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Co-Main Event Podcast Episode 14 (8/21/12)

After a week of buildup and anticipation the CME presents its first ever listener controlled episode. You asked the questions, so Ben and Chad endeavor to answer them. Well, some of them. As many of them as possible. Turns out, the tagline “All Questions Answered” doesn’t really fit after all, since the dudes received way, way too many questions this week to give voice to all of them. A better moniker would have been “Some Questions Answered” or more specifically “Approximately 40 Percent of Questions Answered.” Anyhoo, it’s the podcast’s fastest-paced and most lively episode yet as the guys jump from topic to topic like Ric Flair when he’s had one too many vodka cranberry at the Holiday Inn bar after the show.

Next week, the CME returns to normal to preview UFC 151. This week, we put ourselves in your hands, dear listener … see what happens?

Direct download is right here.

Co-Main Event Podcast Episode 13 (8/14/12)

Episode 13 of the Co-Main Event Podcast starts like a house of fire and slowly devolves into finger-pointing, as Chad calls Ben on his latent sexism and Ben responds by accusing Chad of subtle xenophobia. In the baseless and childish nature of both, these claims do not necessarily differentiate this installment of the CME from any other, except that it could be more fun. In addition to the mudslinging, Ben discusses his decision this week to leave one job for another and the guys recap UFC 150 while looking forward to the coming weekend’s Strikeforce show.

Amid all the confusion, they also find time to make another exciting announcement about a groundbreaking innovation for next week’s show. Seriously, listen to it; you’ll be glad you did.

Direct download is right here.

Co-Main Event Podcast Episode 12 (8/7/12)

Important things to know about this week’s CME Podcast: First, Chad busts out his Don Frye impression. Second, Ben wonders what it would take to get Lyoto Machida and Shogun Rua to show up to a bench press competition at the Missoula YMCA. Third, one of your humble co-hosts — and he shall remain nameless for now — totally goes after the teenage girl who represented Saudi Arabia in Olympic judo this week. Oh yeah, your dudes also break down UFC on Fox 4, discuss the utter weirdness of the UFC’s four-man race for the next 205-pound title shot and look ahead to Saturday’s UFC 150.

Plus, Tips for the Well-Rounded Fight Fan, AYFKM and Just Sayin’ Stuff.

Direct download is right here.

For Whom the Em Tolls: The sound of impending doom for fighters in the UFC

[Ed. Note: The following is the grand prize winner in the CME’s White Elephant Essay Contest. Thanks to all those who entered and, even if you didn’t, thanks for your continued support of the Co-Main Event.]

By Brendan F. from West Roxbury, Mass. (@CursedDiamonds)

The Eminem Curse is real, and it is spectacular. An Eminem song during a fighter’s walkout is the surest indicator of failure in the modern UFC. In the last two years of UFC action, fighters that chose an Eminem song as their walkout music lost, lost, and lost some more. The fighter may have been a favorite or he may have been an underdog, it didn’t seem to matter; he tasted defeat regardless of betting odds. (While it was more often than not an underdog who selected Eminem as their traveling song, favorites lost with Eminem as well.) On rare occasions, a few charmed gladiators have defied the Curse, but those victories proved to be short-lived. Like all dominant champions, the Curse struck back in devastating fashion against these few victors, and handed them crushing defeats when they tried to tempt the fates twice. A few smart fighters have learned how to sidestep this Curse, using songs that merely feature Eminem, but with someone else as the primary artist. Those fighters have chosen wisely, and are currently undefeated when using those songs.

At UFC 115, Chuck Liddell entered the Octagon to the Eminem track “Won’t Back Down,” but he never even made it out of the first round. Rich Franklin ushered in the Eminem Curse with a crushing straight right hand, and the Curse was born. It didn’t wait long before striking again. The very next UFC, Kurt Pellegrino was “Not Afraid,” but unfortunately for him, he was also not a match for this opponent. George Sotiropoulos and his Black Sabbath intro got the W. Shane Carwin, Cole Escovedo, Mike Massenzio (twice), Jake Ellenberger, even Big Foot Silva tasted defeat after entering the cage, accompanied by the Eminem death knell. In the last two years, fighters using Eminem walkouts have won two fights, and lost 14. Even the eternally over-matched Sean Salmon has managed more than two victories in this last 16 fights. (Salmon is 3-13 in his last 16.)

The Curse truly flexes its MMA muscle when considering the two fighters who overcame the Curse, even if only temporarily. Tito Ortiz and Brendan Schaub, give yourselves a hand! At UFCs 128 and 132, Schaub and Ortiz both snatched victory from sure defeat, with Schaub dispatching Cro-Cop and Tito finishing Ryan Bader. Hindsight shows us that these fighters knew not how lucky they really were. They both doubled down, and kept the same music for their next battles. The Curse exploded in Schaub’s face in Brazil via some Big Nog fisticuffs, and Ortiz paid the price with his entire body more than once, getting punished by Rashad Evans and the Little Nog in successive fights. Adding insult to injury, the Curse ended Tito’s career in rather embarrassing fashion, with a fleeing, seemingly defeated Forrest Griffin getting the edge over Tito and his ill-chosen walkout music one last time. You can beat the Curse, but do not dare to try beating it twice.

UFC 139 and UFC on Fuel TV 4 showed us that you can indeed have some Eminem in your walkout music and still avoid the Curse. However, the song may only feature Mr. Mathers and not have him as the star of the song (think Nate Dogg, may he rest in peace). Alexander Gustafsson and Seth Baczynski each found that “Drop The World,” a Lil Wayne joint featuring Eminem had no negative effects on their chances. Both men cruised to victory after entering to that song, with Seth putting Matt Brown to sleep and Gustafsson ruining any remaining title hopes Thiago Silva ever had via unanimous destruction.

The lessons of the Eminem Walkout Curse are simple and direct. If you select Eminem to accompany you to the Octagon, you will almost assuredly lose. Should you somehow pull off the highly improbable and win under such a scenario, thank your lucky stars and never try to do it again, because the Curse will smash you with a ruthless fury when given a second (and third, and fourth) chance. The Eminem Curse is neutralized, possibly reversed when Eminem gets the Nate Dogg slot, but the Curse isn’t about being a Featured Artist. How or why it works are not for me to say, but the evidence shows quite clearly that the Eminem Walkout Curse is real, it is powerful, and it is vengeful. An Eminem song during a fighter’s walkout is the surest indicator of fighter failure in the modern UFC.

Supplemental Data

EVENT
odds, fighter, walkout track and artist
odds, fighter, walkout track and artist
Winner, Round, Manner of Victory

UFC 115
-121 Chuck Liddell: “Won’t Back Down” by Eminem (feat. Pink)
+110 Rich Franklin: “For Those About to Rock” by AC/DC
Franklin, R1 KO/TKO

UFC 116
-154 George Sotiropoulos: “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath
+139 Kurt Pellegrino: “Not Afraid” by Eminem
Sotiropoulos, UD

UFC 121
-170 Matt Hamill: “I Want it All” by Queen
+153 Tito Ortiz: “Mosh” by Eminem
Hamill, UD

UFC 128
-274 Brendan Schaub: “Square Dance” by Eminem
+220 Mirko Cro Cop: “The Ecstasy of Gold (L’Estasi dell’Oro)” by Ennio Morricone
Shaub, R3 KO/TKO

UFC 131
-154 Junior Dos Santos: “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti Gonna Fly Now
+139 Shane Carwin: “Till I Collapse” by Eminem
Dos Santos, UD

UFC 132
+451 Tito Ortiz: “Not Afraid” by Eminem
-536 Ryan Bader: “99 Problems” by Hugo
Ortiz, R1 Sub

UFC 133
-363 Rashad Evans: “Victory” by The Notorious B.I.G.
+335 Tito Ortiz: “Cinderella Man” by Eminem
Evans, R2 KO/TKO

UFC 134
+221 Minotauro Nogueira: “Come With Me” by Puff Daddy
-248 Brendan Schaub: “Square Dance” by Eminem
Nogueira, R1 KO/TKO

TUF 15 LIVE FINALE
-183 Jake Ellenberger: “Till I Collapse” by Eminem & Nate Dogg
+165 Martin Kampmann: “It’s a Fight” by Three 6 Mafia

UFC 135
+191 Cole Escovedo: “Won’t Back Down” by Eminem
-213 Takeya Mizugaki: “Numb” by Linkin Park
Mizugaki, KO/TKO

UFC 139
+105 Seth Baczynski – “Drop the World” by Lil Wayne & Eminem
-135 Matt Brown – “I’d Love to Knock the Hell out of You” by Hank Williams, Jr
Baczynski, R2 Sub.

UFC 140
-278 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – “Come With Me” by Puff Daddy
+246 Tito Ortiz – “Cinderella Man” by Eminem
Nogueira, R1 KO/TKO

UFC 142
+451 Mike Massenzio: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
-536 Rousimar Palhares: ???
Palhares, R1 Sub

UFC on FUEL TV 2
-260 Thiago Silva: “Ratamahatta” by Sepultura
+231 Alexander Gustafsson: “Drop The World” by Lil Wayne & Eminem
Gustafsson, UD

UFC on FOX 3
-130 Mike Massenzio: “Rabbit Run” by Eminem
+118 Karlos Vemola: “Terminator Theme”
Vemola, R2 Sub

UFC 146
-401 Cain Velasquez: “Los Mandados” by Vicente Fernandez
+346 Antonio Silva: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
Velasquez, R1 KO/TKO

UFC ON FX 4
-125 Joey Gambino: “Cinderella Man” by Eminem
+113 Steven Siler: “In the Air Tonight” by Nonpoint
Siler, R1 Sub

UFC 148
-308 Forrest Griffin: “Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys
+271 Tito Ortiz: “Mosh” by Eminem
Griffin, UD

**It has been reported that Mitch Gagnon entered the Octogon this weekend to Eminem, with the expected result, but are unable to confirm with solid documentation at this time.

UFC 149
+206 Mitch Gagnon
-231 Bryan Caraway
Carraway, R3 Sub

———————

Acknowledgements

All Sean Salmon information courtesy Sherdog.com http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Sean-Salmon-14515

All fight odds reflect the closing lines at Pinnacle Sportsbook, as archived by BestFightOdds.com http://www.bestfightodds.com/archive

All official fight results courtesy UFC.com http://www.ufc.com/event/Past_Events

All fighter walkout music information courtesy FighterXFashion.com http://fighterxfashion.com/tag/ufc-entrance-music/

A final word: Despite the great advances in media coverage and statistical analysis in MMA the last few years, our knowledge of fighter walkout music remains incomplete. Not every entrance gets broadcast, and many that are can never be rebroadcast due to rights issues. We cannot say with surety that the above list is a complete one, but it reflects the best knowledge available at this time.

Co-Main Event Podcast Episode 11 (7/31/2012)

It would frankly be difficult to imagine a more comprehensive hour – fine, hour and 10 minutes – of mixed martial arts talk than this week’s Co-Main Event Podcast. During the time allotted for episode 11, Ben and Chad discuss Frank Mir journeying across the aisle to fight Daniel Cormier in Strikeforce, Nick Diaz coming out of “retirement” to “respectfully” request a fight with Anderson Silva and whether or not the UFC is just messing with us about the winner of Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera getting the next light heavyweight title shot. On top of that, the winner of the first ever CME White Elephant Essay Contest is announced, Sir Nigel Longstock returns for MasterTweet Theatre and by the end the guys end up Just Saying Stuff. What are you waiting for? Jump on it.

[Ed. Note: What’s that you say? You detect some irregularities in sound quality, especially during round two? Yeah, look, at least one of the CME’s microphones appears to be going the way of the dodo bird and it caused no end of problems this week. Never fear though, intrepid listener, as just moments ago the guys ordered a replacement. Should be all squared away by the next show. We hope.]

Direct download is right here.

Co-Main Event Podcast Episode 10 (7/24/12)

With Sir Nigel Longstock still missing – and last heard from somewhere in the wilds of Iowa – Ben and Chad go it alone this week as the Co-Main Event Podcast officially hits double digits. Without the crutch of MasterTweet Theatre to fall back on, the guys have no choice but to “unpack” (to use a particularly galling word common in academia) and discuss the many stinging disappointments of UFC 149. From Renan Barao celebrating like he won the Super Bowl when he captured the interim bantamweight title to Urijah Faber dropping his fifth straight championship fight to a convoluted analogy about the UFC running a car lot where all the cars cost the same – it’s all in here.

Plus, the origin story of the CME White Elephant Essay Contest grand prize, Tips for a Well-Rounded Fight Fan and Just Saying Stuff. Seriously, you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss this one.

Direct download is right here.

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/comainevent/Episode_10_Master.mp3]

Behold, the Grand Prize … (Updated)

UPDATE: OK, two things: A) It turns out our mysterious Anderson Silva painting is the work of podcast listener and professional artist Marco Bucci, which was an awesome surprise. B) It turns out Marco Bucci actually totally rules at art. Like, he’s really, really talented. Check out his work at his personal website. It kind of blew us away.

You see now why your faithful co-hosts couldn’t do it justice with mere words, yes?

Discovered hidden in a forgotten corner of Ben’s and Chad’s “personal collections,” the origin of this MMA-related artifact may well be puzzled over by critics and theorists for generations. After some careful analysis, the CME’s crack staff of research scientists can say with almost 85 percent certainty that what you see here was created as a flattering portrait of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, albeit one with some noticeable, uh, impressionistic qualities. As for how it fell into the hands of the CME rather than finding its way to its rightful home on the wall of Silva’s Curitiba villa, no one can say for sure.

Ben suggests it might’ve involved a train robbery. Chad proposes perhaps a drunken late night poker game was to blame. The truth may be somewhere in between, or it may be something else entirely. Who’s to say, really? The point is, once the guys laid eyes on it, they knew they had no choice but to pass it on to you, dear listener.

So, best essay gets it. And probably some other stuff, too. You have seven days. Get writing.

Co-Main Event Podcast Episode 9 (7/17/12)

Sandwiched as it is between last week’s UFC and Strikeforce events and this weekend’s UFC 149, there is no shortage of topics for the Co-Main’s co-hosts to break down during episode nine. This week, Ben and Chad seek the truth about Chris Weidman’s fitness as Anderson Silva’s next opponent, what Nate Marquardt’s Strikeforce welterweight championship victory means for his career and whether or not the makeshift UFC 149 card is the most underwhelming pay-per-view since … well, since UFC 147. With one week left to submit your entry to the CME’s White Elephant Essay Contest, the boys also talk up some late additions to the prize pack, one of which may be the greatest piece of MMA-related memorabilia of all time. Pics of that coming soon.

Plus, the return of MasterTweet Theatre, Just Sayin’ Stuff and AYFKM.

Direct download for you direct downloaders right here.

Introducing the Co-Main Event Podcast White Elephant Essay Contest (Rules + Guidelines)

Welcome to the maiden voyage of the Co-Main Event Podcast’s White Elephant Essay Contest, an undertaking we believe to be the first of its kind in the wily and wacky world of mixed martial arts. Hell, maybe the first of its kind anywhere. The concept is fairly simple: Below you will find two essay prompts. Pick the one you like best and compose a formal essay of between 500-1,000 words, spellcheck it, make sure it conforms to our submission guidelines and then email it to us just as you would one of the rambling, often impenetrable queries you routinely submit for our weekly Listener Mail segment.

The winner – or winners, as we hope the case will be – will receive fabulous, mostly MMA-related prize packs from the “personal collections” of Ben Fowlkes and Chad Dundas. We can also almost guarantee that at least one entrant will receive a Baskin & Robins gift card. Don’t you want that person to be you? Of course you do.

The grand prize winner will additionally have the extreme honor of getting their essay published here at CoMainEventPodcast.com. Cool, right?

All entries must be received by midnight (mountain time, naturally) on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. That means you have two full weeks to get this shit done. Only one entry per listener, please.

Below, you will find the prompts as well as more specific instructions for our submission guidelines. Read them. Read. Them. After doing so, if you find you still have questions, email them to us. We’ll do our best to guide you.

For now, go forth and as the 18th Century ploughman poet Robert Burns once said: “Dare to be honest and fear no labor, (you guys).”

The Prompts

Respond to one of the following prompts with a five paragraph essay between 500-1,000 words.

1) The Persuasive Essay (a.k.a Not Just Saying Stuff): Begin your essay with some hardly tenable MMA related claim, then craft a convincing case for it using the formidable powers of your own reasoning and argumentation, as well as some credible outside sources. Bonus points will be awarded based on overall ridiculousness of topic and corresponding convincingness of argument.

2) The Compare and Contrast Essay: Who is the most underappreciated fighter in MMA history and who is the most over-appreciated fighter? Draw upon the formidable powers of your own reasoning and argumentation, as well as some credible outside sources. Bonus points will be awarded for originality, strength of argument and general compare-and-contrast-i-ness.

Formatting Guidelines

1. To make it easy on everyone, paste your essay in the body of an email and submit it that way. As you know, the email address is comaineventpodcast@gmail.com. We won’t be fucking around with attachments, so essays submitted as such won’t be reviewed. Make sure the subject line of your email says “Essay Contest.”

2. First things first, put your name, address and a return email address at the top of your email, so we can get in touch with you when you win.

3. Give your essay a cool title, obviously.

4. Since this is a five-paragraph essay contest, make sure your essay is in five paragraphs, including an introduction boasting a rad thesis statement, three body paragraphs and a conclusion that leaves no room to question your argument.

5. Remember, we said between 500-1,000 words. Don’t go under. Don’t go (much) over.

6. Yes, spelling, grammar and punctuation count.

7. Include a properly formatted bibliography listing a minimum of three sources. Be advised, failure to properly cite and credit sources can constitute the serious academic crime of plagiarism and can result in severe sanctions according to the student conduct code.

8. Is that it? That’s it. If we left anything out, email us your questions.

9. Thanks for your continued support of the Co-Main Event Podcast.

10. Our panel of judges may or may not include the world’s leading theatricalist, Sir Nigel Longstock, so keep that in mind as well.

Co-Main Event Podcast Episode 8 (7/10/12)

For the first time in its illustrious history the Co-Main Event Podcast goes to the championship rounds this week. Yes, you read that right. No, it’s not just some crazy dream. Ben and Chad really did need five full periods to hash out the results of last weekend’s UFC 148 and to look ahead to this week’s UFC on FuelTV and Strikeforce offerings. Did Anderson Silva cheat? Will Chael Sonnen retire? Have we truly seen the last of Tito Ortiz? Find out all that, plus hear their musings on Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold vs. Tim Kennedy.

As if that wasn’t enough, the homies also divulge some more information about the CME’s first ever White Elephant Essay Contest, which you will be able to read about in great detail on this website later today. So, yeah, buckle up.

What? Oh, the different logo? Why, that’s the fine work of podcast listener Erik Ebeling, who sent along a number of alternate looks for the CME this week. Episode eight was already so big, we couldn’t help but break one out.

Those of you hungry for the direct download can get your fill right here.