Tag Archives: MMA

Journal of the Emerald Specter 55: The Actual Journey

I have returned to talk about a plethora of topics, or at least that is the intention laid out in front of me. I have to touch on certain things, I want to touch on other things, and I am fairly hungry as I write this… so that will be fun. Why does my appetite matter? Well, I can get distracted easily.

What about just getting going with the column? Ok… 

Coming out of the “summer” TV season, I wanted to talk about a few things that my wife and I have been watching as well as what we’re looking forward to getting into for the fall season.

If you aren’t watching GLOW on Netflix, then you’re just plain missing out. One of the best things I’ve enjoyed is, while I never watched GLOW when the company was actively on in the 80s, watching a few episodes and then watching a YouTube video of one of their actually produced events is an eye opening experience. Terrible, but eye opening. I recommend you give GLOW on Netflix a chance, I think that the building of this company is interesting and a great watch.

Game of Thrones season 7 has ended and there is only one season left. If you haven’t watched the latest season, then you’ll want to skip to the next section of this column (or at least the next paragraph). Where we left our characters in the finale, I don’t understand why a little bit of humility on the part of Jon Snow (Aegon Targaryen) will go a long way when he learns who he really is, considering he was “giving the sword” to Daenerys as someone who has “bent the knee,” but actually is the heir to the Iron Throne. I don’t know why lineage matters with all we’ve been through because the removal of the Mad King should have removed the line of succession completely.

Defenders (as well as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist) series on Netflix continue to rock. I think Defenders ran a little weird as far as pacing but ended fairly decently. The character of Danny Rand just seems completely out of touch with what actually needs to happen and that is a little disappointing.

Things that are coming back on that I’m amped to get back into: Agents of SHIELD (as well as the Inhumans TV show coming out, too), Star Trek Discovery (which isn’t “coming back,” it’s bringing Star Trek back… and I’m hoping it IS a reboot, because the franchise really needs it), Westworld (well, it’s coming back next year, but I’m still waiting anxiously), and those are just some of the “big shows” making a comeback.

I can’t wait!

The Aki Basho starts on Sunday and since I’ve been following as closely as I have, this will be the first Basho that has the potential to really not be as exciting as the past shows.

Hakuho, the best in the world right now, may not be up to full health… Kisenosato and Kakuryu might be out due to health issues. Ura is in a need to sit out early, and for the love of Pete, that is a lot of the talent to be following sitting out if they either don’t show up or bow out early.

I’ve wondered if Hakuho would retire once he set the all time win record (which he did last Basho) but he appears to be continuing on. He is really going to bury that record, I guess. If he’s healthy enough to keep going, I hope he keeps going, but I am interested in seeing how his absence would be filled once he leaves (as with any top tier competitor in a sport).

Kisenosato and Kakuryu need to rest. I really want to see Kisenosato compete fully healthy because I think he’s the next best thing to Hakuho. Harumafuji has made a statement as of late but if Kisenosato is up and running, I think he’s really the next best thing in modern sumo.

Ura, the “biggest thing since sliced bread” rikishi, also needs to heal up. He popped into the top division and made a big splash and I think he’s honestly going to be an Ozeki a lot faster than we’ve seen in the past, but he needs to be healthy in order to perform. Ishiura is almost as good as Ura but we’ve already seen the holes in his technique, so he has a lot to work on.

All in all, Sunday starts the Basho and I’ll be watching. If I had a means of putting money towards watching this in a high quality, I’d PAY FOR IT, but sumo outside of Japan seems to be nearly impossible to accomplish. Really, though, take my money.

A couple of months ago, I made an offer to my wife that has resulted in my trips to the theater descending exponentially. I ordered to not go to every single Marvel Studios movie (like we had been) and we haven’t been to a movie since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. When Spider-Man: Homecoming comes out on iTunes, I’ll buy it (like I did with every other Marvel Studios “Phase” movie). That will be the first time I see it.

I decided a long time ago that I don’t care about spoilers. Movies, when spoiled, become a “I want to see how they got there” rather than a “I want to see what happens” thing.

More to the point, though, not going to the theater has saved me a sum of money already and looks to be giving me a chance to go to a different type of movie from here on out. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 30th Anniversary theater run is coming up (starting next Sunday) and I am going to see it. I love that movie, I can almost quote the whole thing from start to finish, and it’ll be something that is different than superheroes.

My wife has complained in the past that I choose all the movies, and going to more than just superhero movies is too many times at the theater. She’s now got the chance to name her choices and we’ll see what we end up going to, which so far isn’t anything. I’m sure something will pop up but nothing so far.

Jon Jones loses his championship due to drugs. He comes back, almost fights DC for the belt and gets suspended for drugs. He comes back, beats DC to regain his championship, and gets stripped for drugs.

When is Jones going to get the hint to stop doing drugs? When is the UFC going to stop allowing him back in because he’s always on drugs?

Over the course of the last few months, I’ve been longing for a few “lady fights.” UFC can have 7 events completely scheduled out and of the potential 77 fights, they’ve only got 3 lady fights. There are a lot of women on the UFC roster, so why aren’t they fighting more often?

I understand that I’m a rare breed, wanting to see the women fighting where most people just want to watch the men, but for the love of Pete, why have women’s divisions if you aren’t going to have at least 30 fights a year? You’ve got 3 divisions, start ramping UP your women fights instead of “treading water.”

The men’s fights are starting to get “watered down,” so if you’re going to tout them as the main attraction, start giving me bigger matchups. When was the last time the UFC Heavyweight Championship was defended? I can’t even tell you.

I’m going to be podcasting a little about BuJoRPG2 but writing about if more often than not. If you only get your information from one source, it’ll be in written form. I can reach a larger audience that way, though the upcoming Specter Show (episode 32) talks all about BuJoRPG2. Check it out.

I’m going to be out in the open about my developing B2, so hopefully the feedback starts coming to me as I start releasing and developing this further.

Listen to that episode, it’ll explain more and what the plan actually is from here on out.

Serial fiction report: I have started a mind map of what needs to happen.

Wait, what?

A mind map is basically a visual representation of what needs to happen, who is involved, where things are going, and helps cohesively put together the story I’m trying to tell. I have three main characters we’re following, I’ve shifted the focus to different parts of the world (as opposed to being stuck in my initial location, which I completely biffed) and help me plan out the future.

Initially, I had all three of my characters stuck on an island. This time, three of the characters start on the island but two of them immediately move to different areas of the world so I can expand the rest of this world for you. I’ve even done a few more things based on what Game of Thrones did, to properly set you up (as the reader) for what is going to happen down the line.

Yeah, I’m referencing one of the best TV series of our time for my serial fiction.

This mind map is almost complete for “season 1,” then I’ll rewrite episode one and start working my way into the next episodes… which I’ll also be developing “season 2” and expanding the character focus from three to five or six (which will have you going in more directions, learning more about the world, and really getting the gist of what is possible in this series).

I just need to write this damn thing, too. Not having a goal in mind really is what has been holding me up.

There is a podcast that will be created in reference to my Masonic research (no, I am not a Freemason) but it isn’t anywhere near ready, yet. It’ll be a longer form than the Specter Show or Greatest Show, but hopefully you’ll be as interested in it as you are in the other two shows. I also think the show will be monthly, no more often than that, because of the research and write up that needs to go into producing it.

I said I want to write the comic book of my dreams and I’m still not ready to do that. I want to try this mind map serial fiction and if that works I’ll see what I can do with a “second project.”

Thank you for reading and see you next week.

Journal of the Emerald Specter 51: Battles and BuJoRPG

Another Journal entry is being made and you’re here to read it, for which I am thankful. There is another dose of this and that, with some larger pieces of the puzzle being more prominent, I’ll still be covering a plethora of topics.

As a note, I’ve seen my traffic dip even further down. I knew that things would taper off but I was hoping that some would come here to see all kinds of stuff, not just come here for a singular purpose. I’ve got a lot of interests and I guess I was hoping that there would be “something” that would keep readers coming back. Maybe what is contained within this article will help with that, at least in a couple of the subjects.

I’m starting out with the one thing that has kind of dominated my week. As I write this, I’ve dove deep into the game to get my mind working in the direction I need in order to grow my chess.com rating from the meager “mid-1100s” and back into growth. I’d like to be back up to the “mid-1200s” pushing to get over the 1300 hump again, and that means playing games and studying.

I’ve joined a number of chess clubs on chess.com, some of which were because I was looking for regular players to play against (without the randomness of just opening up a game). This includes my continued membership in the Team USA, US Veterans Chess, and Team USA: Northwest groups. I’ve added World League, Chess.com Chess League, Rose City Chess, Chess.com iOS Club, Knights of the Square Table, Knightmares Finest Chess, Chess.com League, and the PRO Chess League.

That last one is the one I’d like to expand this article into… a little history needs to be dropped, first.

In 2005, the United States Chess League (USCL) was formed to be a United States “nationwide” organization for team chess play. The league expanded over the course of 11 years to include 20 teams, running in a similar fashion to the other sports leagues of the United States.

I say 11 years because in 2016, the USCL announced a change to include the entire world worth of teams, and changed its name to the Professional Rapid Online Chess League, or PRO Chess League.

In 2017, the PRO Chess League ran 48 teams through a seven week chess season, ending in a five week playoff season to crown the St. Louis Arch Bishops the 2017 PRO Chess League Champions. The biggest development in the PRO Chess League over the USCL was the inclusion of some of the biggest names in chess today competing, including World Champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway Gnomes), Wesley So (St. Louis Arch Bishops), Hikaru Nakamura (Miami Champions), and Fabiano Carauna (Montreal ChessBrahs).

The 2018 season is going to be organized in a different fashion due to the confusion of having 48 teams. There will only be 32 teams for this second season, 24 automatically qualify to participate, and the other 24 will battle for their chance (along with any new teams that may spring up) to be one of the final 12 teams to compete in the 2018 season proper. This is as close to a “promotion/relegation” system that PRO Chess League will get, though I will be very interested to see how this format works.

Along with the analysis of my own personal games through this column (perhaps a separate column in the future), I have approached someone about being a co-host on a PRO Chess League podcast. Depending upon how that contact works out, I would be interested in making the podcast the “official” podcast, then be able to have access to official video, commentary, and interviews with the stars of the league.

If this approach ends up not panning out, I’ll still attempt to do what I’ve stated above, just as a solo host, and I’ll still try to get the podcast labeled official. The thing I lose without the co-host is the analysis of someone who knows what they’re doing at a much greater level.

I do have other option, I just really want to work with this person.

No game to analyze this time, I have several games going at the moment and I’ve earmarked a specific game for analysis (which, as I write this, is still underway). Stay tuned.

I haven’t been into the UFC as much this year as I have in the past. There was a long run of the past four or five years where I was actively watching matches, following certain fighters, and making sure that UFC was “appointment viewing.”

In 2017, I’ve only watched two UFC events and I’m a little sad about that.

Writing about the UFC is something I enjoyed doing, following the UFC has been much more interesting than following boxing (for fans of mine who don’t know my history with boxing, I used to be a devout follower of the sport… until hugging and terrible matchups started ruining the experience). I want to dedicate myself to at least commenting on the UFC a little as I work my way back to following the big fights and upcoming superstars.

So, onto a little commentary…

UFC 214 was a nice way to break back into the UFC for me, allowing me to see some of the best fights in a while. Cyborg beat the hell out of an undeserving Tonya Evinger (I have a column about my disgust with her shell of a victory in Invicta over an opponent by the Missouri Sports Commission rather than getting it done in the ring)… good job Cyborg. Woodley defeated Maia in a match that was mostly boos by the crowd but I understand why that one turned out the way it did. Finally, the main event of the evening was the much anticipated rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, something that has been scheduled at least twice before but failed to happen. This will be the focus of this segment.

Despite seeing what Cormier has done against opponents as the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, I really considered Jon Jones the champion since he never lost the belt… he was stripped of the belt. Having no Jones in the UFC has been an experience that I don’t want to experience again… but the problem was Jones’ inability to stay clean or out of trouble, which is all up to the man I considered the champion going into this fight. The closer this fight came to happening, the more I worried that one of these guys wouldn’t be able to fight due to an injury, something that has happened to Cormier a lot in his reign.

With the win of Jones to regain his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, we return to the situation we were in before Jones started having “out of ring” issues. I look forward to seeing what else Jones can do now that he’s back with gold around his waist.

The event, overall, was epic.

The biggest traffic getter on EmeraldSpecter.com is, by far, the BuJoRPG that I released. I continue to test, expand, and bullet journal. The traffic drop off that has been steadily declining is the traffic coming to the site for bullet journaling specifically. I can’t argue that I made a good move developing the BuJoRPG, but I’d like to keep the hits coming…

Testing and development in the BuJoRPG system has been changed in a slight way. If I tested the way that I tested the first time, you wouldn’t see another BuJoRPG release until almost the end of 2017. I don’t want to wait that long, as a result, I’ve modified how I’m testing things to be able to develop the BuJoRPG system a little faster.

I don’t know why I didn’t do things this way in the first place.

I’ve modified the Quest system, breaking it up into long and short term lines. XP varies for each of them and I think that I’ll be fine leaving the system the way I am currently using it (as of this writing).

A promise of bringing in “gear” has caused the biggest delay in the next release. I am doing a “real time” test of the money system (RPG money, not real money) to be able to acquire the gear because I want to see if the acquisition of the initial items is realistic and gives you something to shoot for… and I’m liking what I am seeing so far.

With the response I’ve gotten and what I see others using the BuJoRPG system (with or without modifications), I am seeing if there is anything else I’d like to include as I stray closer to putting together the next edition of the system. I’m working with version 1.8 at the moment, so I think that I may be releasing “2.0,” whether or not the changes are significant enough to call it “BuJoRPG 2.”

I think using the version system, I can leave the door open for “sequels” in the way I just used that… Ver 2.0 vs BuJoRPG 2…

Things are definitely looking good and I’m excited to show you all what I’ve got coming out.

I stalled in starting working out when I said I was going to start. Work hours ramped way up on me three days before I wanted to start and I was freaking exhausted when the actual day rolled around. I really wanted to have something specific to report, but I guess I’ll just pass along what the plan is for the start of the next week.

My week starts on Saturday. This keeps my postal week, bullet journal week, and workout week all on the same rotation. I don’t want any confusing day changes just because a “traditional” rotation for working out starts on Sunday. My workouts, my week.

The plan for the week looks like this:

Saturday – Legs
Sunday – Rest
Monday – Back and Biceps
Tuesday – Chest and Triceps
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Legs and Abs
Friday – Shoulders

Friday is going to be a rest day until my shoulders stop hurting. I have an impingement in both shoulders, with my left shoulder being exponentially worse than my right, I don’t even think I could do half the exercises that I ned to in order to work them out… I’m not super worried about my shoulders being worked out right now, since I’m no longer working for a “swole look,” I’ll just be making sure most of the groups even up.

If you’re wondering about cardio, that is an interesting topic. I am a letter carrier for the post office and I basically have cardio going on all day long on days that I work. I’ll be doing some form of pre-workout cardio in addition to all that, but I am leaning heavily on my job to provide the majority of the cardio as I start back out on this journey again.

The other important part of this journey is getting back to clean eating. Due to my wife locking down the spending in our house (we maintain a specific dollar amount in the checking account as we put regular amounts in savings each paycheck), we started going back to eating at home more often than not.

Several years ago, when I had issues eating dairy in any form, my wife and I started eating much better. My working out was accompanied by even better eating and we haven’t stopped eating the quality foods that we switched to (when we eat at home), allowing us to see weight loss on days we eat at home (for me, at least).

Any diet is a lifestyle change, if that diet is to work. As soon as you go back to eating the garbage you were eating before your “diet,” you’ll start regaining all your nasty weight again. This is something most people aren’t aware enough to understand. This is why most people fail at their weight loss goals.

All in all, I’m eating out far less… the money constriction is a blessing in disguise. I just need to lay off the sweets now and I’ll be back to eating completely clean.

Baby steps, I guess… baby steps.

I’ll close this column out with the storytelling header. This won’t talk about the serial fiction, though, this will be about the BuJoRPG.

Wait, what?

The base system for the BuJoRPG will be without a storyline, but the templates won’t. I’ve said this before and I’ll continue to hint at the possibility for EVERY template to have a story.

The one I’m most interested in is the Wuxia template, though. I’m going so far as to release the title of this next version of the template… that title will be the Rise of the Iron Garden.

Interested in learning why? Well, that is also allowing me to elaborate on the initial Wuxia template story, then I can properly build up each successive expansion.

This is short, but I hope it was interesting.

The Greatest Show 116: GSFS 6 – February Fallout

The Greatest Show Fight Series returns for the 8th installment! Join the fight fans in watching the following card:

Greatest Show World Championship
“Emerald Specter” DJ Allen (C) v. “Mystery” Kevin Couick 3

Greatest Show Women’s World Championship
“Silky” Tricia Allen (C) v. “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey

“Shotgun” Bob Miotto v. “Notorious” Conor McGregor
Bruce “The Dragon” Lee v. “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone
“Heavy Metal Jesus” Kevin Lama v. CM Punk
“El Presidente” Abraham Lincoln v. “The Apex” Red Baron

The Undercard:
“Iron” Mike Tyson v. Rampage Jackson
Amanda Nunes v. Lady Gaga
Confucius v. Rocky Balboa
“Cupcake” Meisha Tate v. Queen Elizabeth II
Mr. T v. Buffalo Saws

Watch the whole event here! Enjoy.

The Greatest Show 106: GSFS 2 – Couick v Allen II

We have our December second Greatest Show Fight Series event! Here’s the lineup:

(C) “Soft Rock Messiah” Kevin Couick (3-0) v “Emerald Specter” DJ Allen (2-1)
“Silky” Tricia Allen (1-0) v Hillary Clinton (0-0) for the vacant Women’s Championship
“Heavy Metal Jesus” Kevin Lama (1-2) v Tyler Durden (0-0)
“Shotgun / Angry Salesman” Bob Miotto (0-3) v Confucious (0-0)
and opening the event is
Mr. T (0-0) v Hulk Hogan (0-0)

Won’t you pop in and see the action?

Emerald Specter 25: Round Up

coveremeraldspecter

I embark on the 25th Emerald Specter column without a specific topic, but I’ll be doing a lot of writing… so strap yourself in, this ride is going to be all over the place.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought, lately, to covering topics on a regular basis on the site. I have seriously toyed with doing a political column/show on the site and it was only this morning that I have decided that would consume an enormous amount of my time to produce, so I’ve decided not to cover that. However, I will be posting a political thing here before Trump’s inauguration… specifically dealing with the promises he made on the campaign trail and we’ll revisit those when his term as President is over. Everyone who supported him supported those things, as well as his misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, and racism… we’ll see if the ultimate liar holds up to his promises or buckles under the weight of actually being the President.

Along with that topic, I’ve also been considering covering the sports that I enjoy watching as a reporter… specifically the UFC, One Championship, the NFL, sumo, the Barclays Premier League, MLS, and professional chess. Once again, that would eat up an enormous amount of my time but that is still on the table. I don’t need to report all the injuries, the play by play, or anything like that… covering sports is different than, say, politics, but I’m still not committed to doing that, yet. Starting out small would be the preferred way to do that, obviously.

Dude, you’ve talked a lot about nothing so far and you’re already almost 300 words into this column. 

Yes, I am, but I’m far from done.

My SpecterFit column went into the 40s for numbering and then just suddenly stopped. There are a couple of reasons for that but I’ll concentrate on the real barrier first: free time. SpecterFit requires that I put a little more effort into it than just a regular column and since I’ve gone back to delivering mail rather than supervising, I am finding it hard to squeeze all the things in I want to do in a day. This column, the Emerald Specter column, has been written ahead of time for the past month or so and as I write this I’m only a single column ahead (where I was four ahead when I initially got this thing back up and running). The other thing that stalled out the SpecterFit was my attempt to resurrect WAFFLE in the SpecterFit form… something I just don’t have time to organize and run like I did before. SpecterFit will return with less soul crushing “dictating from on high” and will morph more into a “tips and tricks” type thing. I’m also probably going to go with the “Nerd Fitness” type thing where I relate fitness to something you can geek out about in the process. Time will tell.

In the world of comics, I collect myself some titles. Spider-Man (the Miles Morales one), Moon Knight, Harbinger: Renegades, and I’m looking into a few others. Yes, that’s two Marvel comics and a Valiant. I really, really want to review comics and whatnot but with me only having three titles, and DC not really having anything that interests me at the moment, I don’t think I’d be doing the medium a service. I also don’t believe that many people would follow that, so I’m going to hold that on the back burner… the WAY back burner.

Where does all that “I’m not doing this” leave us? Well, it lets me cover the items I am doing and explain what is probably coming down the pipe in the near future.

Obviously, the Emerald Specter column is living and still breathing, so I’m going to go ahead and say this is safe to stick around for the future. This would be the only column that is currently running regularly and I’ll surpass the SpecterFit column in numbering before I pick that one back up. I think the self titled stuff should all be higher numbered than the other stuff, don’t you?

The three year running Greatest Show is doing just fine, too. We’ve just finished episode 102 as I write this and we’re going to be entering some non-typical shows into the mix so that we aren’t exhausting our discussion topics weekly. Episode 103 will be a Greatest Show Fight Series event (GSFS), which will be all of us in the UFC 2 game simulating a fighting event. I’m talking about this in the “coming soon” tense but you’ll have already seen it because we needed to take a week off for Thanksgiving. We will have more shows like that, some that are different in nature, some that will happen between discussion episodes, and then there is what we discussed on our last episode that will be likely helping us through the next 100-150 episodes (at least).

We are going to start roleplaying on the air.

In episode 102, I ran Bob and Metal Jesus through character creation for a game called Green Team, which is utilizing the White Wolf Storyteller system and is a story of my own design. Metal Jesus and Bob will also be running stories but mine will be the first one. The likely format of this bad boy is probably going to be a three hour show, beginning with a half hour (or solid hour) or witty banter, followed by two hours of roleplaying, then either just ending the show or finishing with another half hour of witty banter as a “wrap up.” While my story will be the one pushing the first few episodes like this, I’m hoping a rotation of games will fall into line so that if I don’t feel like running the game, I can certainly play instead.

Moving right along… the Specter Show.

I’ve been talking about doing this damn show for over a year now. I was going to launch the show in January of 2016 and as I write this in late November of 2016, you can see not one episode has been produced. I am going to launch this show, I am just trying to figure out when would be a good time. The topic will be whatever the hell I want to talk about, some will be longer, some will be shorter, but I’m aiming for a 30-60 minute weekly show to start things off, with the intention of running five episodes a week (Monday through Friday) as if I was on the actual radio. I’d like to be on the actual radio, too, so that is part of why I’m angling the show to be what I’ve just said. Wouldn’t that be fun?

And now for something completely different: the ESPL. I’m going to run the ESPL, expanding the depth of the league, for at least 10 years. That will be 10 seasons of the characters gaining specifically assigned positions, the league growing to be at least the two tiers I’ve already announced, and hopefully attracting others that want to be involved. Ideally, I am interested in knowing if anyone out there wants to jump in and take the reigns at some point in the future. I’m not depending on this, I’ll certainly just close the place down when I’m done running the thing, but I am enjoying the logo design (kits are coming in the future, too, kids) and running the simulations. Running this has also encouraged me to run something else I’ve been interested in running for some time…

An MMA simulated league. Unlike the ESPL, though, which is designed to basically be a simulation of realistic teams in a realistic scenario that is completely plausible… and the ESPL was specifically designed to be a way for me to create logos and practice my graphic design skills, the MMA league would be different. I’m going to change the MMA simulation to be more embracing of the digital nature of what I’m doing. That means instead of Heavyweight, Middleweight, Lightweight, etc for weight classes, I’m going to base them more off of digital denotations like Gigaweight, Megaweight, and Kiloweight. These will be “digital fighters” and I’ve already been setting up the framework for what is about to blast onto the scene here at Emerald Specter.com. As with the ESPL, the digital MMA will be an outlet for my graphic designing in the form of the “fight posters” for the events. The ESPL limits me to logos for specific clubs, where the MMA league will be about drawing attention to a more general design for posters and whatnot. If you saw some of my WAFFLE posters, you saw that I was heading into a beautiful era of graphic design… unfortunately, I’ve not had the outlet that I did before.

I want to simulate sumo, too, though I don’t have a graphically specific reason for doing so. As I write this, I realize that the other two leagues were for a specific reason (as would an American Football league, if I decided to launch one of those). I’ve also toyed with another racing league (NASCAR-esq, I have the groundwork laid but I haven’t been driven to design anything for it yet) but that is on the back burner.

Finally (what, finally?), I’d like to talk about the writing that I’ve been trying to get to forever. I really want to write novels, short stories, comic scripts, movie scripts, television scripts, and whatever else but I’ve stalled out consistently and that has left me in a bit of a scenario where I’m not really sure how to accomplish what I’m after.

NaNoWriMo is almost over and I’ve written a grand total of just under 6,000 words, which is 44,000 short of the 50,000 word goal. I need to set up a time and place to write and I need to write a specific amount of words or pages in that time in order to be allowed to move on. If I took a Sunday, for example, and woke up at 8 AM, wrote until I got 5,000 words done and then shifted into the Specter Show, after which I went into simulating the ESPL and the MMA leagues (or designing that which needs to be designed, as that is mostly the point of why I’m doing them), and then finished the day with whatever else I wanted to do, that would be a nice schedule. It shoots one entire day out of the water for doing much of anything else, but with NFL season running right now I’ve not really got a lot planned on a Sunday other than watching a game or two and staying home. No harm, no foul… I just schedule a bunch of other stuff in there and make it a productive day.

If you’ve read this far, then you’re a trooper or you really wanted to know what the hell I was going to write about. Thanks for sticking with this as long as you have and I’d like to tell you that I’m almost double my normal column word count… I try to write about 1,000 words and this sentence is in the 1,800 range, which is pretty sweet. I won’t keep writing, though, I’ve got more to do and writing isn’t going to help get that done.

Until next time, think on it.

Emerald Specter 24: Boxing vs MMA

coveremeraldspecter

I almost titled this one “Boxing vs UFC,” because as far as MMA goes the UFC is king. In the end, though, I am going to highlight the UFC specifically but try to reference MMA as a whole.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Yeah, that’s Star Wars but it fits with my personal history with combat sports. Why? I am an old school boxing fan, and I loved the history of boxing because there was so much of it. My “good years” were during the height of the Mike Tyson craze. If you don’t remember that craze, then I guess it’s good you’re reading this column.

There was a time when boxing was king. You waited and waited for a great fight to come along and you’d shell out $50-$75 just to watch that fight. Mike Tyson was Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World, everyone wanted a championship because there were at least four different “organizing bodies,” and all was right with the world. I could name every single Heavyweight Champion, in order, from John L. Sullivan to (at that time) the present without missing a beat. I loved Marvin Hagler reruns, “Sugar” Ray Leonard fights, Michael Carbajal as the Flyweight Champion, Julio Cesar Chavez on his march to 100 professional fights, and about 15 weight classes worth watching.

After writing all that, I also have to note that sometime in the mid-90s, things changed…

The “belt” that one could not hit below suddenly seemed to start creeping up on each fighter’s body. There are fights where the trunks were so high on the fighter that you couldn’t see their nipples. THEIR NIPPLES! The “belt” kept creeping high and a boxer, despite their skill, stopped looking like a credible money maker.

The big fights stopped happening as often because fighters started requiring opponents to do ridiculous things before accepting a challenge. Drug tests, beat so many specific opponents, and so on… hell, Floyd Mayweather required Manny Pacquiao to jump through so many hoops that he finally dropped the challenge and said “fuck it.” They eventually fought, which Mayweather called “a great fight” but was really a hug-a-thon, in a sad… sad… sad image of the shell boxing has become.

Remember above when I mentioned the governing bodies in boxing? Unlike any professional sport out there, there is no “end all, be all” governing body of boxing. You have the alphabet organizations… which, to date, are at least (but not limited to): World Boxing Council (WBC), World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Organization (WBO), International Boxing Organization (IBO), World Boxing Federation (WBF), and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. The Ring Magazine, the magazine that has been called the “Bible of Boxing,” has attempted to establish some sort of “realistic” single, unifying presentation for the rankings and championships but only a handful of guys even recognize the magazine’s efforts. If I were to be watching boxing, I’d be using the Ring’s rankings. These organizations, except for the Ring, are all so corrupt that you can literally chuck some cash at them and end up being ranked higher than the damn champion (yes, the WBA has each weight class a “Champion” and a “Super Champion”… it’s fucking ridiculous).

How about the weight classes? Well, you have them from heaviest to lightest (with alternate names in parenthesis because not every organization uses the same fucking names): Heavyweight, Cruiserweight (Junior Heavyweight), Light Heavyweight, Super Middleweight, Middleweight, Junior Middleweight (Light Middleweight, Super Welterweight), Welterweight, Junior Welterweight (Light Welterweight, Junior Welterweight, Super Lightweight), Lightweight, Junior Lightweight (Junior Lightweight, Super Featherweight), Featherweight, Junior Featherweight (Junior Featherweight, Super Bantamweight), Bantamweight, Junior Bantamweight (Super Flyweight), Flyweight, Junior Flyweight (Light Flyweight), Mini Flyweight (Minimumweight, Strawweight), and Atomweight (Light Minimumweight). That is 18 weight classes, with each having at least the six alphabet championships in it, there is a staggering 108 possible champions, or 126 with the “Super Champions” in the WBA.

Ridiculous.

When the Ultimate Fighting Championship happened for the first time, I was interested in seeing how kung fu did against the other fighting styles of the world. Well, the whole point of UFC then was to showcase the BJJ of the Gracies, which then slowly morphed into the organized MMA we recognize today. I wasn’t a big fan of the “rolling around on the mat” fights, so I didn’t really follow MMA and held on to that boxing dream well into the 2000s. Then I started noticing something I had been ignoring because I thought the UFC wasn’t adapting: knockouts.

Wanderlei Silva, Chuck Lidell, and Cain Velasquez weren’t rolling around on the mat. I also needed an escape from the ordeal that my father dying was, and I started watching the UFC as that outlet. What I saw was what I had loved about boxing: fights without the bogged down problems boxing developed.

There are only nine weight classes in the UFC (99% of MMA, really): Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight, Middleweight, Welterweight, Lightweight, Featherweight, Bantamweight, Flyweight, and Strawweight. There is a Super Heavyweight division in some organizations but the UFC doesn’t have that, and the only Strawweight division in the UFC is currently the women.

What about championships? Well, every organization has their own championship for each weight class, but with a very minor exception from One Championship, and possibly even Bellator, the UFC champions are considered the best in the world. Period. I wouldn’t personally include Bellator, but One has some interesting individuals I think would take UFC fighters for a ride.

So, what can boxing do to reclaim their former glory? First and foremost, get rid of every single championship except for one in each weight class. Trim down the weight classes, because 18 is too many. Make the “belt” of the trunks be only as high as the belly button. Let a small pool of experts rank the fighters, and champions can not defend their championships against any of the fighters lower than #5. Yep, forget 6 through 10 because you need to make up a lot of ground. Concentrate on the best fights possible. Give absolutely no attention to Mayweather vs Joe Q Public because no one knows Public. Only give attention to the big names, the big fights, and get rid of the hugging. DEDUCT POINTS for excessive hugging. Boxing is a fight, not a love in.

If I had to guess, I would say boxing has a “best if used by” date attached, and that date may have already passed. The UFC is doing things in an exciting manner, so well in fact that the WWE (whose whole business is built as a hype machine) is having issues competing with the UFC. That is good shit.

I’ll write more in the future, but it’s sad that boxing has fallen so hard that I don’t think they can get back up from their knockdown. UFC is only just getting started.

Think on it.

The Greatest Show 101: UFC 205, Riots, and Hot Ladies

greatestshow_greencat

DJ is watching the biggest card in UFC history and is supposed to have a room full of people with him. Bob and Metal Jesus are involved but are still in their respective locations, not interested in the UFC 205 fights.

What will happen on the first show after the big 5-hour episode 100 spectacular? FIND OUT!

The YouTube Page. The Chat.

The Specter of the UFC – The Rest of the Run

I’m not going to sugar coat this: I’m releasing the entire playlist from where you’re at to where I’m at. I’m going to just post the videos for you from here on, on YouTube, without another post on the subject. It’s taking a lot more of my time than I thought it would and rather than prolong it, I’m just going to go ahead with the videos as I fight… when my run is over, I’ll do a couple of exhibition “dream fights” I want and maybe I’ll figure out how to edit in audio for future videos.

Enjoy. (i.e. Go to YouTube)

The Specter of the UFC 8: Keep On Rollin’

UFC_Career570

DJ Allen vs Pip West
UFC Heavyweight Fight

Yeah, I’m fighting a guy called Pip… I don’t care what direction he’s from, either, I’m going to cave his face in with repeated strikes to his nose and I’m looking to make sure that Pip doesn’t do anything interesting enough to be worth anyone else’s time.

Event / Date / Fighters / Result

UFC 194: Silva vs Bisping / 2 Jan 16 / vs DJ Allen vs Pip West / RD1 KO (Replay)
UFC 191: Edgar vs Siver / 10 Oct 15 / vs DJ Allen vs Rodney Pitts / RD1 KO (Replay)
UFC 188: Easton vs MacDonald / 27 Jun 15 / vs DJ Allen vs Aubrey Santiago / RD1 KO (Replay)
UFC 185: Easton vs Mizugaki / 4 Apr 15 / vs DJ Allen vs Julian Carvalho / RD1 KO (Replay)
UFC 182: Dillashaw vs Easton / 10 Jan 15 / Jacob Jarvis vs DJ Allen / RD1 KO (Replay)
UFC 179: Jones vs Gustafson / 18 Oct 14 / Shigekazu Ito vs DJ Allen / RD2 KO (Replay)
UFC 176: Velasquez vs Miocic / 7 July 14 / Igor Orlov vs DJ Allen / RD2 KO (Replay)
Ultimate Fighter Finale: Allen vs Vargas / 29 Jun 14 / DJ Allen vs Russell Vargas / RD2 KO (Replay)

The Specter of the UFC 7: Two More Fights!

UFC_Career570

DJ Allen vs Aubrey Santiago
UFC Heavyweight Fight

Punch him in the face, punch him in the gut, punch him in the face if he gets back up. That’s my invented little UFC nursery rhyme. I like it, don’t you?

DJ Allen vs Rodney Pitts
UFC Heavyweight Fight

Yet another victim… I mean patient.

Also, I haven’t mentioned this, but I’ve been putting these videos in a playlist on YouTube for you… if you search out my channel (any of these links is on my channel) you can watch all the fights on YouTube in order. Nice, huh? Will my streak continue? Only time will tell…

Event / Date / Fighters / Result

UFC 191: Edgar vs Siver / 10 Oct 15 / vs DJ Allen vs Rodney Pitts / RD1 KO (Replay)
UFC 188: Easton vs MacDonald / 27 Jun 15 / vs DJ Allen vs Aubrey Santiago / RD1 KO (Replay)
UFC 185: Easton vs Mizugaki / 4 Apr 15 / vs DJ Allen vs Julian Carvalho / RD1 KO (Replay)
UFC 182: Dillashaw vs Easton / 10 Jan 15 / Jacob Jarvis vs DJ Allen / RD1 KO (Replay)
UFC 179: Jones vs Gustafson / 18 Oct 14 / Shigekazu Ito vs DJ Allen / RD2 KO (Replay)
UFC 176: Velasquez vs Miocic / 7 July 14 / Igor Orlov vs DJ Allen / RD2 KO (Replay)
Ultimate Fighter Finale: Allen vs Vargas / 29 Jun 14 / DJ Allen vs Russell Vargas / RD2 KO (Replay)