The Spirit is Willing

Hi Guys & Girls,

Yay! I’m finally back on my self imposed schedule. I owe it all to being prepared. I finished posting Sunday’s and started work on this one immediately. Hopefully a sign of things to come!

In August 2006, Matt Serra was a contestant on the Ultimate Fighter season 4, titled “The Comeback”. This season was different because the contenders were fighters who all had UFC experience, but crucially had not won a UFC title. The winner would get a title shot. Serra went on to win the Welterweight portion of the Ultimate Fighter.

Days after the finale of the Ultimate Fighter longtime Welterweight champion and legend of the sport, Matt Hughes was dethroned by Georges St. Pierre in the second fight of their trilogy. Hughes had submitted “Rush” in their first fight, in this second bout, GSP would TKO Hughes.

The stage was set for Serra’s big beat down in April 2007. I think it is fair to say that a very few gave Matt any chance. What followed was one of the biggest shocks in all of mixed martial arts and still ranks highly in those stakes to this day.

Georges St. Pierre fell to a TKO and we had a new Welterweight champion. Of course this night also gave birth to a great winning streak as Georges would win 12 in a row. In this run he defeated Hughes again to win the Interim Welterweight championship (and complete the trilogy on a high note) and then unified the title when he beat the returning Serra.

Fast forward to UFC 167, November 16 2013. Johny “Big Rigg” Hendricks vs Georges “Rush” St. Pierre for the UFC Welterweight title. Hendricks, the challenger, had an outstanding collegiate wrestling pedigree and devastating power in his fists.

It was an intriguing background to the fight and people were excited; Myself included. The fight itself didn’t disappoint, earning fight of the night. The biggest disappointment of the night, however, was that was the last time we saw Georges in the Octagon. After the fight, St. Pierre announced that he was taking an extended break.

Since then we have witnessed Johny Hendricks become champion, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler dethrone him and win several fights of his own. The division that was previously so reliant on the legendary former champion, has most definitely moved on. We now have a fighting champion and multiple contenders that look capable of, at the very least, giving “Ruthless” a good fight.

Georges has recently stated that he is in talks about a return to the UFC. I’m not sure how to feel. On the one hand, this man is a legend, 27 fights, 25 wins. He has out wrestled collegiate wrestlers and out boxed boxers / kickboxers. He has defeated a who’s who of former UFC champions and contenders. Many people thought he had cleaned out the division before his absence.

On the other hand this is a man who, in my mind at least, lost the killer instinct. When Nick Diaz defeated BJ Penn he screamed out “where you at Georges” along with the obligatory obscenities that come with being a Diaz. He also stated that he didn’t “think Georges was hurt, he’s scared”.

According to Dana White, St. Pierre said that he wanted to teach Diaz a lesson. During the Diaz vs St. Pierre fight, Nick was fairly obviously not “at the races”, acting nonchalant and not really trying. The Georges that defeated Matt Serra and Matt Hughes would have punished Diaz. Instead, we witnessed both fighters going through the motions.

A fighter has an extremely short shelf life, at 34 years Georges shouldn’t be “finished”. However, he has sacrificed 3 years of what should have been his prime. Hopefully we see an invigorated Georges return, assuming this turns out to be more than previous return rumours. My suspicion is we might see Diaz vs GSP 2. I can’t quite figure out what happens from here though? Is Georges going to try and regain the title he sacrificed and which Georges returns? The great fighter who fought Serra or the watered down version who fought Hendricks?

From one hero to another, let’s talk comic books. The explosion of comic book films has been great for me. It really has. There aren’t many that I haven’t enjoyed, apart from the awful Green Lantern and a few others.

My wife asked me who my favourite hero is and I told her Venom from Spiderman. Yes he’s a villian, but hear me out. The original Venom is Eddie Brock… Brock is just a normal guy who’s been dealt an extremely bad hand in life. His mother died during child birth and as a result his father was cold and unaffectionate.

He made a bad choice in his career whilst under pressure, as a result he lost his job and his girl. Descended into depression and became an angrier person than he was. When he bonded with the alien symbiote (which brings out the worst in Brock), he was in a church asking for forgiveness and was contemplating suicide.

I’ll stop with the sob story, but the point is, it’s relatable. If that symbiote genuinely existed and I was dealt Eddie’s hand in life, the likelihood is I could become Venom with ease. Hell, there are times in my life (and my life is pretty good) where I could unleash the fury and bond with a symbiote!

Half the battle with character writing is making them relatable. In Eddie Brock, Marvel comics have one that is not only super cool in look and powers, but more importantly is easily relatable if you look at things in the right light.

It’s why I’m kind of sad that Topher Grace is the only one to play him thus far on the big screen, in Spiderman 3. No disrespect to Topher, I loved him as Eric in “That 70’s Show”, but it was a poor film and Topher wasn’t right for the role.

It’s a similar case with Mr Freeze in Batman, if my kids or wife were threatened with death, it could send me down his path. Again Batman and Robin with Schwarzenegger as Freeze really didn’t do the character justice. Hopefully both are given another shot on film.

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Moving (very slowly) away, my buddies at Not Dead Yet Apparel were supporting a 5k run. This run was organised by one of their partners, Traffick 911. Unfortunately I don’t live in Texas, so I wasn’t able to go to the proper run, but NDY challenged their Ambassadors to show solidarity (yes that is me and I am well aware I look a state!)

So, Sunday evening I dug out my trusty and yet highly crappy trainers. Crappy because they are old as hell and have been used for everything from running to decorating and everything in between.

It’s a measure of how little cardio I have done since December, my calf siezed up after 1km, but still I persisted. In a time I’m extremely disappointed with, I finished my 5k. The first 5k I have done for some time!

I love running I really do, I wish I could do more of it. My issue at the moment is extreme sleep deprivation. My daughter woke 3 or 4 times last night. According to my FitBit I got 2 hours sleep. The joys of parenting!

My spirit is willing, but my body is weak and fleshy! I suppose I am gonna have to just try and force myself till my daughter sleeps, fake it till you make it!

Carpe Diem Guys

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