Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NHB 2.0: The Rebirth of Vale Tudo

The original UFC was castrated by the boxing lobby; perverted, purchased, and repackaged as the UFC you see today. The current management destroyed the previous incarnation, rebuilt it with political power, and warped it with corruption. What we watch now is the incestuous union of sibling sports. Boxing’s rape of NHB begat the Zuffa UFC, its parentage apparent in its scoring system, rules, management, and corruption. The Zuffa UFC will soon fall, but all successors will be of its lineage.

We must have a fresh start, outside the Citadel. We will uncover our genesis like ruins; build upon its foundation, silently, until our beautiful slave clothes rip to shreds and a step pyramid of stone looms before us. A new business model; a new sport, towering over the rotting mass of the Citadel.

The sport is easy: Vale Tudo. Our rules: the standard Vale Tudo prohibitions, along with a ban on strikes to the back of the head and neck. If cuts become too great a problem, we will reluctantly prohibit headbutts.

Our ideal set of rules will likely be Pride’s rules + elbows, with gloves optional. Our judging system will be the Predict-Wager System.

We will then have, in our ideal combat sport, slightly modified Vale Tudo rules, an improved round system, and a judging system which rates the judges, referees, and fighters, paying them accordingly. NHB 2.0 is already superior to MMA.

Certain fighters will be attracted to such rules. Many will wish to test themselves. Frozen corpses litter Everest, yet men still climb K2. The perceived brutality is one advantage, the allowance of gis and freed hands another. Along with a scoring system which emphasizes finishes and longer rounds, such rules will be seen by jiu jitsu practitioners as ideal. Headbutts may rapidly change that impression.

Even with preferred rules, attracting top fighters will require money. Our most profitable innovation is the Predict-Wager System itself – it will be utilized by the judges themselves, true, but the profitability will come from the audience. They will be given the chance to risk their money at various terminals which litter the floor like slot machines. The fighters will be given a cut of all chips wagered on them to finish their opponent.

Our initial matchmaking will be the simplest and the oldest: the tournament. In this way, a fighter who proceeds through all rounds to the championship makes considerable money from accumulated wagers alone, plus win bonuses. A sandbagging A-level fighter could find such a tournament quite profitable, even in its infancy. NHB 2.0 is then further differentiated from MMA.

Allowing for our rules is trivial. In states with no commission, we can do as we please, and in states with a commission, we will promote on reservations. For perspective, consider that any small show you’ve seen in which a contestant wears a shirt or wrestling shoes is not strictly following the unified rules.

The events will be streamed over the internet, as Rio Heroes was. The profitability of the Rio Heroes model was proven, and the calls by the “MMA community” for its prohibition demonstrate just how different things have become. The Castrati, of course, did not join the chorus, but their voices faded before legions of Whiteshirts, as eager to prohibit NHB as their Zuffa heroes before.

It is the Castrati, now, who have the choice. If MMA is what you’d hoped it would become ten years ago, then sit quietly and enjoy your UFCs. If the ten-point must system satisfies you, or if you think it will be changed, then continue debating spoilers while awaiting the next TUF. If watching NHB prohibitionists such as Ratner profit from our dead sport doesn’t irk you, then simply continue supporting the UFC.

But if the notion of a sixteen-man Vale Tudo tournament fills you with nostalgia – memories of bare knuckles, size disadvantages, and fear; uncertainty, head butts, and style vs. style; that unmistakable Bloodsport quality – and if the state of the sport called MMA disgusts you, and you desire a return, then you must work to make it happen.

A Castrati promoter, or a business-savvy Castrato, will begin an NHB 2.0 promotion. There is an amateur Vale Tudo event called UCL in New York, and professional organizations are coming, as Rio Heroes came before. If you are a promoter, consider it: it may make you very wealthy. Transfer your support to this true version of MMA; divert your focus from the popularity of the UFC. The Castrati must form a new support network for NHB as passionate and unbreakable as pre-TUF MMA’s. The first and simplest step is the realization that they are entirely different sports.

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