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Hot Tweets: Storming Area 51 with fighters and team-based MMA

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Well, I asked for weird questions and y’all sure did deliver this week. I’m so proud. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

Team-based MMA

Funny you should mention that, because one time I wrote this long and exhaustive piece about MMA World Cup teams. You should read that.

Also, this did exist previously. It was called the IFL and it was, if we’re being honest, bad. That’s not to say it didn’t produce some gems (long live the IFL rap) or some good fighters and fights, but it couldn’t really capture any interest and then they crowned individual champions anyway which kind of screwed everything up and made it dumb.

I actually think team MMA is a good idea. The nature of the sport doesn’t lend itself for that concept to work well for a major promoter but I think it works much better for a smaller promotion. Hell, half of regional promotions end up being something close to team competitions as undercards get filled out with guys from the local gyms/teammates to the guys headlining the events. If like, Alaska FC decided to pivot to a team format and keep having all their stuff distributed on FightPass I would watch the hell out of that.

I actually spent a ton of time making a format and rules that I’d implement for it but that would take forever to say so here are the highlights of the Jed Meshew Team Fight League.

  • 8 teams with fighters competing in each of the 10 major weight classes (not including W145 or M125)
  • Two conferences with 4 teams apiece.
  • Event schedule is determined at beginning of the season. Teams are allowed one alternate per weight class.
  • Round-robin conference play leading to 6 team playoff format (top finishing team from each conference gets a bye)
  • Each win is worth 3 points, a stoppage win is worth 5 points (forfeits count as stoppage wins)

The way to think about making this work is as a true team sport instead of as individual fighters. The reality is you aren’t gonna get a lot of experienced or elite fighters in a format like this, but if you’re essentially partnering with gyms, what you can be is a platform for young inexperienced fighters to get that experience in a way that boosts the profile of them and their gym. It all comes down to finding gyms that see the value in having something like this and working with them.

Horse-sized ducks

The real answer is one because Francis Ngannou is too nice a guy to ever throw hands at PVZ. The fictional answer is probably four to be safe. I think two could get it done but if Ngannou takes one out immediately, then that’s basically like taking them both out. Four is just too many people for him to handle though. He swings once, one of them ties up his arms and the others mob him. I answered something similar the other week but seriously, fighting multiple people is so much more difficult than people think, even for a destroyer of worlds like Ngannou.


Very simple: I sleep in an extra hour than I normally would, then I go on a light jog, and then, because I’m extra basic, I usually play a round of golf, weather permitting. I hate running. There are very few things in this life I despise more than running. All those people who talk about a “runner’s high” and pretend like prolonged running is this invigorating and glorious experience, they’re all liars. I ran a marathon one time (because I’m an idiot) let me tell you, it’s every bit as bad as you think it would be. All that did was make me hate running even more.


I’ve found running to be the best hangover cure out there. (Well, any physical activity really but in the throws of a monster hangover, I tend to lack the coordination to do anything other than jog forward ad infinitum). It doesn’t so much get rid of your hangover as it just condenses it down into an hour of tormentuous misery instead of a full day of trash. I’ve always been a “rip the band aid off” kind of guy and working out is the best way I know how to do that. The run is miserable but after its over and I take a shower, I’m usually ready to be a productive member of society again. The golf is a nice cool down for me.

Now, if you’re asking how I recover after working an event, that’s substantially easier. Working UFC’s is hard because of the late hours you’re up to to finish producing content, pulling news, etc... but it’s not terrible in the grand scheme of things. Plus I love what I do so that makes it much simpler. After I finally get back to my hotel/home from an event, I just sleep in and then take it easy. I also usually try and stay away from MMA stuff the morning after an event if I can, just because personally I like to have a little bit of distance to think about whatever has transpired without a ton of outside opinions swaying me first.

Movie Fights

TREMENDOUS QUESTION! There are so many possibilities here. Where does it take place? What are the rules? Are their weapons?

At first blush I think I have to go with Sapp just because Rampage has a crisis of faith all through The A-Team and like, won’t do the one thing he’s good at. Meanwhile Sapp’s unnamed character in Izo has zero problems putting a hurting on people, since he, ya know, stabbed Izo through the freaking chest.

But then what about B.A. at the end of the movie after he kills a black ops guy with an almost casual powerbomb? I don’t think B.A.’s powerbombing El Sapp-arino. But, Sapp does look pretty slow in his fight with Izo and gets by mostly on his gargantuan size. B.A. might can mostly match him in the size department and is much more nimble, so edge to end-of-movie B.A.

Also, are we including weapons in this contest? Because if that’s the case then I’m taking B.A. and a gun over slow-ass Sapp and his katana. Unless the fight takes place in a flying tank. Then, the close quarters and B.A.’s own phobias make it an easy Sapp win.

Sidebar: The A-Team is a criminally underrated blockbuster. It’s not a “great film” but the casting is really damn good and I’m still kind of at a loss for how it wasn’t a bigger success. Neeson and Cooper should have been enough to greenlight an entire franchise of films, and legitimately, Rampage is not bad at all as Baracus (okay, he’s stiff in parts but he grows into the role). Feels like Quinton should’ve been able to parlay that into more film roles but that’s just how it goes, I suppose.

Anyway, I will stand hard for The A-Team because it’s incredibly rewatchable, a la The Rock. The only thing that really irks me about it is the Neeson line “your Muay Thai is almost as bad as your jiu-jitsu” after engaging in neither Muay Thai nor jiu-jitsu (brought it back around to MMA and landed that plane like Hannibal).

A serious question

That they have completely lost the plot. Faber is a good fighter, a pioneer, and a star, but he belongs nowhere near a title shot. If four times was not enough to prove that he couldn’t get the belt, why is a fifth, when he’s 40 years old going to be the one that finally gets him UFC gold? If there was a dearth of challengers, sure, build your champion’s resume off the back of a Hall of Famer. But right now you’d be selling any credibility you still have for MAYBE an extra 100,000 PPV buys. And I’m not even sure it’s that many. Faber is a good star to have to headline Fight Nights. I’m not sure The California Grown Man is built to carry a PPV anymore.

Fights the fans want

Of course he didn’t, didn’t you hear? You’re gonna get Urijah Faber vs. Henry Cejudo by the end of the year.

(Also, why in God’s name would you want to see either of those fights again? Those particular riddles were conclusively solved).

Best nickname

It used to be Beastin’ 25/8 until Corey Anderson lost all his cool and went with the squarest name imaginable. As a result, “Overtime” is now the worst nickname with “Pitbull” coming in as a close second since so many people have it.

The new best nickname is Bobby Knuckles because it’s both awesome, and organic. It’s a true nickname not a fight nickname and I have nothing but love for it.

Also, “Gamebred” is dope and you best not be talking that trash. You saw what happens.

Storming Area 51

No offense, but Jon Jones is a terrible choice here. Fighting the zombie apocalypse and fighting world-class fighters are two entirely different skill sets, and Jon is not the guy you want to hitch your wagon to, if for no other reason than if you slowed him down, he’d definitely bail on you.

From a skill-set perspective, give me Valentina Shevchenko. Look at this woman.

She’s gun proficient, and if you told me she was a Peruvian black-ops member, I wouldn’t bat an eye. The Bullet Train is where I want to be to survive when the ish goes down.

But while I respect the intention of the question, you’ve got to be more topical. Storming Area 51 is hot in the internet streets right now, so let’s pivot the question to ask who we would want backing our play if we’re trying to kidnap an alien.

First, we need to figure out what skills we need. Cardio is of paramount importance since we’re gonna be doing a lot of running, jumping, lifting, and fighting. So along those lines, athleticism is also must, and foot speed is preferable since we’re going to have cover a good chunk of distance before we get into the compound. Once we get to the compound, we need a good jumper so we can clear the security fences. Once we’re over the fences, we’ll probably be met with resistance, meaning we need a scrapper who isn’t afraid to go against groups of people with no regard for his own well-being.

So when you add all that up, there’s really only one man you want on your side: Khabib Nurmagomedov. Who else is as well prepared to scale fences and rush headlong into a group of enemy combatants with reckless abandon? No one, that’s who. If I’m trying to go see what’s what about the aliens, I need “The Eagle” by my side.

Thanks for reading this week and thank you for everyone who sent in Tweets! Do you have any burning questions about at least tacitly related to combat sports? Then you’re in luck because you can send your Hot Tweets to me, @JedKMeshew and I will answer them! Doesn’t matter if they’re topical or insane. Get weird with it. Let’s have fun.