In order to fully enjoy Dynamite!! 2010, you needed to bask in the illusion that it was aired live on HDNet.
Television programs are time-delayed, hence that's where they obviously derive their name from. Shows are programmed in different time slots in order to yield the highest revenue from advertisers. That's why something like 'America's Next Top Model' will air at 9:00pm across the board on The CW network. It's a highly desirable slot that will hit their targeted demographic of -- young, insecure girls that have psychological issues with their body image, like every teenager at that age. We have no umbrage with this because the program is exactly that, a program. It's pre-taped, pre-packaged and above all else, prepared. Contestants are aware of the results of the show, but have signed contractual agreements to not disclose the information. If the contract is breached, the contestant usually has to pay a ridiculous fine and will ultimately be blacklisted from Hollywood all together. Now how and when did MMA adopt this same model?
Don't worry, you're not the only person that wasn't told that Dynamite!! 2010 was not going to be aired live on HDNet. We all thought it was. There was no warning nor was there a disclaimer on HDNet's part. The only thing we had was a vague tweet from Andrew Simon, the CEO of HDNet Fights' with the words 'Stay off Twitter, I'm out!' just minutes before Dynamite!! 2010 began. However, at least it was something. Things started to get a little eerie when the people at the event ceased twittering, including Esther Lin, Michael Schiavello, King Mo, Rampage Jackson, Andrew Simon, Tony Loiseleur, Daniel Herbertson and Frank Trigg just to name a few. However, there was one person who didn't abide by this unwritten rule. Perhaps she wanted to place an emphasis on how large of a Japanese MMA fan she really is. Someone on Twitter (who up to this point I've never heard of) called Brittany Decker blatantly did not follow suit and essentially gave live updates of Dynamite!! 2010 from the Saitama Super Arena. She chose to break this rule, and she undoubtedly received some flack for it. When someone tells you the result of an event, it's hard not to fulfill your desire to discover what it is. That's just basic human inquiry, you can't necessarily prevent it. It's instilled in our genetic code, and it's probably why our species has surpassed any other mammal on this planet. Our need to know has prevented us from being consumed by predators, has enabled us to come up with clever inventions to extend our life and increased our ability to endlessly reproduce on this planet. Is the above-mentioned person who published the results of the fights before it 'aired' in America really at fault? Of course she's not. She didn't control HDNet's decision to tape-delay the fights. Not at all. You can't get angry at someone for providing you with exclusive updates from an event you would have otherwise never been informed of in a timely manner.
So by default, the problem lies with HDNet. Or does it? Damn this caffeinated energy drink come-down. My attention span is congruent with a warm jar of mayonnaise right about now. There's a point in all of this, and it's that we need to collectively decide whether MMA is a sport or entertainment. If it's entertainment like -- World Series Poker, Robot Wars and Slamball, then tape delays are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. It's casual entertainment, and the need to watch these events live have little to no meaning. However, if we're going to pull the trigger and call MMA a sport, then dammit we need every single event live and make every instance of tape-delays a thing of antiquity. We wouldn't stand for having Game 7 of the NBA Finals on a two-hour tape-delay, and if it is, it loses some of the sport's integrity and ultimately, its authenticity. We've seen this phenom happen with nearly every major MMA organization including UFC, so I guess at some point in the timeline of the history of MMA, we've quietly agreed that it's entertainment. Perhaps it's not the world's fastest growing sport and merely the world's fastest growing form of entertainment.
Going with that model, then sites like Sherdog and people like Brittany Decker are completely in the wrong. It would be like publishing the results of the finale of Survivor well before it aired on television. Shame on them for treating MMA like a live sporting event. If the providers of the event refuse to treat MMA like a sport, then why should the people that cover it? Going forward, perhaps all MMA media should wait until an event has been aired in all designated tape-delayed time-zones before discussing it. That's the same formula entertainment and celebrity bloggers use when covering shows like 'Dancing with the Stars' and 'American Idol'. Has our 'sport' devolved to something like this? With every tape-delayed event that occurs, from Bellator to Sengoku, it seems like this is exponentially true.
HDNet has always been the supreme purveyor of everything MMA, but this morning, they pulled a fast one on us. Unless someone can find me a shred of evidence where they stated Dynamite!! 2010 would be tape-delayed instead of aired live, then that statement holds true. I'm not sure if they were obligated to tape-delay the event based on some forced agreement from FEG or TBS, the station in Japan that aired the event, but if this is the case, why settle for something as nonsensical as two hour tape-delay? What was the purpose? I'm still struggling to find meaning in all of this, and I'm sure a few of you are still agitated. Trust me, I sincerely feel your frustration. When an event like Dynamite!! 2010 is not aired live, it loses much of that je ne sais quoi. Your expectations are suddenly rendered empty when, instead of watching an event in all of its 1080p splendor, you're forced to read a person's 'live-blog' of the card in a textual description like it's some Dungeons and Dragons MUD. I guess the other side of the coin would be someone verbally slapping me over the head with: 'Well Zeus, at least we got to see it, tape-delayed or not. Without HDNet, we would have never been able to'. No way will I accept that excuse. If televisions were vehicles to transport MMA to the masses, then HDNet is undoubtedly the Bugatti Veyron of them. We expect nothing less from HDNet because we've been presented with only the greatest (and timely) product for years. Right now, that theoretical Bugatti Veyron looks like something like this, and it's depressing.
That's sure a lot to read without even getting to the Dynamite!! 2010 card which, of course, held up to every ounce of hype that was attached to it. We witnessed upsets, incredible knockouts, freakishly confusing moments, slick submissions and above all else severed and bloody ears.
Dynamite!! 2010 boasted a total of fourteen fights and one hell of a long intermission that forced a lot of you to pass out comfortably on your sofa. Don't worry, it happens. Not all of us are chiseled from a unique blend of caffeine, ginseng, vitamin B and taurine. The event opened up with Antonio Inoki walking around the Saitama Super Arena (being the legend that he truly is), and eventually painting a huge Japanese kanji with a massive brush. The fighters were announced on the stage by Lenne Hardt and the event was underway.
The card opened up with the welterweight bout of Andy Ologun vs. Katsuaki Furuki. After three rounds of seemingly equal exchanges, the judges awarded the unanimous decision to Andy Ologun, or as people affectionately (and accurately) called him: Akon. Next up was Little Hercules vs. Caol Uno. Miyata did exactly what we expected him to do, chain together a string of suplexes like the guy had a cheat code in Streets of Rage 2. Throughout the process, Miyata managed to wreck Caol Uno's face and by the end of the bout, it was clear that Little Hercules earned his unanimous decision.
Hideo Tokoro vs. Kazuhisa Watanabe was the third bout of the evening, and perhaps had the most number of attempted submissions from Tokoro. If you've never seen Kazuhisa Watanabe compete, the guy fights like he's forever trapped in a Grachan 5 YouTube promo video. It's as if he fights like a highly apathetic zombie that has a variety of other things he could be doing other than competing inside the confines of a ring. After nearly submitting Watanabe a number of times, Tokoro finally achieved his goal in the third round by placing Watanabe in a slick arm-bar in the third round. Then we had Minowman vs. Izumi -- and I'm sure a lot of you have voluntarily placed yourself on suicide watch.
Whatever inert powers the red Speedo and accompanying mullet had for Minowaman have apparently worn off. Perhaps he needs to recharge the red Speedo much like Green Lanterns across the universe need to recharge their ring of power after a long duration of making the impossible, possible. It was clear that Minowaman was not performing up to what we come to expect from the part-time pro-wrestler. As Michael Schiavello and Frank Trigg mentioned in the broadcast, on any other occasion Minowaman would usually dispose of Izumi within the first round and with some incredible heel hook. The planets were just not aligned for Minowaman this morning and he lost via TKO due to a flurry of punches in the third round, leading some to believe that his MMA career my finally be done.
Next up was a bout that was over before anyone had the chance to take their late-night Hot Pocket out of the microwave. After following Mizuno around the ring, Sergei Kharitonov managed to land some serious strikes including an uppercut that clearly rocked Tatsuya Mizuno. Kharitonov followed up with a knee and a pair of brutal strikes to his downed opponent to end the match at 1:25 in the first round via knockout.
Dynamite!! 2010's first K-1 bout was up and it featured Gegard Mousasi vs. Kyotaro, a fight far more competitive than most people thought. Despite getting dropped early in the second round and dazed for the duration of it, Kyotaro held on to his consciousness by literally holding on to Gegard Mousasi, forcing the referee to repeatedly break up the fight until the bell rung. Kyotaro found a way to even the score by landing a series of unanswered kicks on an extremely exhausted Gegard Mousasi to grab the final round. The fight went to the judges and Mousasi grabbed a unanimous 30-28, 29-28, 29-28 decision.
Thus far, Dynamite!! 2010 didn't have as many upsets as one would expect from a New Year's Eve card. Of course, that was all changed by the special rules bout of Shinya Aoki vs. Yuichiro Nagashima. First off, I want to make it clear that I don't think I will ever trust a guy that hasn't cross-dressed in their life in some capacity.Yuichiro 'Jienotsu' Nagashima, never lets me down. In his entrance, Jienotsu came out with a crew of scantily clad Japanese girls that resembled manga characters. I'm not sure how this entire cosplay thing works out, but in the end, Jienotsu appeared on stage rocking a blonde, pig-tailed wig and a plaid skirt, West Hollywood style. If looks could kill, Jienotsu would have been accused with the murder of over 45,000 human beings inside the Saitama Super Arena. The bout was ruled to be 'special rules' because the first round consisted of pure K-1, and the second (and much shorter round) was MMA. Gloves were touched in the beginning of the fight, and Shinya Aoki employed a tactic that some of you called extremely smart, while most of you probably proclaimed it to be absolute insanity. Aoki spent the duration of the first round clinching, running and throwing nutty drop kicks that would force him to spend time on the ground, and thus milk the clock. Granted, it worked perfectly. The second round, however, is something that will be placed in the annals of Japanese MMA history. By effectively surviving an entire round of K-1 stand-up, Shinya Aoki knew exactly what he had to do in the second round, which consisted entirely MMA. The only problem was Jienotsu was also aware of his game plan. The second round began, Shinya Aoki went for the take-down and was met with an extraordinary jumping right knee that sent Aoki directly to the canvas. Jienotsu followed up with a flurry of hammerfists, but Aoki was out colder than a tub of Häagen-Dazs (there, that's my Schiavelloism for today). Shinya Aoki was knocked-out, and remained on the mat while Yuichiro Nagashima celebrated in the arena like the school-girl he really is (don't worry, that's a high compliment). After the bout, Jienotsu got on the microphone and said something along the lines of 'Well, it looks like all of you better respect K-1'. No truer words have been uttered by someone who spends his weekends dressed like an imaginary anime princess.
The bout we all hoped for was finally here. Todd Duffee vs. Alistair Overeem. If goosebumps didn't invade your epidermal layer, then you probably were sound asleep on your futon by now. After an introduction promo that proclaimed Alistair Overeem's strength is 1 in 7,000,000 (prior to this morning, they claimed Fedor was 1 in 6,000,000), Ubereem made it to the ring to meet Todd Duffee in Dream's first heavyweight title match. The bell rung, and everyone watching Dynamite!! 2010 instantly went to the edge of their seat. Duffee rushed in to try to overwhelm Overeem, but was pushed away. A few strikes were landed by both fighters, and within nineteen seconds, Ubereem landed a vicious right hook that made Duffee collapse on the mat and nearly fall through the ropes. It was over. Then entity they call 'The Reem' just picked up his third active belt and then got on the microphone and uttered a lot of words in Japanese that few of us watching understood.
Jerome Le Banner vs. Satoshi Ishii was up next, a bout Will Smith may have called 'old and busted versus new hotness'. It was clear that the crowd was rooting for Jerome Le Banner throughout the fight. Satoshi Ishii used his judo to control most of the bout, but surprisingly, Jereome Le Banner reversed a lot of takedowns to land on top of Ishii and deliver some of his trademark ground-and-pound. However, this just wasn't enough for the judges to award the decision to Le Banner. When the score was read, it was met with loud booing from the crowd and Satoshi Ishii grabbed the unanimous decision over a guy that looks like an older, more rugged version of my next-door neighbor.
The next bout marked the second time this year we've witnessed an entire ear just fall off during an MMA bout (the first one happened here). Marius Zaromskis vs. Kazushi Sakuraba marked Zaromskis' first title defense since he acquired the welterweight belt in July 20th 2009. The fight began exactly how you would expect from someone named 'The Whitemare'. Zaromskis started the bout with a wild flying-kick that missed its target, but followed up with a few strikes that turned the switch on Sakuraba's faucet that was apparently connected to his ear. Blood poured out of Sakuraba's ear like there was a bomb threat in his inner-lobe and all of his blood cells were evacuating the premise. The fight was stopped to clean up the ear and resumed. After circling around for a bit, the fight was stopped once again to see exactly why there was so much blood oozing from his head. Sakuraba tried to cover up the cauliflowered ear with his hand, but the doctor quickly stepped in to stop the fight. It was over, and once again Marius Zaromskis was involved in another strange medical mishap of a fight.
Wicky vs. Tetsuya Yamato was the moment when I decided to naively 'rest my eyes', and frantically woke-up hours later. It happens to everyone, and this morning I was a victim to my own need to hear myself snore. You can find more detailed descriptions of the fight on Sherdog, but Akiyo Nishiura vs. Tetsuya Yamato was perhaps the fight of the night, despite it ending in a majority draw. MiddleEasy sponsored fighter Jason High grabbed the split-decision win over Mach Sakurai to break our streak of our sponsored fighters losing via incredible KOs. Kawajiri vs. Josh Thomson seemed to be another scrappy fight, but in the end, it was Kawajiri who received the unanimous nod. It's also important to note that in his introduction promo, Kawajiri was being introduced as Japanese MMA's poster-boy, not Aoki. In the final bout of the night, Takaya pulled off the upset over Bibiano Fernandes and became the new Dream featherweight champion.
Despite what happened with HDNet, this morning was wildly entertaining. This event marked the first time MiddleEasy used a live-chat feature, and if you made it in, a huge thumbs-up in your direction buddy. Prizes were handed out and hilarity ensued throughout the morning. 2010 was a great year for the entire MMA world and everyone at MiddleEasy wishes you the most superior 2011 that you can possibly have. Happy New Years!