Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Bad Decisions, Olympic Judging, Ronda Rousey and Dana White Should Stop Insulting Our Intelligence
By Joshua Molina
In the court of public opinion, Frankie Edgar won Saturday’s fight against Ben Henderson at UFC 150. Although public opinion won’t change the outcome of Henderson’s split decision victory, Edgar looks like the unofficial winner. If you have to lose, it’s a good feeling to know that most of your peers believe you won.
Many MMA fighters believe Edgar won and have expressed their views in social media. The most significant of the comment comes from Nate Diaz, the No. 1 lightweight contender in line for the next title shot against Henderson.
Diaz tweeted “????” and apparently told UFC boss Dana White Saturday night that “Frankie Edgar won that fight.” Diaz, the younger, slightly more-level-headed version of his brother, Nick Diaz, comes from the streets of Stockton. He and his brother are all about respect, fairness and justice and they see it. A guy walking around with a championship belt that doesn’t belong to him, doesn’t play out well on the streets. But it will likely serve as fuel for the buildup to the Henderson vs. Diaz fight. Depending on the circumstances, sometimes winning isn’t everything.
Bad decisions seem to plague many sports. In combat sports, where there’s so much subjectivity involved, bad decisions seem to arise more frequently. Maybe in some cases, judges could watch a close round over again? It might be a bit unnerving for the live crowd and certainly those at home, but it might also be worth it.
If it can happen on the grandest stage of them all – the Olympic Games – then why not a UFC pay per view, ordered by a few hundred thousand people, a fraction of the tens-of-millions who watched the Olympics.
Last week, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman won a Bronze Medal after the original judges’ scores placed her in fourth place – and without a medal. The live crowd began to boo when they saw the scores, forcing Raisman’s coach to file a formal protest. It worked. The International Gymnastics Federation watched Raisman’s balance beam performance again. The judges recalculated Raisman’s score to make sure she received the points she deserved for every element of her performance. Her score went up, forcing a tie with the Romanian Catalina Ponor. Since Raisman’s score for execution was higher, Raisman won the bronze and Ponor saw the Bronze medal slip from her hands. The same thing happened for a Japanese male gymnast earlier in the games.
Did you hear that Dana White blammed horrible “Dark Knight Rises” shootings for the relatively weak live gate at UFC 150, the worst since 2007. The shootings along with wildfires were to blame for the low live turnout, White claims.
Here’s the problem: White and the UFC need to create new, fresh stars.
The bigger problem: The UFC has never been about creating new stars; it’s been about branding the UFC name and making the UFC the ultimate star.
The biggest problem: The UFC, with the exception of Bellator’s toehold, dominates and oversaturates the U.S. mixed martial arts market. In boxing and pro wrestling, which have endured for more than 100 years, when fans tire of a star, they move on to someone else. Done with Hulk Hogan? Become an Ultimate Warrior fan. Done with John Cena? Root for CM Punk. Hate Floyd Mayweather Jr? Cheer Manny Pacquiao.
Since UFC has insisted on branding itself as a sport, and not a company that participates in the sport of mixed martial arts, the whole business suffers when interest wanes, or in this case, stops growing at the incredible pace it once did. Since the name “UFC” is bigger than the names Anderson Silva (the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and no one on the street knows who he is), Jon Jones and Junior Dos Santos, what does White think will happen when people get tired of the UFC? Be careful what you wish for, Dana. . .
Ronda Rousey has made her own goofy video in response to Sarah Kaufman’s Ronda Rousey contest. Kaufman asked her twitter followers to act like Rousey and send it in on video. The best video gets two tickets to Saturday’s Rousey vs. Kaufman championship fight in San Diego.
Rousey acts like a nerdy, ugly, jealous girl trying to impersonate the real Rousey in her video. At one point she slaps on an armbar on a vacuum cleaner. Pretty funny stuff.
All of this is leading up to what should be a good fight on Saturday. Good bet: Rousey has to go beyond the first round to beat the talented Kaufman, a former Strikeforce champion herself.