Welcome to September. Summer’s basically over and good goddamn riddance. A man can only take so much sunshine, freedom, and Transformers before overexposure sets in and that man begins to yearn for the blazing sun to set upon all things extreme and Michael Bay that inevitably fail to live up to their impossible hype. The mellow months of fall have arrived and there was no better red carpet to be rolled out than the NOT UNENTERTAINING fight card of UFC 177. “But,” you might/probably/definitely say, “you’re clearly wrong, this is the bell that tolls for the UFC, and you obviously have no business speaking about MMA.” Well played, young asshat, but am I the only optimist that turned a shitshow event into a couple extra bucks on EASILY the easiest main card parlay of the year? Were there not literally dozens of wise fans throwing wads of crumpled and stained dollar bills at their computer screens trying to get in on this action? WAS I THE ONLY ONE WITH ANY SENSE/TOTAL LUCK?
Look, I want this sport to succeed as much as anyone. But I also love a shitshow. BUT I also try to not be reactionary because it’s not like this hasn’t happened before. Join me. Let’s revert our gaze back to a much (oh man, MUCH) simpler time and desperately grasp at a metaphor for our collective post-summer adrenaline dump while simultaneously and PERFECTLY comparing this past weekend’s shenanigans to an even more doomed event that occurred 20 years ago this month: UFC 3. Do I… Do I need to say more? Many things happened that night including (but sort of limited to) Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie both quitting MID TOURNAMENT due to medical issues. However, very importantly, we were given something way less memorable. Allow me to present my September hero: Harold Howard, the man who defeated Royce Gracie’s exhausted, dehydrated, and AWOL body only to lose to some guy who didn’t have as good of a YouTube highlight video:
So, after a bummer summer, when you’re feeling extra nihilist and a bit like Royce Gracie post-Kimo fight, just watch that video, smile a bit at those amazing front flip kicks of intimidation and hope, and remember that Jones vs. Cormier has been pushed to 2015 but at least the rest of that card, and the cards in September are pretty rad.