Jan 4, 2013

It's MMAzing's Favorite Memories of 2012

Happy New Year from the It's MMAzing crew
The sun has set on yet another year and as the old is put to rest, a new year with new beginnings, new opportunities is upon us.  Although when you woke up on January 1, 2013 nothing really changed from December 31, 2012 (considering the fiscal cliff was avoided, whew!), a new year is a symbolic time to reflect on the last 12 months. To think about where you were a year ago, the happy moments along with the hardships that we all encounter at some point in our lives. But here's the thing, although you may encounter some cuts, scrapes and generally get your ass kicked in the game of life sometimes, there's always something you should remember.  Chicks dig scars and they serve as a great teacher for the future. But that's enough of Philosopher Gooms

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, we now look at back the how great a year this was in the world of MMA by giving you each ItsMMAzing staff member's top two MMA (and one non-MMA) moments of the year. Just like last year we took a look at moments we enjoyed personally from the year of events. Hope you enjoy them.

The Yearlong shit storm otherwise known as Strikeforce
Image via Cagepotato.com

We all knew that when Strikeforce was bought by Zuffa that it’s days were numbered no matter what the powers that be told us. We all thought that at the very least Strikeforce would go out with a bang. Man were we wrong. When the UFC had to cancel a card in August it was a big deal as it should be. But leave it to Strikeforce to finally outdo the UFC by having to cancel not one event, but TWO events between August and the end of this year. Even the final card in a few weeks has been beset with card changes and is a shell of it's original form. This doesn’t make my list because I am a sadistic SOB who is sustained on the tears of newborns and puppies and loves the misery of others, but because these events marks the death in such a pathetic fashion of the UFC’s chief rival and biggest competition since PRIDE.  We don’t know if having a monopoly on the world’s greatest fighters is a good thing. We’ll find out in 2013. Lavender Gooms

Who says you can't hit a lady?
Overall 2012 wasn’t really the biggest and best year ever, but it still had it’s moments. For me the biggest MMA moment was finally seeing women get a shot in the UFC. Even though no women actually fought in the UFC in 2012, they did sign some and announced their first champion and match up. Women’s combat sports has always played runner up to men’s and while I don’t see that changing anytime soon I think it’s awesome they’re finally at least getting a shot in the biggest MMA organization in the world. It’s too bad that this is all happening solely because Ronda Rousey is incredibly marketable and not so much because women’s MMA is as big and interesting as mens. However, I hope in 2013 that people will watch and enjoy women’s MMA so much that they’ll continue to support it and that women’s MMA as a whole gets better and better. DJ Mark with a "K"
Image via Sherdog.com

World War Korean Zombie
Unfortunately a shoulder injury has so far set back what should have been the year of the Korean Zombie. Chan Sung Jung has always had a fan friendly style and nickname, but 2012 was the year that showed he might also just be a serious contender. Many wrote off Zombie's quick KO of Mark Hominick as lucky, but against Dustin Poirier, showed an evolving challenger to Jose Aldo's throne. Though it was his lone fight of the year, it was easily my pick for Fight of the Year as there were great moments of standup, slick takedowns, and a fight ending D'Arce choke. Cheers to 2013, when Zombie takes the throne. Kid Presentable

The Lauzon vs. Miller bloodbath

Fights like these make me wonder why everybody compiles their “Best of” lists before the year isn’t even finished. In case you missed it, the fight was originally supposed to be Gray Maynard taking on Joe Lauzon. This was a fight that all of us, especially Kid Presentable, were looking forward to. Sadly, “the Bully” hurt his knee and Jim Miller stepped in to take his place.

If you read my prediction for this fight, it made it sound like I thought Miller was on the downturn. Well I was f*cking wrong about that. In the first round he obliterated Joe Lauzon’s face with elbows. Lauzon ended up needing upwards of 40 stitches to close to cuts. Despite the assault, Lauzon didn’t quit. He kept fighting and made it through the entire 15 minutes. Lauzon also had a chance to win the fight with a diving heel hook that even Miller said was close. It was incredible display of heart and effort by both men. Doctor Law
Here's Lauzon the day after.

Return of Canada's GOAT
After a 17 month layoff that seemed like so much longer for the rest of us, Georges St-Pierre, everyone’s favorite Canadian stepped back into the ring to fight the interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. For so long GSP had the same invincible looking mystique that Anderson Silva and Jon Jones have. However coming off an extensive knee injury and facing the greatest challenge to his belt, GSP appeared possibly mortal to many. Whether it was the extensive ring rust and rehab of his knee or the skill of “The Natural Born Killer”, Georges had the greatest threat to his belt in a long time, nearly being knocked out in the second round. Displaying a grit and determination which he never had to show before, GSP dug deep, recovered and went on to win the fight. GSP was a champion’s champion already, this win just increased his legend. Depending on how his fight against Nick Diaz goes in March, one of my favorite moments for 2013 could very well be Diaz’s coronation or the possible Silva-St.Pierre superfight. Lavender Gooms

Anderson Silva Rises
2012 was the year that G.O.A.T. became a mega star in the sport. Sure he has been right at the top of the P4P fighter list for most of his career, but for some reason he just didn't quite connect, partially due to lack of big name competition, and partly due to lackadaisical performances within those fights. But in 2012 Anderson continued his run of must see fights, pulling off a devastating knee to a grounded opponent in his rematch with Chael,which to this day was one of the biggest fights in the history of the company. Anderson was among the select few as well that rocked the Nike sponsorship within the cage, and where Jones haters acquired a lot of fuel to hate on through the year, Anderson played the savior role on a fight card lacking star power. Another knee that rocked Stephen Bonnar into the fourth dimension later... and Anderson sits alone atop the world of must see, what will they do next athletes. Kid Presentable

It still counts as long as it's in 2012
My next favorite MMA moment happened so recently it’s pretty fresh, but it’s always one of my most enjoyable events every year. I’m of course talking about Japan’s New Years Event. This year was split in one part Dream and one part massive Glory Kickboxing tournament. Over the last few years it’s become a tradition of mine to watch this event live the night before New Years Eve. Every year it seems less and less likely we’ll get these events so every year that it happens it means a lot to me. This year’s event wasn’t the biggest but I personally really missed watching Dream so it was a welcome change from my average MMA viewing of 2012. I really hope Japan can find its MMA market again because without it the sport just doesn’t feel the same to me. DJ Mark with a "K"

Pat Barry’s emotional post-fight speech after knocking out Shane del Rosario
This one happened just a few weeks ago. Let’s not dismiss what happened during the fight. Pat Barry spent the entire first round avoiding various submissions by del Rosario. The second round started and Barry just started teeing off on poor del Rosario. He finished him off with a thunderous right hook.

After the fight Barry started stomping around the cage, half-looking like he was about to cry and half-mean mugging. You see, this fight happened after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hooks Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. Barry spoke with Joe Rogan afterwards and he was very emotional (skip to 1:48 for comments). His words about the shooting and the need for everybody to hug their loved ones were great to hear. We were all feeling the same things at the time (unless you lack a soul).

Also, everyone here at ItsMMAzing.com would like to extend our condolences to those affected by the tragedy as well as send our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. Doctor Law

Moments in our personal lives we thought were pretty awesome

Your boy had some nice moments this year (getting admitted to practice law in the great state of New York was pretty cool). But let’s be serious, it’s all about fantasy football baby! With draft savvy and rugged good looks, your favorite MMA blogger’s fantasy football team “Screw Game Time It’s Prime Time” captured his first fantasy league championship, beating Kid Presentable’s team “I believe in Chael Sonnen”. Why did this make my top moments? For anyone that knows me they know I have had HORRIBLE luck in fantasy playoffs.  To put it in MMA terms, I was like the Kenny Florian of fantasy sports, good, consistent and always a contender, but would always shit the bed when it mattered most. I could have very well have gone on a murder rampage if I didn’t win this time. So it was in everyone’s best interest that I won. Lavender Gooms
Wire to wire dominance all season

You'll never be too old for a great video game
Best non MMA event means I’m going to talk about video games and easily the biggest story of 2012 was the amazing Walking Dead game from TellTale Games. The great thing about video games is that they can be so many different things to so many different people. Some play them in short burst while sitting on the bus or in the can at work, and others devote hours upon hours leveling up characters on online games. For me, I’m always looking for games that try to push the boundaries of story telling because I feel that’s one area that is lacking in most games and could be a lot better. The Walking Dead tells an emotional story that’s near impossible not to get invested in. After the second chapter it’s hard to not feel an emotional connection to the characters. I also love how TellTale was able to deliver on their promise to release each episode in a one/two month span. I think the crew over there did a fantastic job and I hope everyone even slightly interested in this game gets a chance to experience it. More so I’m very excited to see how the Last of Us turns out because I feel that they could create just as compelling story as the Walking Dead but also actually have some real gameplay, something that the Walking Dead is seriously lacking. DJ Mark with a "K"

Summer Olympics 2012
Due to my sister, I was afforded a rare opportunity to attend several events at this years summer Olympics. Say what you will about attendance numbers and faulty TV coverage, but being decked out in the red, white, and blue for 5 consecutive days chanting "USA!" at every given opportunity, is a memory I won't soon forget. I am able to say I saw all time great Olympians like Michael Phelps compete and bring home the gold. Making this trip even sweeter is that the Olympic tour was followed up my two of my best friends joining me for Euro trip 2012. Great times. Rio de Janeiro 2014 here we come. Kid Presentable

Obama and Math stand victorious
Election Day was pretty great for those of us who like watching idiots try to explain themselves. I’m not even going to get into the politics of it (but in case you were curious where I stand: non-European, non-religious, lawyer born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area…so take a guess).

The news coverage during election years is always pretty bad, but this time it was exceptionally sh*tty. The narrative they kept pushing was that this was going to be a very close election and that President Obama and Governor Romney were neck and neck. This was incredibly false. I’m going to let you guys in on this new way of looking at numbers. It’s called statistics.
Image via harvardsportsanalysts.com
Oh…you know what statistics are? You’re wondering how it is possible that people don’t know what statistics are. Well let me tell you…CNN, MSNBC and Fox News had no f*cking idea. They managed to fill months and months of news coverage with a bunch of people who had no idea what they were talking about. It was incredible. Everybody should know this by now, but Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com is genius. You know why he gets sh*t right? He understands numbers. I know…it’s amazing.

So come election night, I sat next to my very nervous father and watched what I knew was going to happen, happen. Obama laid an ass whooping on Romney. The news channels tried to act like this was some sort of surprise, but it wasn’t for people who get their news from places that don’t have their heads up their asses. So here’s the lesson folks: if you want someone to analyze numbers for you, check their credentials. Doctor Law

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