UFC 127 Postmortem

Posted: February 28, 2011 in Journalism, MMA
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A few controversies and oddities emerged from UFC 127. Here’s my take on each.

Michael Bisping

Michael Bisping has proven himself to be the lowest breed of UFC fighter there is. He cheated twice in the fight against Rivera, and then spit on one of Rivera’s cornermen. (“No, I was spitting at the ground.” “Sorry, Micheal, the Internet says otherwise, but why should that even matter?”)

Nevertheless, there is absolutely no way he’ll be punished. There are plenty of assholes in this industry — it kind of goes along with being a successful professional athlete — but there’s a special reason we hate Micheal Bisping. No one likes to see a person get more than he’s earned, and even worse, acting as if he’s entitled to that treatment. Because Bisping was the UFC’s best means to getting the UFC into England (and remains their best means to keep it popular there), Bisping was treated better than he deserved. He’s a mediocre fighter, not a headliner. Is being a mediocre fighter in the best MMA promotion in the country an accomplishment? Sure; I’m not calling him a wimp. However, is he worthy of the treatment he’s received by the UFC? Not even close. Even while admitting Bisping intentionally cheated, UFC President Dana White still kissed his ass (see the end of the article).

The fact that the judges awarded him a decision against Matt Hamil in a fight he clearly didn’t win doesn’t endear him to MMA fight fans either, and might even be connected. That is, the two judges that awarded the fight to Bisping were Americans who might have done so in order to help the UFC, the American athletic commissions’ newest cash cow. There’s no evidence of this that I’ve seen; I simply raise it as a perceived possibility.

This explains why we have a particular disgust of Bisping, but it also explains why he won’t be punished. It also will explain any future escalation in his asinine behavior. If you have nothing to lose, you have nothing to stop you from getting worse.

Fitch-Penn

It’s hard to criticize decisions with a straight face, especially when a fighter like John Fitch, a.k.a., Mr. Decision, is on the wrong end of one. Nevertheless, B.J. Penn did something that most fighters refuse to do: He flat out admitted he lost. Even Leonard Garcia didn’t go that far after being handled by Nam Pham in a fight in which Garcia was given a highly questionable decision win. Garcia (who, by the way, didn’t deserve to be booed after giving fight fans exactly what they wanted: an exciting fight) fell short of such an admission. He instead acknowledged and sympathized with the booing fans and offered a rematch. In fact, the only time I’ve personally seen a fighter make an admission of loss was Quinton “Rampage” Jackson after he lost the Light Heavyweight title to Forrest Griffin, but he later retracted.

We all know the a cliché, “Never leave the fight in the hand of the judges,” but really, people; this one should have been easy.

30-28?

The American athletic commissions apply a 10-point must system to their regulation of MMA fights. In this system, the winner of the round must be given 10 points, and the loser must not be given a score greater than 9 points. A referee may deduct points for bad behavior, resulting in, for example, a 9-9 score for a round that should have been 10-9 without the penalty, but for a fighter earning a score of 30 over three rounds, it’s impossible for the loser to score greater than 9 points in any of those rounds. Thus, in a three-round fight, a final score from one judge cannot be 30-28 if there was a loser in each round. So how did one judge score a round 30-28 in the Siver-Sotiropoulos fight?

The answer is that 10-10 is a legitimate score. The loophole that makes it legal is that there is no rule stating that one fighter must win the round. 10-10 scores are generally frowned upon by athletic commissions, making them rare, but not outside the rules. Of course, Sherdog, Bloody Elbow, MMAFighting, and all the other hacks aren’t even raising this issue because they aren’t real journalists. A real journalist would be in touch with a misconception so prevalent among MMA fans. Sorry, but you’re going to have to visit this blog to get that kind of explanation.

Ebersole Is Weird

I think this is a no-brainer. He’s a gimmick that will never do well against younger fighters. Keep in mind, though, that I didn’t say he was “unorthodox.” Jon “Bones” Jones is unorthodox, but he’s still a capable fighter. Ebersole is just weird, and unlike Diego Sanchez, his weirdness extends to his fighting style, which will always hold him back. Still, I bear no ill will against the guy, though he came dangerously close to mimicking Anderson Silva’s disrespectful behavior against Damien Maia. Be careful, Ebsersole. Take it too far, and you’ll lose the fans. Without Silva’s gifts, that will cost you your spot on the UFC roster.

Wrap-Up

The card was really good. The fights going to decision weren’t lay-and-pray snoozefests. Nevertheless, Bisping is an asshole. What a shame he still has a job with the UFC.

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow the UFC on Twitter @UFC

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