On Mothers Day, MMA journalist Ben Fowlkes penned a piece on The rumors and the damage done for Bellator MMA. In response, Junkie reader Juan Bastard referred to Fowlkes as Ned Holness, the real name of comedian Carlos Mencia. The name is a reference to Holness/Mencia's infamous reputation for ripping off other comedian's content.
While in MMA borrowing someone's techniques is a sign of respect, and indeed is at the heart of the sport, in comedy it is the equivalent of someone stealing your mother's purse, on mother's day.
In response to the jibe, Fowlkes went off, on Internet critics generally, and, with tongue in cheek, on Ariel Helwani, too.
Ben Fowlkes @benfowlkesmma
Thank you to everyone who reads and enjoys my writing. But, referring to me as Ned Holness? In what such ways, might I ask? Because posters on MMAJunkie.com have accused me of “stealing their stuff?” You may not like what I write or where you perceive my ideas might flower, but undeniably, you read it. And what in my tweets or in my writings gives the impression that I am an “angry dude?” I will, without a doubt, regret this moment in the stink-breath hangover of morning, but I am going to speak my mind clearly here, and I hope that you fans will listen:
Certain types of MMA fans make me ill. You unearth in me a heaving reflex reminiscent of my college days. Boyish days spent chasing endless beer and tail on campus, only to find myself often praying swiftly and violently, cast diminutively in the towering shadow of the holy commode, after going completely Animal House on a case and a half of Natural Light, and handfuls of beef jerky.
Some of you fans make me heave like I used to, like I used to before forcing myself to appear on the 3 hour nightmare theater Ariel Helwani ego trip, referred to politely as ‘the MMA Hour.’ Thank the airwaves that much of my time spent with Ariel was over the phone. Any in-studio interview with Helwani is debilitating like a pepper spray attack to the face, being forced to inhale his sickening concoction of Polo Sport and Axe body spray, choking back what tastes and burns like tears induced by Mace, delivered swiftly on the justice end of some parking garage purse snatching. Everyone loves Helwani…anyways…
You Barbie dolls might enjoy trading nerd notes and casserole recipes with him, as you fondly ponder Olivia Newton-John singing, “Let’s Get Physical” in the sweet candle light glow of Ariel’s mother’s basement. Because that is a song that Helwani cannot deny, gets plenty of rotation on his i-pod.
It is the fans that have forced me to periodically and reluctantly question myself, to question my legitimacy and role as a writer in this wonderful sport, and for this wonderful website. Fans like you are the reason that I dedicated the most brutal year of my life to my readers, training in all things animal testosterone at the Grudge Gym, and others, in beautiful Colorado while writing “The Hurt Business.” And believe you, me - it was no happy dance party enduring the shrill, daily, high pitched whine of Trevor Wittman as he rigorously clutched the chain link, not unlike the local crack head being frisked deeply by Denver’s finest on a typical Friday night, screaming, “Believe in yourself, Fowlkes, you dainty little pen pusher!” and, “Watch out, Fowlkes, you and Carwin up next. Go get ‘em Howard Cosell!”
While my lips grew larger with the daily pummeling, as they grew used to transferring the taste of blood and heavy leather delivered by an angry and embittered Nate Marquardt, my ego deflated. I admit, I cried almost every night, even though I knew my body and soul were slowly hardening, callousing. I was becoming an MMA writer unlike the world had ever seen. I was becoming, Ben Fowlkes.
I rarely if ever read the comments sections due to the overflowing amount of incredulity and puerility inherently contained and festering within, but I am glad that I have stopped in tonight, because, well….I was suffering from a bewildering case of writer’s block. Some nice IPA usually does the trick, but not so much on this night. Yet almost miraculously, reading this forum and responding in this cathartic and freeing manner, incidentally enough, seems to have been the mental laxative that I needed to get my words flowing again. Thanks for reading.
Feel free to follow me on twitter, and join me as I discuss doing laundry on Mother’s Day, and try to convince followers that I don’t really secretly wish to be Dana White. Also, tune in as I try to convince myself that I am not really as much like Michael Bisping as my wife claims that I am.