In Defense of Titties

Now, I know what you’re saying: “Ryan, why do you have to defend titties? Who could hate titties? I love them!” I’m not talking about those wonderful delights that have caused men to spend crazy amounts of money on dinners at the Olive Garden. I’m talking about those wonderful MMA fighters who may not be in the best possible shape. The ones who look as if they just got done with a workout of 12-ounce curls. They may have a little junk in the trunk, if you will. They’re husky. Big boned. Yep, use pretty much every line a mother uses to make her son feel better for loving to eat Cheetos for every meal. (They’re so tasty, though!)

Let’s face it: You have moobs. Man boobs. If you’ve been watching this season’s The Ultimate Fighter (and if you haven’t, what’s wrong with you? Rampage, Rashad, Kimbo!?!?), then you’ve seen Rampage continue to make fun of Darrill Schoonover by calling him “titties,” since Big D may not be the best physical specimen on Earth. But having an amazing physique doesn’t make you a good fighter. As Kenny Powers says in Eastbound and Down on HBO, “I play real sports … not trying to be the best at exercising.” So even though these guys may not have beautifully etched abs, cannonball delts, cobra-like lats, muscular thighs, and a firm bottom, it doesn’t mean they can’t scrap. (Did I really just write that sentence? Holy hell! I need to go look at pictures of hot chicks ASAP.)

So, speaking of TUF, let’s start with Roy “Big Country” Nelson. Former IFL champion. 13 wins, four losses. Defeated Kimbo on The Ultimate Fighter. Now, I don’t want to say that he doesn’t have a great body, but I’m seriously surprised that we don’t see Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler following him around with Proton Packs as he terrorizes New York City. Saying he has a little bit of a belly is like saying Richard Simmons is a little gay. Heck, sumo wrestlers have posters of Roy up in their rooms. If you saw the fight with Kimbo, then you know that if Roy did have the 8-minute abs going, he might not have been able to smother Kimbo with his globe-like belly and pound away at his bald noggin for the win. You gotta use what the Good Lord (and nachos) gave you to your advantage, and Roy did just that.

At UFC 107, we’re going to see the return of Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello. Or as I affectionately call him, “The Pastry-hunter.” Seriously, no donut has ever made it out alive. Paul will tell you himself: He is a fine-tuned machine that runs off hard work, determina- tion, and burritos. He trains at one of the best camps in the world at AKA in San Jose, is a former KOTC champ, 27 wins, including victories over Tank Abbott and Gary Goodridge. You know that guy who goes to Wal-Mart in sweatpants, loading up his shopping cart with purple-flavored soda, pork rinds (now with less trans fats!), and frozen corn dogs in a neon blue tank top that just says “California” on it? That’s Paul. He’s got amazing power in his hands, great takedown defense, good cardio, and a physique that would make Jack Black stop and offer nutritional advice.

Oh, Tim Sylvia. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion. A 6-foot-8- inch, 260-pound MMA veteran with wins over Brandon Vera, Ricco Rodriguez, and Andrei Arlovski (twice!). And yet, if you sculpted him out of clay in art class, you would have to lean over to your buddy next to you and borrow some clay to randomly place in various sections of Tim’s body. It’s almost as if you took two rolling pins and rolled them from Tim’s head and feet, and then met right at his belly button. There’s just something in his genetics that says, “Yes, Tim. You train with some of the best guys in the world. You hit like a Mack truck. You work out countless hours a day … and yet, your body is going to resemble that of a giraffe that just gave birth.” (Editor’s note: Mr. Loco’s views do not reflect those of FIGHT! Magazine. We here would like to apologize to any and all giraffes that may be offended by that comment.)

Finally, there’s this guy named Fedor Emelianenko. Maybe you’ve heard if him. Russian prototype, best fighter in the world, blah blah blah. If you go based off pictures alone, he looks like your next-door neighbor that mows the lawn with his shirt off … in jean shorts. No offense to him, since he is a very handsome man, but he isn’t gracing any calendars anytime soon covered in oil wearing just a bowtie. Not that I look at those calendars. He’s a little soft, he’s got a little bit of a belly … and yet, he will absolutely decimate you standing or on the ground. He trains in the backwoods using logs for weights and sparring with bears. You know in Rocky 4 when Rocky is training in the farmhouse, chopping wood and lifting sacks of rocks? They got that from Fedor’s training … when he was 8. He’s got that real working man strength … you know what I’m talking about. The way that even though your dad is 60, he can still whoop your ass. Let’s go through the list … Coleman, Herring, Sylvia, CroCop, Nogueira, Randleman, Arlovski. All have fallen victim to the man who has the body of a giant toddler. The only thing Fedor can’t beat? A free meal at Souplantation. (Please don’t hurt me; I’m kidding. Hopefully, Fedor spilled some BBQ sauce on this section of FIGHT! Magazine).

So there you have it. Let those other guys worry about their striations and obliques and carb intake. You’re fueling your machine with eggnog and Pringles. If having a good body meant you won fights, Phil Baroni would be an undefeated champion. Next time you’re at the gym, and you see that guy doing 324 sets of crunches in a sauna suit, just point and laugh with the silent confidence in knowing that having a six-pack doesn’t make you a great fighter. No, sir. Having incredible cardio, discipline, talent, athletic ability, years of training, and an amazing camp of guys makes you a great fighter. And then go to the mirror and point and laugh at yourself, because you don’t have that, either.

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