We just watched a movie called Never Surrender. Here's the cover:
I know most of the people who read my journal -- or, more precisely, look at the titles of my journal articles, hehe -- don't follow MMA. But it is normal for the jackets of movies to actually show the people actually starring in the movie. And there's a lot of MMA talent on this cover, let me tell you, ranging from the pretty good with Heath Herring (far left in back), to the really good with BJ Penn (back center) and Quinton Jackson (front left) to the best in the world with Georges St-Pierre (front right) and Anderson Silva (back right).
Now, all of them are in the movie. Heath Herring has the most screen time and actually qualifies as a "in" the movie, but the rest? Rampage Jackson is in the movie for about two minutes, GSP and BJ Penn are in slightly more, perhaps five minutes total for each of them and Anderson Silva is in for about two minutes with no dialog . . . which isn't too strange since he doesn't speak English, I suppose.
The movie actually stars this guy:
Hector Echavarria is his name. Who is he? I have no fucking idea. His Wikipedia page claims he's won a lot of competitions, such as the "World Vale-Tudo Kickboxing Champion of the World". None of his various world championships are sourced. Uh-huh. And I've never heard of such a thing as "World Vale-Tudo Kickboxing Champion of the World" and, perhaps more relevantly, Google has never heard of such a thing. It doesn't even make any goddamn sense! Vale tudo is basically Brazilian for "mixed martial arts" (though a little crazier). Vale tudo and kickboxing would be like saying the World Boxing Judo Champion of the World. Ugh. I mean, seriously? World Vale Tudo Kickboxing Champion of the World? Isn't that a bad Monty Python joke?
Other things Google has never heard of? World Kung Fu Championship. While there is no National World Tae Kwon Do Federation champion (c'mon, dood, is it national or world!) there is a WTF, which means World Tae Kwon Do Federation. I couldn't find Hector on the WTF webpage or any reference that seemed legitimate when googling them together.
There was a United States Karate Association up until 1999. From the 70s to 1989, however, it was functionally replaced by the Professional Karate Association and became the organization of Shuri-ryu karate (which was the style of the founder of the ISKA). From 1989 to 1999, the leadership of the organization was disputed after the founder of the ISKA died and in 1999 it was dissolved entirely. Uh-huh. I could probably get away saying I was an ISKA world champion, too, on account that the organization no longer exists.
I understand that martial arts isn't frequently very online. And his credentials are good enough so that Black Belt magazine recognizes him training Quinton Jackson and Chieck Kongo. His Wikipedia page also says he's working with BJ Penn . . . which is plausible since he got Penn in his silly little movie. But you compare Echavarria's Wikipedia page with, say, Penn's Wikipedia page -- and Penn's career is sourced out the wazoo. It says who Penn trained with and gives sources. So when Wikipedia says BJ Penn beat Brazilian jiu jitsu world champions, there's a sourced link to NBCSports.com. And, of course, it's superficially easy to find sources that acknowledge BJ Penn fought in the UFC and has held the lightweight and welterweight belts. And, interestingly enough, on Penn's Wikipedia page it makes no mention, at all, of Hector Echavarria training him. Neither does Rampage Jackson's page mention Echavarria as a trainer. Argh. This Echavarria is a tool.
This is just too good. I've got to quote: "Born in Corrientes, Argentina on December 6, 1969. Asthma troubled Echavarria as a young child, and his parents had to take turns rocking him at night just so he could breathe. His father sought help for his son with acupuncture treatments, and thereby came to know the first Shaolin monk to flee China, Grand Master Tung Kou Tsao. Although Hector was only four years old, Kou Tsao recommended that Hector learn Tai Chi Chuan because it would help alleviate his asthma by strengthening his breathing. For that reason, Hector started taking lessons in Tai Chi Chuan and Chinese Boxing with Kou Tsao. By the age of six, he was training in Judo and Jiu Jitsu under Grand Master Mayamoto of Kodokan." Holy shit, this guy's a fucking liar! Trained by Shaolin monks? Really? Grand masters of Kodokan started personally training him when he was six? Uh, yeah, right.
In addition to being a liar, he's also a lousy director and actor. I mean, I know that's what this article was supposed to be about but I was totally derailed by what a giant liar this guy is! Oh, excuse me, I'm sure that the article has no connection at all to Echavarria . . . *rolls eyes so far back I can see my brain*
But it's a lousy movie. Instead of being about all those MMA guys I like so well, it's about Hector and his MMA fanfic. Because that's what the movie is, MMA fanfic and he's the Mary Stu. Totally no kidding. So, he's the bestest MMA fighter ever and he hangs out all the time with a bunch of MMA guys, no, really! And they all just love him and think he's so cool and tough!
But MMA isn't badass enough for Hector, nope! He gets brought into an illegal tournament where he doesn't have to fight by any pansy rules! And for getting into the league, he gets to have sex with a hot girl! And when he wins, he gets to have sex with the other guy's hot girl and his own hot girl is totally okay with that! And he gets paid so much better than MMA fighters, who are always there for him and . . . he can beat up Anderson Silva! That's how tough he is!
It's totally fan fiction that somehow got filmed. The fights aren't particularly good -- so it's also a waste of talent, too.
Oh, god, the whole movie is like that. And it's awful. And I got suckered by the stupid fucking cover with guys I like on it. And there's a sex montage about every fifteen minutes. I think there are four of them in the movie. It's like, "Another fifteen minutes -- so here's some titties!" It's like a fourteen year old boy's power fantasy.
Anyway, the article rambled because I found saw Echavarria's lies about himself. The movie sucks. It's cover is a lie. A piece of my soul died today.