While I have been writing MMA articles for the Bleacher Report, I have gotten very few responses from the people I write about.
It is true that I met Shari Spencer after writing articles about her client, Georges St-Pierre, for the Yard Barker, but other than a very warm note from*Debbie Guida after I wrote an article about her son Clay, I have not received a note from anyone in the upper echelons of the sport. Until now.
Reed Harris wrote me an email in response to my NostraGraMMA's MMA Predictions for the Year 2010.
Add another highlight to my life as a sportswriter. True, they have been few and far between, but they are the high points in my life after becoming disabled by Multiple Sclerosis.
Mr Harris enjoyed my humorous, but very sincere prediction that WEC was going to become the most popular MMA organization in 2010. Perhaps he had tongue in cheek as he wrote me the note, as I did when I was writing said article, yet still, it is the thought that counts, and I was deeply flattered.
This brings me to a major point in my prediction process.
Reed Harris strikes me as a much more likable, genuine person than does his Zuffa counterpart, Dana "F'n" White. Oops! Obviously some of Dana's f-bomb tendencies have rubbed off on me, just as I fear they will on the youth of the world.
Now, although I do not know Reed Harris on a personal (or any other) level, from articles I have read, he relates well to the WEC fighters and is very well liked by them. As far as being a boss goes, he is not as harsh a critic as is Dana White.
Being a would-be coach in my past aspirations, I think fighters need to know where they stand with their boss. Putting your life and welfare on the line to make money for an organization is one thing, but being appreciated for it and highly valued is another compensation that can go an awfully long way.
Many of Dana's "fighter friends" have stayed around long enough to incur his wrath. He has publicly humiliated and belittled Tim Sylvia, one of his former valued champions. Tito Ortiz served as a whipping boy after coming into MMA along with Dana. Chuck Liddell was dazed when Dana "retired him"*without any warning after his loss to Rua.
If this is how Dana treats his friends, I guess I am lucky to be counted as a dumb ____(rhymes with "Hunt") in his estimation, and not worthy of his attention.
Of course, being appreciated would not make me less likely to be critical of someone, but it is nice to be appreciated for keeping his name "out there" and giving his fan base someone to rail against.
WEC (World Extreme Cage-fighting), is a very dynamic organization. In my husband's opinion, their fights are more worth watching than the UFC events. No, it is not because they have been free, either.
As Mel explained WEC to a new acquaintance, "the fights are all action, non-stop."
While Mel appreciates watching Georges St-Pierre, especially because Georges is a superior wrestler (and as a former high school wrestler,*is someone Mel can understand and empathise with on many levels), Georges is the master of several different techniques.
In watching Georges fight, one can see different ranges of the martial arts, so in that respect, WEC offers many different styles and a constant array of surprises.
Imagine seeing Jose Aldo, a former soccer player, knock out an opponent using a double knee strike that would make a Mai Thai master envious, seeing Mike Brown throw down punches that would make a boxer*proud, or the innovations that Uriah Faber pulls out of his hat, which no opponent could possibly anticipate!
Especially in the upper weight divisions, the UFC can be as boring as watching blood dry on the octagon mat.
The lightweight divisions have so many fighters that will take the fans' breath away, that one is afraid to even blink during a WEC event.
Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, Leonard Garcia, Benson "Smooth"*Henderson, Jens Pulver,*and Miguel Angel Torres are only a few of the fighters we have enjoyed watching. The matches are thrilling, beginning to end, the events are well run and flowing, and the announcing is neither annoying, repetitive*or trite.
While I did not intend for this to be a love fest, I guess I have come pretty close to making it one. Even when the WEC events go to PPV, Mel and I will be watching.
WEC is the growing organization that MMA fans should clearly not want to miss.