Whew, what a nutty year that 2013 was. Quite frankly I’m happy it’s over. There’s just something about a year ending in the number ’13’ that is unsettling. It was the first year since 2000 in which Fedor Emelianenko didn’t compete in MMA. Georges St. Pierre relinquished his UFC welterweight title in order to actually have a social life. Alistair Overeem received two consecutive losses, making it the first time he was defeated since 2007. Nick Diaz retired from the sport, and Anderson Silva — man. A lot of MMA gods were slain or made virtually irrelevant in 2013. People call it a ‘changing of the guard’ but if you’re a true MMA fan, you ended this year with a void in your soul.
The problem with MMA is not that it’s changing. In fact the future of the sport changes with each event, regardless of if it’s smoker in Wisconsin or a UFC PPV in Las Vegas. Change is good in a sport that has a relatively small demographic. The problem that I’ve seen with MMA is that it’s being homogenized. MMA is being filtered through UFC, which creates a product that is dictated, replicated, and envisioned by ZUFFA. There is no alternative anymore. Gone are the days of Strikeforce, EliteXC, Bodog, Pride FC, DREAM, ProElite, Affliction, IFL, Sengoku, Cage Rage — the list is virtually endless. Some would say these organizations collapsed due to poor management or shady business practices. Well that can be said for a few, undoubtedly. However when a struggling organization has to deal with a goliath entity known as UFC that will stop at nothing to counterprogram their broadcast, things get tough.
So what we have left in the form of an MMA alternative is Bellator and ONE FC. With Bellator, 2013 hasn’t been their luckiest year. In fact we should give props to Viacom for even continuing with Bellator after their gargantuan PPV card was halted due to a last-minute injury from Tito Ortiz. It was a giant blow to the promotion, and fortunately the company has recovered from it. With ONE FC, we’re already seeing UFC creeping into their territory with the intent to completely conquer Asia by the beginning of 2015. The first UFC event in Singapore is going down in just a few days, and the promotion is even establishing a headquarters directly in Singapore, ONE FC’s territory. UFC also has plans to visit Asia six times in 2014, and with a TUF China show airing, they’re on track to take over Asia. But does UFC really want to invade Asia, or is it just an attempt to shut down their competition of ONE FC? I guess we’ll find out a little bit more in the new year.
For MiddleEasy, 2013 has been pretty interesting to say the last. We’ve gone from a strictly MMA format to a site that handles various forms of entertainment, gaming, all forms of fighting, as well as science. We’ve also implemented a revolutionary site design that we will be sticking with until at least 2016. I know many of you missed the old yellow MiddleEasy, but trust us when we say this new site design is much more versatile. We’ve only started to dip into what this site is capable of. MiddleEasy has also added new writers to the staff to help with our expanding content, and we’re looking to add a few more in 2014.
It’s been a fun year, and we take all of your commentary on the site in stride — yes, even the negative ones. I’m not even sure how many pairs of nuts we’re hanging off going into 2014, but it’s more than I can count.
The most important thing we can tell you to do is keep reading MiddleEasy. Even the people that say they won’t read MiddleEasy anymore, you guys still read it. Thanks.
Everyone be friggin’ safe out there. That’s really our only wish going into 2014. Don’t die, we need your page views. Also, we established a pretty kick ass forum for all of you to talk on — so use it! Seriously, we really wish you guys would use the MiddleEasy Boards more. It was constructed for you!
There’s more that I would like to tell you guys, but it’s 8:04pm here in Hollywood, CA and I have some partying to do. Thank you for being a fan of MiddleEasy, there’s way more fun to be had in 2014.