (@ConOfCombat) February 22, 2020
I was seriously prepared to end this on a positive note, adding that “Pedrita” also made an extra 50,000 dollars for her first UFC win. But little did I know that this was a Shonda Rhimes script. As it turns out, Cachoeira had to put her camp for Saturday’s meeting with Cortney Casey on hold after dealing with both dengue and COVID-19. Speaking to AG Fight, Cachoeira said she got really sick and was only able to get back to training about a couple of weeks ago, which… Doesn’t sound ideal.
And if you’re already thinking of Charlize for the movie, take a second to consider that I didn’t even touch on all the terrible shit that happened before Cachoeira even made it to the UFC.
I almost feel bad introducing Casey after all of this, but thankfully I’m dead inside.
Also, Casey is interesting in her own right. After dealing with her own share of bad octagon luck, with a string of odd split decisions and some commission-related weirdness, Casey boasts an irregular record that really doesn’t do her toughness justice. This will be her third bout as a flyweight, after years of inexplicably shrinking her five-foot-seven frame — and all that long, luscious, luxurious hair — into 115 pounds. Casey also happens to be part of an MMA power couple with Drakkar Klose, and somehow every one of their pictures makes me feel both inclined to start a family and resigned to my lonely fate as a misshapen garden troll with inadequate teeth.
P.S: Minutes before I was set to submit this, the fight was called off after Cachoeira needed to be hospitalized. No, I am not making this up. Wishing Cachoeira a speedy recovery and for things to stop sucking for like five seconds.