Media Watch: Amateur Fighter Reveals MMA’s True Identity
By Jesse Heitz
So often we, the fans of MMA, are inundated with a plethora of ridiculous stories that attempt to depict our wonderful sport in a negative light. Typically, these stories attract a significant amount of attention from the media.
We routinely hear of some insanely over-blown story of some fighter in his pre-fight promos stating he or she wants to beat up or hurt his opponent. For weeks on end we’ll hear about some fighter’s slur against another in-cage rival. That’s not to say that these things don’t matter, or that they don’t merit discussion, but do they merit seemingly never ending coverage?
It seems that we seldom pay much attention to all of the great things that happen within the wide world of MMA. Sure, the stories make the news, but they largely seem to be limited in their coverage and feature an incredibly short shelf life.
For example, in a recent amateur bout a fighter by the name of Mike Pantangco submitted because in his estimation he was beating his opponent too badly. While video clearly shows his opponent wasn’t getting brutalized, he certainly was being out-pointed. As such Pantangco thought the fight was becoming unusually dangerous and his participation was unsportsmanlike, so mid-fight he kneels to the canvas and taps out. In an interview published by Yahoo Sports, Pantangco stated,
“I just feel that there’s no point in fighting him because he didn’t train against me and I didn’t train for him and I just feel like we’re amateur fighters. We don’t get money. We don’t get paid,”
“And I know that the only thing [that'd happen] is him to go to the hospital or get hurt. I just feel terrible so I’m just going to give him the win.”
Now this is something newsworthy. Where are all of the MMA critics when stories like this come to the top? Here we have a fighter voluntarily losing the fight out of pure concern for the then uncompromised wellbeing of his opponent. Perhaps the even bigger question is why hasn’t the MMA media latched onto this story, why are they content to let the many positives quickly fade into obscurity yet popularize the negatives?