I have so much pent up aggression about a lot of opinions that are being spewed out there that I had to put together one giant post where I can express my views on a few issues out there and get my thoughts on the record.
Some of you will agree, some of you will disagree but that’s what the comment function is for. And yes, I read everything that you guys write. So flame away!
Here are my random rants for the day:
The UFC 75 judging conspiracy theories
If I read one more melodramatic message forum post from someone who says they are so disgusted by the judging at UFC 75 during the Hamill vs. Bisping match that they’re done watching MMA, then I actually think I’ll be done watching MMA. What an overreaction! Look, it was a bad decision. But get over it! Judging is subjective in nature and these things happen from time to time. There is no corruption, just incompetence. Pop a Valium and relax because the sport is not in trouble over one poorly judged match.
The bottom line is this: the UFC is a business and they want to expand their business globally. The UK doesn’t regulate boxing or MMA but the UFC can’t allow something like that to stop them from capitalization. They want to hold cards there so they have to regulate themselves. I know it looks bad on paper that they are technically paying their own judges but they needed judges and judges weren’t going to fly over to the UK and work the event for free. They had to be compensated in some fashion.
I’m just sick of all the people who try to see things in something that isn’t there. Why is it that you can’t have an opinion anymore without someone calling another person’s credibility into question? That paranoia that exists out there is unreal. Look, we actually landed on the moon; Oswald shot Kennedy; 911 was caused by radical Islamists and not the U.S. government; Kevin Iole is not on the UFC payroll, he just calls it like he sees it and he sometimes doesn’t see it your way; and Cecil Peoples isn’t on the take, he’s just not a very good judge.
Cut Michael Bisping some slack already!
Along the lines of people feeling the need to question everything and not being able to believe that anyone has a sincere thought or feeling, it brings me to Michael Bisping and all the flak he’s getting in regard to some comments he made at his web site, Bisping.TV, that were much different in nature from what he said immediately after the match vs. Hamill.
Yes, he’s definitely singing a different tune now but why are so many people claiming it’s a PR ploy and that he’s backtracking just to try and save face? Has anyone even considered the possibility that maybe Bisping said what he said right after UFC 75 because he was a little emotional? Are people so clueless that they don’t understand that acts of violence are usually followed by emotional outbursts? Not everyone can be cool, calm, and collected right after a fight and say the right things. Not every fighter is Randy Couture and can give an awesome sound bite that is ready to air on ESPN after having just finished fighting.
Bisping was fighting in front of his hometown and against an opponent he felt disrespected him by trying to take away from his accomplishment of winning TUF 3. Hamill ran his mouth and Bisping got the win and decided to rub it in. Yes, his comments lacked class but it wasn’t like he sunk a choke in on the guy and held it after the match had been stopped. Did he fail to give Hamill the credit he deserved and try to take away from his performance? Absolutely. But how is it any different than Hamill trying to take away from Bisping winning TUF3?
And why is it so hard to believe that what Bisping wrote on his web site in the days following the fight was sincere? Every heard of cooler heads prevailing? Why do his words have to be an act of appeasement to all the dissenters? What if he really believes what he said? Why is everyone doubting the cat? I don’t profess to know Bisping but I have talked to him for an interview and he struck me as a genuine guy. I don’t think there’s an ulterior motive in his most recent comments and people need to ease up on him.
The Cro Cop cop out
Many of you have read my op-ed piece on MMAjunkie.com about how the UFC can salvage Cro Cop’s career at this point. There was a ton of response. Some felt I was spot on and some people felt I was full of shit.
Let’s clarify a few things first:
1. I am a Cro Cop fan. I haven’t seen all of his matches in Pride, but I’ve seen most. The reason why I am so down on the guy is become I’m frustrated. I know how much of a bad ass he used to be and I’m having trouble seeing what he’s become.
2. I’m not a “TUF noob” as some people claim. Sorry, I said something you didn’t like. Deal with it and make an intelligent argument. Just because I haven’t been writing about MMA for a long time doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching it for a long time. Chances are I’ve been watching just as long as you have, if not longer. I’ve been a fight fan for a long time and have been into martial arts almost as long. I’ve trained Karate, Kung Fu, and even started training MMA long before I started writing about it. Just because CBSSports.com is new to covering MMA doesn’t mean I’m new to MMA. Know my background before you make a judgment.
3. I wasn’t trying to disrespect Cro Cop. I was just calling it like I see it. Some people can’t believe I have the audacity to say anything negative about a fighter. Well, I’m a journalist, not a PR firm. I call it like I see it. If you don’t like opinionated writers then you really should stop reading my work. And I am not some keyboard warrior or Monday morning quarterback. Believe it or not, I’ve actually fought in low-level amateur MMA matches. I’ve trained Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling, MMA and have sparred and fought in rings and cages. Granted, they were all amateur fights and I didn’t perform well in most of them, but don’t roll out the old line that I have no business saying negative things about fighters since I’ve never fought because the fact is, I have indeed fought.
Now that we have that out of the way, onto the heart of the matter. There were a few people who bashed my Cro Cop piece claiming I didn’t do my research because he had apparently suffered a rib injury. Guess what folks, I did do my research. I’m just not allowing Cro Cop apologists to push the rib injury as an excuse.
First off, the UFC medical officials didn’t diagnose him as having broken ribs. Sometimes people think they have certain injuries that they don’t really have. They are feeling pain in an area and they assume the worst. Joe Stevenson had a jacked jaw after he fought Kurt Pellegrino and said he had broken it. It turned out he had broken his nose. I have no doubt Cro Cop’s ribs hurt but let’s see some X-rays.
On second thought, you can take those X-rays and run them through a shredder because I don’t care! Yeah, he got hurt in that fight early and it impacted his performance for the remaining duration of the bout. But that’s the idea! You’re supposed to hurt your opponent. I’ve got news for some of you, sometimes when people get into fights, injuries happen! Give Kongo credit for being able to inflict that kind of damage by throwing some bad ass knees while Cro Cop was pinned against the cage.
Look, if the damage was sustained during illegal strikes, he’d have a valid excuse. While the groin shots weren’t cool and a point probably should have been deducted, we’re talking about the ribs and not the groin. BTW, why the hell didn’t Cro Cop take more time to recover from the groin shots? He had five minutes. Nobody would have blamed him. But the shots to the ribs were perfectly legal. Fighters get injured all the time in fights and have to fight through adversity. Look at Couture! He broke his damn arm and still won!
Cro Cop got hurt. He got beat. He didn’t fight well enough to win. Stop making excuses for the guy. You’re a fan and I’m a fan. The only difference is that I’m in touch with reality and you’re not.
Complaints about Cuban’s first card
Mark Cuban hasn’t even put on his first card and people are already bitching!
Cuban held a press conference yesterday announcing his first HD Fights show that’s set to take place in October. The entire card was pretty much announced and a lot of people aren’t happy with the lineup.
Goodness gracious, cut the guy a break!
What did you expect? An all-star lineup with the biggest names in MMA all on the same card? Let’s face facts. First, it’s his first card that he’s promoting on his own. Everybody blames the IFL, BodogFIGHT, and EliteXC for losing tons of money and suddenly a guy comes in and possibly is trying to take things slow and ramp up and yet he’s still getting blasted. You can’t win in this business.
Look, it would be nice to see a main event of Fedor vs. Josh Barnett on Cuban’s first card but that’s just not how it’s going to work. Only 6 million people subscribe to HDNet right now so what’s the point in spending millions upon millions right out of the gate on fights that a lot of people won’t be able to see? If it weren’t for YouTube how many of us would have seen Fedor vs. Matt Lindland?
Not to mention that the talent pool out there isn’t as great as you think. With so many promotions out there, not too many top flight fighters are free agents right now. Wanderlei is in the UFC. Gilbert Melendez is with Strikeforce for now. Sokoudjou and Denis Kang were supposedly close to signing with K-1. ‘Lil Nog wants to box. Ricardo Arona? Alright, well, I’m not sure what the deal is there and he should be fighting somewhere. But everyone else is either with the UFC, EliteXC, the IFL, BodogFight, the WEC, K-1, Art of War, Cage Rage, etc.
Cuban is playing it right by ramping up slowly. Right now he’s just looking for content for his channel so there’s no need for him to blow his wad right out of the gate. Give him credit for learning from Calvin Ayre’s mistakes. Things will build slowly over time and that’s the right way to go.
Not everyone can be the UFC and even the UFC wasn’t built in a day. If you’re a new promotion out there you should follow Scott Coker and Strikeforce as your business model. Slowly but surely will win the race in MMA. Strikeforce is going to be making some big waves soon and while they are small in comparison to some of their competitors right now, they will outlive quite a few of them.