If you’re like me, your psyche has been on an emotional roller coaster since the second that ball dropped in Times Square to usher in 2020. Not only did I not have a New Year’s smooch, but since the clock hit midnight, things have not been coming up Tj Francis.
I’ve been treated to a global pandemic, the existence of aliens being confirmed by the government, murder hornets, protests and civil unrest, potential World Wars, the unmasking of Hollywood ephebophiles (and learning what an “ephebophile” is), gaining weight, finding a rash on a place you really don’t want a rash, being worried I caught something before realizing I’ve been alone since March, calling a friend in med school just to be safe and being told it could be because I switched soaps, asking my mom if she switched soaps because I’m living at home again only for her to tell me I could buy my own soap if I had a job, ultimately sending my friend a picture of my bits and pieces before being urged to go to the doctor, and now dealing with constant anxiety because they couldn’t fit me in until next week.
So yeah, that’s how I’ve been doing.
It seems like there are a lot of “normal” people out there who’ve taken a look at everything going on and still think “it’s all going to be okay.” I don’t get this. Why should I believe anything will ever be okay? According to my friends, the answer is “just because,” which is not good enough for me. They might just be blocking things out but I’ve had to turn to other distractions in an attempt to do the same.
I typically spend my days meandering through Twitter, but with topics like North Korea or a favorite celebrity trending at a time when every famous person is getting canceled or dying, it’s only made things worse. I’ve started taking longer breaks from social media, so when I’m, for example, watching a show on Hulu, I will only allow myself to pick up my phone during commercials and not during the actual episode. It’s more grueling than you’d think.
However, just like weightlifters cheat on their diet every once in a while, I occasionally allow myself to get in way too deep on social media. Do I learn from these cheat days? Of course not. The very next day, I do the exact same thing: overindulge, tell myself I’ll finally change my ways on Monday, make a halfhearted effort to do so, and ultimately see nothing come to fruition as the cycle starts again. It’s a nightmare. It would probably be healthier to not put any restrictions on myself and just be normal but I work in extremes. Sue me.
Anyway, when I do allow myself time on the apps, I typically end up checking in with one of my favorite follows on Instagram: DJ Akademiks. “Ak” (as the cool kids call him) is basically TMZ for rappers. He covers hip-hop almost exclusively and will report on anything, ranging from an underground artist releasing a song to Drake buying toilet paper.
The reason I bring up Ak stems back to last month, which is when he started to get into posting different rappers showing off in the boxing ring. Rap and boxing have been intertwined before but what I find funny about these posts is how bad these rappers look when they’re trying to show off for the cameras.
Some of them are visibly unathletic and out of shape and it seems like a good chunk of them have likely never worked out in their life. However, that doesn’t stop them from challenging some of their peers to step into the ring with them. Gone are the days where rappers leave the silly trash talk to the side and shadily handle business in silence. Today, everything is a content opportunity. If you post a video hitting the bag for one minute and call out another rapper, that’s going to potentially help you “secure a bag” as a result.
It all feels very inauthentic, but this is America, baby! We love fake reality shows where people play a caricature of themselves and create fights with family and friends out of nowhere. That’s why we watch, so I’ll play along and bite the “fake beef” bait.
These videos serve as a nice distraction, and thanks to how my mind works, I can stretch them into a few hours of procrastination. As a fan of celebrity drama and MMA, Ak’s recent posts took me down a rabbit hole of imagining different celebrity MMA fights. What would it be like to see rich and famous idiots ditch their Hollywood PC acts and get in the Octagon? What celebrities openly (or privately) hate each other and the thought of them doing anything athletic is comical? What fights would just be awesome to watch?
With absolutely nothing on my calendar until the year 2023, I decided to put together my dream card for a Celebrity Mixed Martial Arts Fight Night and spend more time than I care to admit breaking down the matchups.
Matchup: Justin Bieber vs. Tom Cruise
Division: Battle of the Eras
Fight Background and Breakdown
Justin has had a weird life. He started as a teen pop star who ended up getting married to Haily Baldwin and the entire ride has been a wild one. He had one stretch where he was just a huge shithead and was constantly dealing with breakups, DUIs, fighting fans, and cursing out Bill Clinton while peeing in a bucket. He acted as you would expect a teenager with unlimited money to act, so you can’t blame him, and as many celebrities do, he found Jesus and has since toned it down.
Although he’s past his punk rock days, he still decided to call out Tom Cruise last year, and once people were made aware of the possibility, it became impossible to not want to see it actually happen. Sure, Cruise is twice as old as Bieber but he’s also a Hollywood robot who hasn’t scratched a nail since 1982 and I know I’m not the only person who would like to see if he can actually bleed.
As for the fight itself? Bieber may have found Jesus, but based on some of the evidence, the 57-year-old Scientologist seems to think he possesses a similar set of skills as the son of God. In the past, he’s claimed he can “create new and better realities for people” and only has to look around a room to detect who needs his services the most.
Tom knows he is better than everyone he encounters, and while that ego is perfect for fighting, the overall mindset leaves something to be desired.
Bieber, on the other hand, rose to fame during an era where social media has made celebrities more accessible to the public than ever before. He is an actual person with real athletic ability (as seen in his many celebrity basketball games and Instagram hockey videos). Tom may be a physical specimen but he just doesn’t have the kind of animosity required to beef with someone he has no real qualms with.
He’d come into the fight just looking to help, but on the other hand, giving Bieber the chance to represent the New Guard and officially end the reign of the Old would motivate him to come out flying. This would be the fastest fight of the night, as Justin KOs Tom quicker than Masvidal knocked out Askren.
In the post-fight interview, Tom is confused and just looking for ways he can aid those around him despite needing a fair amount of medical attention himself while Justin thanks God and his fans 47 times each.
Matchup: Aaron Rodgers vs Jordan Rodgers
Division: Family Feud
Fight Background and Breakdown
Back when the least famous quarterback to come out of the Rodgers household was on The Bachelor, we learned that the more successful one had stopped speaking to the other members of his family. It appears the feeling is mutual but the enmity doesn’t stop there, as it seems like most people who don’t own a giant piece of cheese made out of foam just don’t like the dude as a person even if he’s one hell of a player.
Now, Aaron doesn’t like to talk about that realm of his private life but that doesn’t mean the family feud isn’t public.
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But when your own Mom is home alone during the fires, car packed ready to evacuate, & you miss the fundamental first step of compassion; calling your parents to make sure they are safe….
Everything else just feels like an act. https://t.co/glzDfqwsKz
— Jordan Rodgers (@JRodgers11) November 21, 2018
There’s no doubt the entire family would be in Jordan’s corner for what would be a very interesting matchup, as Aaron is clearly the superior athlete but his brother is objectively the better-looking of the two and obviously puts in some effort in the gym to maintain what he’s got going.
As for the fight itself, Aaron’s initial cockiness would get him in trouble early and result in him getting taken down in the first round, but from there, hatred would take over. Memories of fights and arguments from his childhood would flash through his mind once he arrived in his corner and an emotional volcano would erupt shortly after the second round begins, leading to Jordan laying unconscious on the canvas less than a minute later as Aaron continues to pummel him with hammer fists while the referee struggles to intervene.
There would be no Warrior-type ending where the brothers hugged and cried after finally realizing their love for each other. Not at all. In fact, the opposite would be true, as it all ends with Aaron spitting on Jordan’s broken body as he walks back to his empty locker room showered with boos.
When interviewed, he dodges all of the family and fight-related questions, instead spinning every answer into a State Farm ad. “I was nervous about how I would get to the fight after my recent fender bender, but like a good neighbor, State Farm was there for me.”
Matchup: Nicki Minaj vs Cardi B
Division: Rap Queens
Fight Background and Breakdown
This fight between the rappers born Onika Tanya Maraj and Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar may be the most anticipated bout of the night. For years, Nicki was “that bitch”; the undisputed Queen who faced no real competition for the crown. Then, out of nowhere, Cardi B showed up to the party and all eyes turned to Nicki’s throne to see how she’d defend it. The answer? Well, she kind of just…didn’t, as Cardi has since outperformed, outsold, and outdone her in almost every department.
It’s worth noting these two actually have a fighting past that stems back to the time Cardi threw her shoe (and possibly some hands) at Nicki when they encountered each other at a party.
On fight night, both women would walk out to their own respective Billboard hits. Cardi would probably go with “Bodak Yellow” but I think Nicki would break out a classic and enter to Anaconda, which would get certain people in the crowd excited in more ways than one.
I think the first two rounds would look pretty similar to the start of Ngannou vs. Lewis, as both of them will stall and circle the ring for a good ten minutes because they don’t want to mess up their nails. However, that all changes in the final round thanks to the pep talks each of them received from their coaches, who just so happen to be the rappers they’re romantically linked to.
In Nicki’s corner, you’ve got Lil Wayne saying something to the effect of, “Look, I know you’re tired. I Feel Like Dyin, too. When I was a young fighter, all I wanted to do was be Stuntin Like My Daddy, so I said come on, there’s A Milli for you at the end of this fight. Push through. Cardi is not a 6’7″ monster. She’s human just like you. She Will try to end you this round. But don’t let it happen. YMCMB.”
Offset, on the other hand, is telling Cardi, “Look, you got this. It’s been a slow fight but you have to finish it here. Do it for your momma.” Then Quavo and Takeoff, who are sitting next to each other at ringside, would simultaneously scream “Momma!”
It turns out experience trumps popularity. Cardi would come out and throw a sharp uppercut to knock Nicki to the ground, but given her recent buttock implants, she would pop right back up like a bouncy house and KO Cardi with a flying knee. What started as a boring fight turned out to be wildly entertaining and it was all thanks to Dr. Diamond and his silicone implants.
Matchup: Marshall Mathers vs Nick Cannon
Division: Actual Talent vs. America’s Got Talent
Fight Background and Breakdown
If you somehow don’t know that song or the history here, it stretches all the way back to when Nick Cannon was married to Mariah Carey and Eminem claimed to have dated her for six months, which she denied. What actually happened? No one truly knows but almost everybody knows what happened next.
Mariah replied to Eminem’s comments by releasing “Obsessed,” which is a fairly catchy tune about his fascination with her but nothing particularly special. Slim Shady, on the other hand, replied with “Warning Shot,” which is up there with the likes of “Hit ‘Em Up” and “No Vaseline” when it comes to the most brutal diss tracks the world has ever seen. Cannon, who is really just an extremely poor man’s Jamie Foxx, released some responses of his own and the fact that we’re not talking about them tells you all you need to know about how they measured up.
Nick actually tried to track down Eminem in an attempt to throw hands after “Warning Shot” came out but was ultimately unsuccessful. However, what would a fight actually look like?
As you can see, Eminem has battle experience when it comes to facing off against opponents on the mic and in the ring. Nick Cannon, on the other hand, only wants peace. He was willing to lose the game on Wild ‘n Out just to stop the idea of violence.
Nick is the equivalent of a Hollywood Suit. He may talk a big game, but when it comes to handling differences, he would rather see someone in court than get physical. He uses words and jokes to deescalate situations but that doesn’t help much when you’re going up against Eminem, who isn’t just a more capable fighter but also a much stronger wordsmith.
This David vs. Goliath type fight doesn’t reach the fourth round, as Eminem (much like Floyd Mayweather Jr.) is a master of defense. He shows up, remains silent, studies his opponent for the first few rounds, and then pounces when he sees an opening. It’s very technical, and although some would say it’s boring, it gets the job done.
In his interview with Joe Rogan after everything wraps up, Eminem won’t praise himself but rather talk about everything he did wrong; listing all of his flaws one by one and not even stopping after the sound team cuts the mic off. He then walks back to the locker room, where he spots a crazed Machine Gun Kelly screaming from the cheap seats about a fight of his own and responds with nothing but a cold stare.
Matchup: Dana White vs Darren Rovell
Division: Jock vs Nerd
Fight Background and Breakdown
Darren Rovell is an interesting sports figure. The content, information, and reporting he provides is actually really interesting and I think most people appreciate his work. But as a person, he is unanimously disliked. He really is the annoying nerd from school who has a few insightful thoughts you want to stick around for, but as soon as he asks to hang out, you’re suddenly busy.
He’s beefed with a lot of people over the years and that list includes Dana White, who took exception to one of the many Objectively Bad Tweets Rovell has consistently churned out since becoming hopelessly addicted to the platform.
Between Rousey and Cyborg, Amanda Nunes has singlehandedly killed the most valuable women in the sport.
Brutally damaging to UFC.
Nunes isn't in the same marketing ballpark as either of those two.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 30, 2018
Did he think criticizing the marketing ability of the man who turned the UFC into a billion-dollar company would somehow end well for him? Well, it didn’t, as White was asked about the tweet in a press conference and replied by asking who Darren was and questioning exactly what he knows about fighting. It was the perfect response. The bully flipped the script by doing what victims are supposed to: ignoring Rovell to make him go away. By questioning his existence, the feud kind of came to a halt.
However, Dana is a huge grudge guy, and once you get on his bad side, you’re there for life. With an opportunity to legally clock the only man in the world who doesn’t fill out a March Madness bracket, White couldn’t pass it up. The fight would hit a road bump prior to the big night, as Dana would complain that he’s not being paid enough before getting mad at himself for having the audacity to question how the UFC treats its fighters and ultimately accepting his own terms.
Once the fight does arrive, it would not go very well for Rovell, as he does not have a great history when it comes to literally anything involving any sort of athleticism.
My gym treadmills only go to 12.0, but my 6.41 40-yard dash is actually the equivalent of 12.7 on the treadmill pic.twitter.com/EOiUXKg5TL
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 12, 2019
He would enter the Octagon trying to secretly make amends with Dana, meeting him at the center of the canvas and whispering, “Let’s be easy on each other. This is all promotion and we’re both just here for the check, right?” Dana would disagree in silence and let his kicks and punches do all of the talking for him
This fight could end as quickly as Bieber vs. Cruise but Dana doesn’t want to win. He wants to punish. Much like a prisoner getting a life sentence as opposed to death row, he wants to make Darren feel the pain. He’ll hit him in places he knows will hurt but not knock him out, and when he hears the clapping indicating there are ten seconds left in the first round, he’ll put Darren out of his misery in the same way Ngannou did with Overeem.
Then, he’ll walk out to loud cheers capping off a great first card for the CMMAA. What a night.
Now, at the end of the day, these are all made up, so was this completely insane? Maybe, but when I see things like war, famine, and disease trending on Twitter, you know what does help? Creating an entire fake night of fights in my head and then subsequently writing it out for people who need a similar escape. Sadly, I regret to inform you it’s now time to turn back to reality.