UFC on Versus, March 3, 2011: Postmortem

Posted: March 5, 2011 in MMA
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I wasn’t able to see the live broadcast of this card, relying instead on the replay. I’m happy to say that I resisted the urge to find the results on the Internet. However, I’m not here to give you yet another non-expert opinion on the fights. I’m addressing a couple of other issues that arose.

Mixing Politics and the UFC

I’m getting sick of people ignoring their jobs by injecting their political bias into what they do. Joe Rogan did it tonight during the Wideman-Sakara fight. The Kentucky-based (and traditionally right-wing) crowd started a U-S-A chant, presumably because Wideman is the All-American and Sakara is Italian. Rogan took the opportunity to criticize the crowd because, “It really shouldn’t matter. We’re all immigrants.” Well, that’s wrong. I’m not an immigrant. Like the vast majority of Americans, I was born here. Yes, our culture was founded on immigration, but we’re way beyond that, so the statement is technically incorrect.

But I get his point. He’s trying to say that we shouldn’t base our views on nationalism. Well, that’s just as dumb. There are plenty of non-Americans that I like, so I route for them against Americans I don’t like (or don’t know) all the time. However, if I have no particular interest in either fighter, I’ll always go for the American, or if they’re both American, the local guy, the Italian-American, or whatever. I’m a fairly educated guy, and I don’t hate any group of people as a whole. Like every other person, though, I’m watching a competitive sporting event looking for some way – any way – to have an interest in the outcome. If I can use national pride as an excuse to choose one fighter over the other, I will, and that doesn’t make me anti-anything.

Most importantly, though, none of this even matters. The problem isn’t Rogan’s substantive point of view. Reasonable minds can disagree, and I’m sure some of you reading this might agree with the point he made and disapprove of my approach. That’s not the problem. The problem is one of inconsistently, which often translates to hypocrisy with these matters. It’s not that Joe Rogan criticized the chant. It’s that he *didn’t* criticize the chant when, in almost every other UFC card he’s broadcasted, those chants were heard. Why doesn’t he criticize the crowds in Boston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles for doing that exact same thing? While we’re at it, why doesn’t he criticize Croatian fans doing the same thing when CroCop fights? How about in Los Angeles when Mexican-Americans were clearly routing for Cain Velasquez? Everyone involved in that fight was an American, so this is clearly a mild form of racial preference. And of course, on this fight card, Diego Sanchez came out to La Bamba, which Rogan thought was great.

The only reasonable inference here is that a self-professed “liberal” in Joe Rogan is looking for an excuse to perpetuate the unfair stereotype of the right wing as being xenophobic (or perhaps the south). It’s either okay or not okay to show pride in your “group.” It shouldn’t matter what group you’re promoting, because it’s the same sentiment being expressed by everyone.

Keep your politics out of my MMA. It’s one of the few opportunities I get as a native DC-area resident to forget politics and just come together with friends for a great night of fights.

Mike Goldberg Hasn’t Become Any Less of an Idiot

Mike Goldberg made yet another dumb error. I don’t know if it’s really his fault, or the fault of the production team, but it’s probably Goldberg’s fault. Somehow the term “All-American” came up when discussing one of the upcoming fights. He used that as an opportunity to segue into a discussion of the next fight, mentioning that the next fight was ‘truly a battle of the All-Americans’ or something like that. The problem is, the next fight he discussed was Wideman-Sakara, involving an American and an Italian, and then he discussed the next fight (Munoz-Dollaway), which was truly a fight between two “all-American” wrestlers. There are worse crimes, but it smacks of unprofessionalism. While I rail against the norm of MMA internet-only “journalists” filming commentary with their phones in their parents basement, it doesn’t help matters if the professionalism of the UFC itself can’t keep pace with it’s growing strength in the sports universe.

Get it together, guys. Replace Buffer and Goldberg, and make sure at least one fighter (e.g., Randy Couture, Kenny Florian) backs up Rogan on color commentary. Maybe them ESPN will take you seriously enough to give you the professional coverage you deserve.

The Best Part of the Night

The best part of the night was the ad for the Shogun-Bones-Jones fight. I can’t wait.

U-S-A! U-S-A! 🙂

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow the UFC on Twitter @UFC
Follow Joe Rogan on Twitter @joerogan
Follow Jonny Bones Jones on Twitter @Jonnybones

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