Just like in life, some people seem to have every advantage and others are still finding their way in an unfamiliar environment.
The drama between students is great, but the teaching staff is always there to add something more to everyone’s experience. Lots of people get screwed over. Some teachers play favorites. Others get caught up in or provoke scandal. No matter what, they help form the culture of the school.
The Teaching Staff as MMA Reporters
Mr. Thomas is brainiest teacher at UFC High. Unfortunately, the MMA community is anything but that. Mr. Thomas just wants students and teachers alike to use their brains a little bit more and this has made him a bit unpopular. It doesn’t help that he never fails to mention that he reads books when no one ever asks.
Train life. On the road again. In the spirit of not incessantly complaining, I'll say I do find the trips largely productive in terms of getting work done. Today's train is almost empty, which I prefer. Solitude when concentrating is my favorite. I usually create episodes of #Dissected on these trips and today is no exception. I'll be looking at yesterday's #UFC248 main and co-main to see what larger lessons we can infer. Thanks to everyone who watched last night's post-fight special. Tomorrow's @morningkombat and @siriusxmfightnation programs should be a lot of fun.
A post shared by Luke Thomas (@lukethomasnews) on Mar 8, 2020 at 3:26pm PDT
I like it personally, but that’s me. Students complain often that Mr. Thomas has the gall to use ‘too many big words’ in his analyses of things. Ultimately Mr. Thomas just wants us all to be a little less erratic as a community.
Mr. Helwani has been UFC High’s best instructor for some time. If Luke Thomas is a nerd, Ariel Helwani is a dork. His lack of fashion sense is trademark. Every year he wins the award for teacher of the year. He makes his lesson plans fun by instigating conflicts between the students whenever possible.
I will never take this for granted. Thank you very much to all who voted for me. After the year we had together, I think this one means a little more. Like I've said before, the way you've had my back since I started continues to blow me away. I'll never forget what you did for me last year and will forever be thankful. I don't know what I did to deserve your incredible support but it means the world to me. Thanks to Fighters Only, my amazing colleagues at Vox and the members of the MMA community who give me their time each and every day. I sincerely love covering this sport and I still can't believe I get to do this for a living. Thanks to my family for their love and in particular my amazing wife Jaclyn for holding down the fort when I'm away. First time I got one of these we were just a couple and now we are parents to 3 angels! Lastly, I know it's en vogue these days to be anti-media but I've never been more proud to be a journalist and hope I can continue to be one for many, many years to come. Thank you for letting me cover this sport for you. I love you all.
A post shared by Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) on Mar 2, 2017 at 11:04pm PST
If Suzy said Sally had a rotten crotch, you better believe Mr. Helwani will tell Sally about it in front of the whole class. When Sally punches Suzy in the face, Mr. Helwani will then pretend to be shocked. He will then give all of the other kids the play by play of the beatdown if they missed it. Lots of people hate him for it, but everyone likes the drama regardless.
This is the one where he said the famous line: “Where I come from …” It was always fun interviewing the older Diaz brother. This one was particularly interesting because he was agitated that day and didn’t want to talk to me, but in the end he did and it became one of our most memorable chats. Great memories. (Circa April 2011 in San Diego before the Paul Daley fight.)
A post shared by Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) on Apr 2, 2020 at 7:41am PDT
Principal Dana despises Mr. Helwani but cannot fire him because Mr. Helwani has tenure and keeps winning awards. A student named Brock Lesnar transferred from UFC High back to WWE Prep a few years after Ronda left. Brock was super popular at both schools, so Dana planned this huge announcement for Brock’s return. Mr. Helwani then ruined the surprise a few minutes early. Because of this, Principal Dana tried to fire Mr. Helwani but the teachers’ union would not allow it.
A post shared by ESPN MMA (@espnmma) on Apr 4, 2020 at 1:09pm PDT
Now Mr. Helwani teaches in the basement and has to enter the school through the back door. Mr. Helwani and Principal Dana are not on speaking terms. In fact, all of the opportunities Dana used to give Ariel now go to another teacher, ESPN Insider Brett Okamoto.
Michael Bisping and Chael Sonnen
Michael and Chael are former students that were not the most well behaved. Today, they are alumni pursuing a career in education. In fact, they teach some of the same kids they went to high school with. Both are largely respected. Chael was always a bit of a charlatan: one of those kids that were really rude but somehow charming. The man got suspended several times for abusing Adderall during exams without a prescription. He used to pick on the foreign exchange students and call them poor amongst other things. He’s the type of guy to make friends with an underclassman but always mispronounce their name.
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A post shared by Chael Sonnen (@sonnench) on Jan 31, 2020 at 11:23pm PST
Michael Bisping was very vocal against abusing study drugs, especially when Chael outscored him on an exam and then failed UFC High’s drug test. He was a notorious honor student with a bad temper. Given that Chael got caught cheating multiple times, they used to be rivals. Bisping got pretty good grades, but could never keep up with drug cheats. Now both Michael and Chael are very close to the students and want them all to succeed.
A post shared by Chael Sonnen (@sonnench) on Apr 3, 2020 at 12:12pm PDT
Everyone just about hanging on?! Ok good… Here’s this week’s workout guide coming up on my page (IGTV/LIVES/in-feed posts/Stories). We gotta burn off that Holiday weekend choc 😉! MONDAY – Kick off the week with my Mini Band workout posted to my feed! And at 12pm PST on @theslaygym a 30 minute LIVE workout. TUESDAY – 1pm PST LIVE 20 Minute Super Stretcher workout (stretch & flow) on @powerplateusa IG and my IG + Recovery/Massage Move of the Day posted to my feed WEDNESDAY – A 30 Minute Total Body Workout on IGTV, available to do anytime. THURSDAY – 1pm PST LIVE Total Body on @powerplateusa and my Facebook FRIDAY – My Pro Trainer tip from @fitonapp - Is it better to train in the mornings or later in the day? 🤔 Look out for this video weighing it up. Comment below with what you’ll be tuning in for and any further suggestions and requests… These are for YOU 😄 - - - #flagpole #corestrength #challengeaccepted #hangingon #wegotthis #fitnessschedule #workoutschedule #instagramlive #realtimeworkout #trainwithme #EasterSunday #HappyEaster #HappyPassover #holidayweekend #stayhomestaysafe
A post shared by Caroline Pearce (@carolinepearce) on Apr 12, 2020 at 1:47pm PDT
Caroline Pearce may be the most underrated instructor in the entire school. She mostly works with the British students like Till, but she understands guys like Tyron Woodley as well. She is simply one of the best. Pearce is the teacher who really does her due diligence and is able to connect with the students on a personal and academic level. She’s not as well-known as others, but is right there with Ariel if not better.
Foreign Exchange Students
The new girl from China has quickly made a name for herself at UFC High. In just over a year, she went from the quiet new girl that had a lot of potential, to queen of her class.
A post shared by Weili Zhang 张伟丽 (@zhangweilimma) on Mar 5, 2020 at 1:41pm PST
Her meteoric rise is exemplified even more by the fact that she barely even speaks the same language as any of the teachers or underclassmen, but her energetic personality and stoicism when performing has made her widely loved at UFC High. Zhang Weili has a budding rivalry with one of the popular girls, Joanna Jedrzejczyk; Weili won chapter one of the rivalry, will she win chapter two? Most of the other students and underclassmen are rooting for the quiet Chinese girl to succeed.
Everyone fears Amanda Nunes, the Brazilian girl who dwarfs many of her male counterparts. Amanda is a friendly character, and she gets along with most of her counterparts, but when the queen of the mean girls Ronda Rousey disrespected her, Amanda showed her why she is feared by so many.
I wanna tell every single person on this planet that…. Raegan Ann Nunes will be here mid September! I cannot wait to see her. ❤️ Gente deixa eu dividir minha felicidade com vocês 😍 já estou contando os dias para setembro. Raegan Ann Nunes
A post shared by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Amanda Nunes🦁 (@amanda_leoa) on Mar 5, 2020 at 3:36pm PST
Her biggest rival is another overachieving exchange student from Kyrgyzstan named Valentina Shevchenko, but Amanda has proved twice that she is still the queen, having beaten Valentina twice in their biggest competitions. She rules over her classes with an iron fist, but not in a vilifying manner like the mean girl Ronda before her. She’s the cool Brazilian chick who stands up for what she believes in.
A post shared by Valentina Shevchenko (@bulletvalentina) on Apr 8, 2020 at 5:52pm PDT
An exchange student attending UFC High from Kyrgyzstan via Peru is Valentina Shevchenko. Valentina is one if the smartest girls in school; she speaks three different languages and has straight A’s in her classes so far.
A post shared by Valentina Shevchenko (@bulletvalentina) on Apr 9, 2020 at 11:33am PDT
Her extracurricular resume is widely expanded as well, as she used to be a competitive dancer and acrobat in her adopted home of Peru. Her only obstacle at UFC High thus far has been fellow exchange student Amanda Nunes, who has the advantage over Valentina in both of their head to head competitions, which understandably irks Valentina, but her success in other areas has made many other students and underclassmen realize just how amazing at life she really is.
Chan Sung Jung (The Korean Zombie)
A post shared by 정찬성 (@koreanzombiemma) on Feb 10, 2020 at 6:18pm PST
To give you an idea of how frightening the quiet kid from South Korea really is, he’s known around UFC High just by his nickname, “The Korean Zombie.” He’s a scary dude. If you’re lucky enough to befriend him, he’s one of the nicest guys around with an infectious smile. But criticize him, or any of his friends, and, well, just ask popular kid Brian Ortega how that’ll go. Not much to say about him past that. He’s mysterious, he’s violent, and everyone loves him for it.
The Popular Kids
A post shared by Donald Cerrone (@cowboycerrone) on Oct 7, 2019 at 7:33am PDT
Cerrone is that kid that doesn’t take anything seriously. He doesn’t care about his future and even less about his safety. He drinks beer, dips, wears Cowboys hats, and his son’s middle name is literally Danger.
A post shared by Donald Cerrone (@cowboycerrone) on Feb 29, 2020 at 5:58pm PST
Cerrone is just a wild guy who likes adventure and parties. If you don’t bother him, he won’t bother you. A couple of the underclassmen thought he was weak and got put in their place. No matter how many times he humbles them, another always thinks they can take him.
A post shared by Donald Cerrone (@cowboycerrone) on Mar 7, 2020 at 12:12pm PST
What high school doesn’t like the English kid? He is most known for his confidence. It’s just mesmerizing. He acts out every now and then but he is a true scholar.
A post shared by @ darrentill2 on Jan 19, 2020 at 5:54am PST
Recently, he has had a few setbacks. Hopefully he will figure everything out soon.
A post shared by @ darrentill2 on Mar 16, 2020 at 7:45am PDT
A post shared by Jorge Masvidal (@gamebredfighter) on Feb 26, 2020 at 5:34am PST
Jorge Masvidal is a hoodlum but he is low key about it. The teachers always take his side because he shows up to class on time with a smile and is always respectful to them. Thing is though, he is, as the kids would say, “about that action.”
For a long time he was just an C-student, but now he is finally living up to his potential. Everyone is drawn to an inspiring story. The teachers are proud, so are his parents and secretly so are some of his classmates. Jorge is nice to all the girls, the foreign exchange students like Yoel, and the jocks support him too. Even teachers from other schools like him, I mean this kid is something else.
I approve of this message https://t.co/6hOZTQ0gnA — shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) July 7, 2019
Some people like his hair, some people like his swag, but the best thing about him is his talent.
There is always that kid in school that will tell anyone who will listen how good he is at everything. Anyone competing with them is annoyed, but everyone else just wants to see if they can pull it off.
Today the whole school sees an exaggerated version of his personality. However, the thing that first made him popular was his charm and belief in himself. The things Conor says are the same today as years ago.
Now that he is the biggest name in town, he plays to the crowd more than he used to. A big part of his marketing appeal can almost be described as identity politics. He is ostentatious even in his patriotism and is obsessed with loyalty. Casual fans see the suits and the money, but his core fan base was not established via materialism. Conor famously accused TJ Dillashaw of being disloyal to his team.
At first it seemed like Conor was just trolling, but shortly after this altercation, TJ’s actions validated everything Conor was saying. They call him Mystic Mac for a reason.
On the first day of school he just wanted everyone to notice his performances and his preparation. After getting the adulation he sought, he ran into a bit of trouble the way lots of people do.
I ordered all of my powers back to me and the order was followed. It is never to late to summon our powers and advance to higher ground. Never, ever too late! Whatever stage we are at. There is always higher power, and there is always higher ground. Good luck! The cover shot was taken backstage post my last bout. Thank you @fightersonlymag Hard work. Focus. Re dedication = Results!
A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on Apr 19, 2020 at 6:23am PDT
No matter what anyone thinks, Conor made it cool to be Irish on more than just St. Patrick’s Day.
3 years ago today I became a multiple time, multiple-weight World champion at Madison Square Garden, New York City. What a moment in my life. To capture the double once. Wow! To do it twice. Lord have mercy 🙏 I often look at this second picture and imagine how trippy that view must be for my father. Looking up at his son after doing exactly shot for shot what I told him I would do. I even done it no hands the second time. I will credit hard work for this moment but it’s not just that. Hard work alone is not enough. We can all work hard for a minute. It’s the consistency to do it over and over and over again that will lead you to these iconic moments. Year after year of focused work! I worked hard my last two fights. No doubt. But without consistency, I fell short. All amazing and valuable lessons going forward on this journey that is Martial Life! Onwards we go… Happy Tuesday everyone.
A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on Nov 12, 2019 at 5:21am PST