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The Tuesday Ten: Fight Club Edition

By Eric Betts / Senior Jeopardy Winner Correspondent

To our mind, the assistant coaches of Manchester City did us all a great disservice last week when they broke up that little dust-up between Mario Balotelli and his manager Roberto Mancini. We would have let it progress at least to the point where Mancini pulls a switchblade and Balotelli breaks a beer bottle on the bench and they proceed to try to cut each other like it's the end of the “Beat It” music video, just to see how it would have turned out.

At least it wasn't a total loss. The Italian throwdown got us thinking of how other soccer stars would fare if pitted against each other in single combat. Here are ten likely fighters, along with some of their secret movesets. 

1. Fighter: Arjen “Glass Joe” Robben
Special: Form is Temporary, Glass is Permanent – The opponent’s next strike leaves him or her embedded with shards of that do persistent damage through the rest of the bout.
Finisher: Blown Breakaway – Runs toward the opponent at high speed, trips, and crashes into him or her as the ball rolls harmlessly by.

2. Fighter:  Brek “Terry Bogard” Shea
Special: Scissors Kick – A series of high kicks with his razor-sharp boot does damage to both the opponent’s life bar and hairstyle.
Finisher: Next Big Thing – Commits seppuku on the arena floor and is reborn as Josh Gatt, who ends the fight with a flying jump kick.

3. Fighter: Nigel “Sub Zero” de Jong
Special: Bad Reputation – Throws the yellow and red cards he’s accumulated over the years like ninja stars.
Finisher: Media Outcry – Feigns a high kick to the chest, then allows the stampeding pundits and photographers to crush his opponent for him.

4. Fighter: Herculez “Ultimo Dragon” Gomez
Special: Lost His Place – Pulls out the latest new coach to drop him from the starting line-up upon taking over and breaks him over the opponent’s head.
Finisher: O Brother, Where Art Thou? – Uses to Twitter to summon his brother, MMA fighter Ulysses, and the two of them tag-team the opponent.

5. Fighter: Darijo “Drago” Srna
Special: Where on Earth is Shakhtar? – Hands opponent a map with Donetsk circled in red. Kicks through the map, catching him or her off-guard.
Finisher: Talent Pipeline – Opens Shakhtar’s magic portal/warp pipe/Stargate over the opponent, causing 50 talented Brazilian players to fall out and crush him or her. 

6. Fighter: Zlatan “Sagat” Ibrahimovic
Special: Good Feet for a Big Man – An audacious backflip snap-kick that other players wouldn’t even think about executing.
Finisher: Mercenary – Sends word through the media to have his next big-money suitor back their truckloads of money over his opponent.

7. Fighter: Andres “Pikachu” Iniesta
Special: Tiki-Taka – Throws a stack of plaudits written about Barcelona, causing hundreds of paper cuts that each do miniscule damage.
Finisher: Beat the Trap – Lobs a high pass over the head of the opponent, where Lionel Messi appears from behind and brutally finishes from close range.

8. Fighter: Alex “Chun Li” Morgan
Special: Cross Promotion – Overwhelms opponents by striking them with her Nike gear, her charity work, her endorsement deals, and her upcoming young-adult books.
Finisher: Delay of Game – A referee appears from off-screen, slapping a Canada maple leaf on the opponent and holding her in place, allowing Morgan to get in a free, soul-destroying header.

9. Fighter: Big Sam “Goro” Allardyce
Special: Get Stuck In – A brutal reducer that does double damage if the opponent is facing away from Sam.
Finisher: Route One – Grabs the ball and boots it right down the opponent’s throat until he or she chokes to death on it.

10. Fighter: Sepp “The Mysterious Mr. Han” Blatter
Special: Welcome to Transparency – Reveals a pane of glass behind which can be seen the inner financial workings of FIFA, then smashes the opponent’s head through it.
Finisher: Release the Troll – Morphs into his final form, a monstrous, 50-foot high beast, squishes the opponent beneath his toes, then jams his foot deep into his own mouth.

About Eric

Eric Betts is a freelancer writer who lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and his dog Lando (yup). He is a contributing writer for “The Other 87 Minutes”, their brilliance featured every Tuesday on the Free Beer Movement in the form of “the Tuesday 10” or the “Tuesday XI”. While attending the Emory University he won “College Jeopardy”.

Tags: Eric Betts, Tuesday 10/XI

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