Random Rants: Judging conspiracies; Bisping bullshit; Cro Cop’s cop out; and Cuban’s first card

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.

20 COMMENTS
  • Good points re Bisping, Sam. I agree wholeheartedly.

    Although re your first post, the UK does have regulation for boxing, its provided by the BBBofC.

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  • Luke says:

    Hey Sam!!
    Completely agree on Bisping, and the general cynicism of some media people, and fans alike. Its gone completely overboard. You hit on many of the feelings I’ve had for a few months now, and it felt great to hear someone else echo the same sentiments I’ve had for quite sometime. Keep up the great work. Its awesome to read.

    Luke

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  • Brian Everhart says:

    Well said on all points!!!!

    cheers!!

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  • mike says:

    to be clear, your lumping of conspiracies is a bit off. granted, you were probably just picking random examples, not ones you have any particular knowledge of, but everyone knows that the Kennedy assassination was a conspiracy, the congressional investigatory commision included. Want a rant? Try the fact that pretty much all the major MMA columnists not employed by large companies (i.e. the blogs) have reasonable opinions about MMA but repeatedly fall flat on their faces when trying to extend their level of expertise a centimeter beyond the mat. Sherdog columns are the best evidence of this, but it’s all over, including and notably in this post.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    “…everyone knows that the Kennedy assassination was a conspiracy.”

    Mike, EVERYONE knows? Just because you have a belief that it was a conspiracy that many others have as well hardly qualifies as EVERYONE knowing. That’s hardly an intelligent, rational statement.

    Who’s the one who’s post fell flat on its face?

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  • jaydog says:

    I like it when Sam get’s fired up. In this case, I pretty much agree with everything he said. Cro Cop was my boy too, but now I’m getting tired of hyping him and defending him to my neighbors. As a journalist, Sam has to be careful how he approaches situations like the Bisping/Hamill debacle (due to relationship with fighters, promoters, and worse the risk of libel). Although I do think that too many of the developments in the UFC appear contrived (right down to the judges decisions), I don’t think there’s enough evidence to point fingers about that decision. It was an enflamed situation before and after the fight, largely due to the increased hype and scrutiny of the reality (which has good/bad effects on MMA/UFC). I think Sam’s job is to monitor the situation as it sorts itself out and encourage a satisfying resolution. On matters like these, I’d give him my proxy vote any time.

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  • Bdavis says:

    Here’s what I think…as if anyone cares!
    1. Who cares about the judging! Everyone know Cecil Peoples is a moron and not a very good judge! The fights are over. Get over it.
    2. I could care less about Bisping/Hammil. I don’t like either anyway and could care less to watch them fight again but…….Hammil won on my card.
    3. Give Cuban some time. He has money which is what you need to start a promotion. I want to see Fedor too but who really thinks Cuban is going to put him on the first card! Get real people!
    4. The thing that pisses me off about Cro Cop is his lack of involvement in his last 2 fights. Broken rib? Maybe that could be part of it. He lost as he did against Gonzaga. I ‘ve seen all his Pride fights and he just killed people. Sure he stumbled from time to time but he always came back. I’m tired of defending him as well. He’s had two chances and has totally sucked in both of them. He’s my favorite but it’s time to put up or go home and stay.
    5. Sam, you do a good job. You are a journalist and you are supposed to be objective. Do worry about most of these clowns. Keep up the good work.

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  • garth says:

    I know this post was based on actual comments/posts made around the web…but are they really worth the effort?
    I don’t, and didn’t (aside from some angry muttering, which, hey, Count Douche did, and Sam did, and I’m just a blogger so forgive me) think the Hamill-Bisping fight was a conspiracy, just bad judging. Matt Hamill said it spot on: Reevaluate your judging criteria. A guy who runs for 90% of a fight shouldn’t win, ever. This isn’t boxing. I’ve never met or interviewed Bisping, as I’m guessing a lot of fans haven’t either. What I know of him I know from TUF and other TV appearances and web posts. I’ve also watched a lot of fights, and that guy turned me into a non-fan after his fight. He can have any motivation he wants, or any emotional outbursts, or whatever. I’m not his freaking mom or his psychologist, I’m a fight fan. Every fight fan I personally spoke to face-to-face had the same reaction.
    If you’re talking about people running their mouths on their blogs…well, that’s what they’re for! You’re doing it right now. Note this isn’t me agreeing or disagreeing…I’m saying you get your corner of the tubes to piss in, everyone else gets their own. You can call them out and smack ‘em around, obviously. That’s fair. It’s almost the same as your point about injuring your opponent, above. That’s the whole point of a blog. This last bit makes me wonder why I’m responding. I guess that’s the second whole point of blogs: get readers commenting, and get that pagecount up!
    I’m trying hard to figure out what Mike means about this post falling on its face… does he mean it failed? Failed how? It was a rant, not an op-ed for the NYT. It seemed like a fine rant to me. Trust me, I like rants. I like to rant myself. While I do think the JFK assassination was a conspiracy, I don’t think it was ordered by Hilter’s brain or UFO’s or anything. I don’t know a damn thing at all about who did it, to be honest, other than there usually has to be a lot of creeps planning to rub out the king. That doesn’t mean I have tin foil lining my hat (not for that anyway).

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  • garth says:

    ah ha, here’s someone who might be indicating a conspiracy on a bigger stage than just some blog comments…

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  • cyphron says:

    I just found out that Doyel is an idiot. Check out fightopinion.com for the rebuttals to those quotes. He embelished some of them and made up others. Bad Doyel!

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  • Zack says:

    amen to all points

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  • kentyman says:

    Damn, Sam, well said. I’m sorry I said you looked like Dave Attell on fightlinker.com…

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  • mike says:

    >Who’s the one who’s [sic] post fell flat on its face?

    sam: didn’t say your post fell flat on its face. i did say that most of the big bloggers have reasonable opinions about MMA (i.e. 95% of your post), but it’s distracting to read something about the fight game that needlessly draws parallels to politics in a slipshod way. you are correct, the phrase “everyone knows that the Kennedy assassination was a conspiracy” contains several instances of hyperbole – “everyone” being one example, “knows” being another. let me clarify: “most people who consider themselves serious journalists [or, most people that write for Viacom] and are knowledgeable about what they write probably think that the JFK assassination was more complex than “Oswald shot Kennedy””. to wit, what i really think is that if you or other MMA columnists want to be taken seriously by the mainstream, write what you know, not what you don’t.

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  • Hehe … you said wad.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Mike:

    You’re really digging a deeper hole for yourself and are coming off as ignorant.

    First, how do you know what I know or don’t know about the Kennedy assassination? Do you know my education level? I’ve read the Jim Marrs book and have seen various documentaries. I know the facts and I believe there was one shooter. And there are a lot of serious journalists who do believe he was the lone shooter. There are serious journalists who don’t. But to claim I don’t know what I’m talking about because I don’t share your opinion is insulting. You make it sound like all I know is MMA? Which is hardly the case.

    In regard to Kennedy, let me clarify that I think Oswald acting alone in the shooting but that I personally believe there were people behind his involvement. To this day I find it interesting that there are reports that Oswald visited the Russian embassy in Mexico in the days leading up to the shooting. But that’s a topic for another place and another time.

    I cited all the conspiracy theories in my piece as a why to point out how people have a tendency to go crazy and make things out to be more complicated than they are. There was no judging conspiracy at UFC 75. Just bad judging. And I have no idea why people are out there screaming bloody murder and making accusations of corruption with nothing to back up their claims.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Kentyman:

    No need to apologize. I’ve heard the comparisons ever since Insomniac came out. I talked a little more about the Attell comparisons in the blog entry where I linked to Linker’s post. You might find the story interesting.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Hehe … you said wad.”

    Settle down, Beavis.

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  • mike says:

    alright alright. that’s all fine. if i was going to get picky, i’d say that in the nick diaz interview, which is the thing that you’ve written that i have open at the moment, you invoke Pearl Harbor in an odd way in the 1st paragraph, you’re missing an apostrophe in “sports” in the 2nd, you misunderstand the term “glass ceiling” in the 3rd, you’re missing the word “before” between “shortly” and “the” in the 4th, and the last sentence of the 5th would probably be better off without the 2nd “as”. that’s not me nitpicking, that’s just me reading and being confused by your writing. i don’t mean to imply you’re stupid or uneducated. just, chin up, you’re better than that, go get ‘em tiger.

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  • kentyman says:

    No, no, no. Chin DOWN. This is a fight site, after all.

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  • el boxeo says:

    i think it was worse cause so many more people saw it ( what i mean by that was that it was more accessible to people who might not normally shell out the bucks to watch it)

    and if your an average fan and you see a one sided fight and a opposite decision.. then naturally your gonna be turned off or compare it to boxing… whats the point of watching something if its pre ordained who is gonna win…

    and to the average fan.. they could care less about the 10 point system they use or not.. mabey an avid watcher would understand why this happend but the average fan sees it as highway robbery…

    when we were watching live on the internet , we had a couple of people who occasionally watch ufc and are not hardcore watchers.. after that fight they were pretty much writing it off as boxing redux cause alot of them were former boxing fans but couldnt stand alot of the bs…

    its funny cause we were talking about who was going to win right before hendo v jackson and somebody screamed out ” you know chuck liddell” is some how walking out with his belt back after they fight”….total joke but it sets a bad precendent on gaining new fans.. and after lack of regulation that later came out in certain articles, it could lead to the publics dismay with the sport just like boxing did….

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