Posted 11/30/2013 by Derek Suboticki in Subo Says

My 2013 Christmas MMA Wish List

There are a number of things I love about MMA Owl. There’s my boss, Marlene, my co-workers Mike Fagan and Jesse Scheckner, the money – oh my god, the MONEY – and the freedom to tell certain people to eat shit if need be. It’s both liberating and satisfying; I love it here. I have no qualms with, nor desires for change to, my current situation. It’s pretty good, and you can’t know how weird that is for me.

MMA is, however and as always, a difficult mistress. Between heartbreak, disappointment and fury, sometimes the sport I love brings me right back to the places I don’t want to be. There’s always enough material for a “wish list” or “New Year’s resolutions” post… hey, recycling this trope in four weeks might not be a terrible idea after all. I’ll worry about justifying that later.

A happy and healthy Shane del Rosario – Yes, this is an interesting first choice for what began as a jovial article. 30 year old UFC heavyweight Shane Del Rosario was reportedly discovered by frequently traumatized flyweight Ian McCall in a state of cardiac arrest. After a Facebook post by Del Rosario’s manager that seemed to announce the fighter’s death, subsequent information has SDR continuing to battle for survival. As of this writing, Shane is still with us.

You can almost see the gears turning on Twitter – after acknowledging tragedy, how long does one wait before resuming their regularly scheduled Kim Winslow and Cecil Peoples jokes? The over/under appeared to be roughly three hours – and, mercifully, the “Dana Insists SDR Still On For UFC 170″ cracks were few and far between. My late grandfather always used to sign our birthday/holiday cards with “Have A Happy and Healthy.” I understand why he did that more and more as I grow older. Nothing would be better for the MMA community – not better judging, not independent drug testing, nothing – than to avoid losing one of their own so young.

I don’t know the man well enough to properly write him up here, but we’re all rooting for you, Shane. All of us.

Update: Shane is reportedly off of life support and showing signs of brain support. Incredibly wonderful news if true. I’m not one for prayer, but if you are, maybe Shane deserves one tonight.

No injury setbacks – Given the first entry, everything else seems less than meaningless, but that doesn’t stop MMA fans from wanting more (at least not for more than a few hours). You always root against injury announcements derailing upcoming fights, but for MMA Santa (I just imagined what that sled would look like and my eyes bled), I have two names in particular I don’t want to hear in conjunction with an injury: Dominick Cruz and TJ Grant.

The former is slated for a February comeback, “defending” his “belt” against “interim” champion Renan Barao. Making the February 1 date would mark the end of a horrific 28 month layoff for Cruz that included his body rejecting a cadaver ligament, necessitating a second surgery on his ACL. Grant, on the other hand, is still without a fight, battling back from a concussion suffered during training for his (now long gone) title shot against then-champ (and curiously unscheduled) Benson Henderson. I’m actually glad that Grant’s title shot was taken from him (and given to Anthony Pettis) so quickly; doing so allows the fighter to focus on his come back’s quality rather than its swiftness. Hearing a setback regarding the progress of either would be the equivalent of a coal-brimmed stocking.

A fantastic rematch between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva – One of the worst parts about being smart is knowing what will happen and not being surprised when it does. Here, for flowchart purposes, is the causal relationship between UFC 168 main event outcomes and the day-after MMA blogosphere coverage.

Weidman defeats Silva, retains title – Anderson Silva is clearly done/brain damaged/past his prime/shot but also the greatest of all time; Weidman is a paper champion and Machida will smash him one day soon (shout out to Dave Walsh and his excellent for the heads-up on this line of thought).

Silva defeats Weidman, regains title by devastation – Chris Weidman is clearly lucky/raw/overrated and the beneficiary of a clownish performance by Silva in their first bout; Anderson Silva is the greatest of all time AND should totally retire/fight GSP, who should also retire.

Silva defeats Weidman, regains title in back-and-forth tilt – HOLY SHIT MAKE THE TRILOGY NOW FUCK VITOR BELFORT.

How do you not root for the third option?

Bellator’s silence regarding a “return” to PPV – According to Tito’s self-announced timetable, he should be returning to active training for his Bellator debut… nowish. Given Rampage’s successful knockout of Joey Beltran in front of a surprisingly good audience, the stage seems hypothetically set for the two former UFC champions to go at it sometime in the spring. I’ve heard a fairly wide range of numbers regarding the value of their contracts, but suffice it to say that nobody has it as a bargain for Bjorn Rebney and company – it’s possible that a non-PPV bout featuring the two is simply unfeasible from a business standpoint. Of course, it’s also possible that Tito Ortiz’s recuperative abilities are not what he claims they are. Either way – and preferably in a way that leaves Tito Ortiz retired, as the ticket sales for Bellator 106 before his injury clearly betray a lack of drawing power – Bellator on PPV is, and should remain, on the cutting room floor.

You guys to tune in tonight to Untethered MMA Live – [SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT] Do you think UFC commentary sucks? Of course you do – you read MMA blogs! Mike Fagan (@ItsMikeFagan on Twitter) and I (@UntetheredSubo on Twitter) will be doing a live simulcast of tonight’s TUF finale, headlined by Gray Maynard versus Nate Diaz, starting at 10 PM EST (the beginning of the main card). Give us a follow (and @UntetheredMMA if you want to catch our weekly podcast, also hosted by MMAMania’s Matt Roth) for the link later on tonight!


Derek Suboticki  is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also co-hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at, also available as a podcast via iTunes.




Derek Suboticki

Derek Suboticki is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also co-hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at, also available as a podcast via iTunes. Previous work includes being former editor at Head Kick Legend and Fightlinker and contributor for Watch Kalib Run and Cageside Seats.