Oh what a tangled web that is woven by this complicated sport known as mixed martial arts. At the elite levels of the sport contracts and team affiliations tend to be the glue that holds an event or intended match ups together.
At the more regional, and especially the amateur level, sometimes it proves more problematic holding an intended fight card together as a match-maker originally designed.
While the circumstances obviously vary from one individual to the next, fighters are forced to pull out of fights at times with little to no advanced notice. Not unlike at the highest levels of the sport it is a necessary evil which can prove very frustrating for an organization and for an opponent.
With that knowledge in mind, a fight fan must be able to feel the frustration of the up-and-coming mixed martial artist Larry Mir. Mir is the cousin of UFC legend Frank Mir and has chosen a path not unlike Frank's and chose MMA as his home.
Larry has been leaving his stamp at the amateur level and earning a reputation as a game, willing, and capable fighter. He learns from his losses and basks in the glory of his victories. He also has found himself in a bit of a bad blood triangle that consumes his focus.
Mir trains with Justin Vadnais, who happens to be the cousin of MMA mogul Dana White. Mir and Vadnais are dear friends as many training partners are. Vadnais suffered a loss at the hands of Wanderlei Silva prospect Chris Barden at the Randy Couture's Xtreme Combat Weekend last year.
Chris Barden, having defeated Mir's training partner, automatically had a bullseye on his back as far as the young Mir was concerned. Mir longed to try his hand at avenging his friend's loss at the hands of Barden.
Well the match-maker at Tuff-N-Uff finally found a way to get Mir and Barden in as the main event which was scheduled to take place at Tuff-N-Uff's next event. Mir made it known how ecstatic he was and how much he looked forward to getting in the Tuff-N-Uff ring with Barden.
Those pure fans who follow this promotion and its promising young fighters were equally elated to see this match come to fruition.
Unfortunately, three days before the two were scheduled to sort out their bad blood and go to war Barden was forced to pull out of his main event match with Mir. Suffice to say, Mir was extremely displeased as per his points made on various social media outlets such as his facebook profile.
So it would seem, that Mr. Larry Mir will have to wait to settle his differences with Mr. Chris Barden another day. The beauty of the situation is where one door closes or slams shut in this case, another door gently creeps open. Mir has been fortunate enough to learn this lesson on the fly.
For those fight fans that do not know, the hard hitting fact about Tuff-N-Uff Amateur Fighting Championships is that there is never a shortage of highly-skilled, elite-trained amateur fighters in their stable to pull from when the unforeseen happens.
Bottom line is brothers Barry and Jeff Meyer have created a mecca of amateur fighters and provided a forum for the best to challenge one another. So when one fighter falls, another is always willing to take his place.
In this case, it is not just any other amateur stepping up on three days notice to challenge the young Mir, it is none other than the Tuff-N-Uff 145 lb champion Jimmy Jones. Jones is one of the elite amateurs fighting under the Tuff-N-Uff banner, and his willingness to step up and face Mr. Mir is indicative of the high quality and charismatic fighters they work with.
Mir has virtually traded his bad blood match up for one that includes a title shot, but it is not an opportunity without its inherent dangers. Jones is on a five-fight win streak and will obviously look to keep his belt securely strapped around his waist. Mir will do everything in his power to take it back to his camp with him.
For a replacement match, it actually sounds even more exciting than the one that was based more on emotion and bad blood. Either way it goes, the fight fan can rest assured that not only this fight but all of them will entertain once the bell tones.
All in all, as always, the Meyer brothers and the staff at Tuff-N-Uff have found a way to bring together a solid and compelling main event, even though it had to be done on short time. They never fail their fighters or their fight fans.
All that said, it is but only one fight on a card of up to fifteen matches in store this Friday night. Including Round Two of the female 115 lb tournament that will see either Ashely Cummins or Cathy Snell move on to face Wanderlei Silva prospect Gabriella Lakoczky for a Tuff-N-Uff title.
Another notable contest will take place between a young man named John Gettle and Nick Thompson who have a combined record of 8-0. Somebody's "0" has got to go Friday night and both men will fight hard to make sure they are the one that leaves with their perfect record intact.
Just between you, me and the internet, Thompson better hope he leaves with his limbs intact as Gettle was made Internet famous for breaking his previous opponents arm last time out. Of course Thompson is not to be undersold by the fate of his predecessor, but it's worth noting that Gettle's BJJ is sick.
At the end of the day it's just one more grass roots yet high profile fight card for the folks at Tuff-N-Uff. With camps cornering their fighters that include Frank Mir's Suffer Fight Team, Wand Fight Team, Xtreme Couture, Cobra Kai, Striking Unlimited and more, fans are bound to see not only elite trained amateurs but the elite high profile people who corner them.
One of the most exciting aspects for fight fans outside of Las Vegas is the people at Tuff-N-Uff will have the fights streaming from their website Friday night for fans anywhere to enjoy.
Don't be surprised to see esteemed journalist Ron "Yac Man" Yacovetti in attendance calling the fights.
That being said, do yourself a favor, fight fan, support these amateurs, support this event, support this organization. You won't be disappointed, that is a guarantee.
After watching the fights be sure and take the Tuff-N-Uff survey to help the organization improve in the very few areas there may be room for it.