New Year's is a time for fresh starts, new beginnings. It's a time to look disdainfully at the person you have been, and look longingly into the idealistic future at the person you will become.
For most of us, our New Year's resolutions are relatively simple and disappointingly predictable. Go to the gym more, floss at least three times a week, be nicer to our family members, stop staggering onto the porch in your bathrobe while yelling obscenities at the annoying little kids down the street. That last one might just be me.
But for MMA fighters, resolutions are a trickier business. Sometimes the changes they need to make are right in front of them, clear as day to everyone but themselves. With that in mind, it seems only right to offer them a little friendly help. It is the holiday season, after all.
Georges St-Pierre: Move up to middleweight and fight Anderson Silva. The UFC welterweight division is just about cleaned out at this point, and a superfight with Silva looks increasingly like the best available option. If you lose, everyone will blame it on the size disparity. If you win, you'll be an instant legend. If you don't at least try, you'll always be wondering what would have happened.
Chris Leben: Stop drinking. Like, completely. You can say you weren't really drunk during your last arrest, but come on, it happened at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday, so it's not like you were on your way home from church. Now that your career has been revived by a couple high-profile wins, it's time to be honest with yourself and admit that every bad thing that has happened to you in the last few years has happened because of alcohol. Except for Anderson Silva. There was nothing you could do about him.
Dana White: Drop the obsession with making teammates fight each other. We get it, it makes no sense to you. Then again, it doesn't have to. You're a fight promoter, which means you'd probably pit an 800-pound gorilla against your own sister if you thought you could sell tickets to it. Fighters are made of different stuff. If they say they can't fight a certain guy without ruining the productive, protective environment in the gym, respect that and let it go.
Fedor Emelianenko: More fighting, less renegotiating. Ever since you became a promotion unto yourself with the help of M-1 Global, you've been slowly alienating your fans. I know that doesn't mean anything to you, but pretty soon the financial repercussions will mean something to your friends at M-1. You must fight a heavyweight who matters in 2011, and no, "Bigfoot" Silva doesn't count.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney: Stop showing everyone your text messages. We get it, Strikefoce isn't terribly interested in co-promoting with you. Can you blame them? You have more to gain than they do. But running around and showing the increasingly desperate texts you supposedly sent to Scott Coker only makes you look like a scorned high school girl, and you're not pretty enough to pull that off.
Randy Couture: Retire. For real this time. No more, "I'm probably going to retire soon" proclamations. No, "I'll retire unless I can fight Machida or Rua." Just cash in, ride off into the Hollywood sunset of an oddly successful acting career, and let us remember you as the way you were.
Nick Diaz: Fight "Mayhem" Miller. Look man, this has gotten ridiculous. You had no problem jumping him on national TV or throwing water bottles at him backstage after your fight with K.J. Noons, so why not face him in a situation where you're both getting paid for it? Either take the fight at a catchweight, or drop the thug act once and for all. You can't simultaneously claim that you'll fight anyone while also refusing to fight someone who has spent the better part of the last year calling you out.
James Toney: Stay the hell away from MMA. You're obviously not interested in learning any of its relevant disciplines, and our curiosity has been satisfied. Go find another sport to harass and annoy. Tennis, anyone?
Brock Lesnar: Leave the comfort of your compound and train somewhere else for a change. Go some place where they will specifically punch you in the face, really hard, over and over again until you get used to it. If you can get to a point where eating a shot doesn't make you completely fall apart, you just might become champion again.
Chael Sonnen: Get some new material. The pro wrestling heel routine is great, but why is it that, whenever you fight a Brazilian now, most of your trash talk revolves around portraying Brazil as a primitive jungle nation? It's important to remember that while sometimes funny jokes are also insulting and offensive, jokes are not necessarily funny simply because they are insulting and offensive.