Archive for the ‘Journalism’ Category

It seems that we have another hot topic in MMA journalism. Someone wrote an article pointing out the reasoning for Ronda Rousey’s dominance; namely: Only in Judo do women martial artists have the infrastructure to provide them the competition necessary to develop true talent. Now that one person has written it, everyone is writing it, yet passing off the idea as their own. Example #1 here. Example #2 here. You might be asking, “Which one is not a plagiarist? Who said it first?”

The answers are “none of the above” and “MMADork.”

Rob, the Wise Old Sage

Without meaning to take away from Ronda’s admirable work ethic, attitude, or talent, I made this observation several times on Fight Fans Radio, then posted it here about six months after first discussing it. If you’re not interested in wading through all that text, here’s what I wrote:

As for [the fight between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate], those [claiming that Ronda hasn’t earned the title shot] just don’t understand that there is only one well-developed, high-quality combat sports organization that’s available to women, and that’s USA Judo [error deleted]. USA Judo is highly organized, highly competitive, and international in scope. Miesha Tate wrestling in high school against two other women statewide (yes, I’m exaggerating) does not prepare her the same way Judo prepared Ronda. The fact that Miesha trains with men doesn’t change the equation. Every professional combat athlete will tell you that training with the best doesn’t compare to actually competing against the best. When it came to competing, Miesha simply didn’t have the same level of competition because 1) there aren’t many competitors in the first place, and 2) she didn’t fight people beyond her relatively small region. Thus, the complaint that Ronda lacks experience is actually ridiculous. Miesha is far too green for this fight….”

(emphasis added). Last modified January 8, 2012.

Once again, I find myself about 2-3 years ahead of the curve. As with my 2011 comments predicting Ronda’s impact on MMA (quotes below. Last modified June 22, 2011), MMA Journalists are finally saying what I’ve been saying for years. Their writing has an air of arrogance as if they’ve personally made this great discovery. Well, so does mine, but at least I’ve earned the right to be such a snob about it. In fact, considering that Ronda Rousey herself followed my writings before she had such a busy schedule, I wouldn’t be surprised if these articles started popping up because someone found my blog and outright plagiarized it.

What’s the Point?

Believe it or not, this isn’t about me telling you how brilliant I am; quite the opposite. It’s about telling how little a deal this is, and thus showing you that MMA Journalism, even after all of these years, is still very much a joke. That’s the big deal. Anyone with 1) knowledge of her judo career and 2) a capability to apply inductive reasoning could have predicted and understood Ronda’s success. I’m simply pointing out that MMA journalists have neither despite it being part of their job description to have both. After all of these years of reporting and research, you’d expect that they’d finally be on target. You’d be wrong.

Yeah, I just love the media.

And I am brilliant. 🙂

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P.S. What I wrote in June, 2011 is here:

Watch for this one. She could very well be the future of women’s MMA, and she definitely lends credibility to the women’s division…. I expect to see her in Strikeforce soon. Moreover, it will be hard for Dana White to continue to ignore women’s MMA with women like Ronda in the mix.

Two Titles on the Line
c/o UFC.com

For those who read my blog, you must remember my Stupid Predictions segment where I constantly outclassed the “professional journalists” that cover MMA. My record is … well, on the record. I always published it along with the records of others who were paid money to make predictions. I stopped doing Stupid Predictions (and Fight Fans Radio, to which you should still be listening!) because I ran out of time to properly research, which would have inevitably placed me on the level of those “journalists.” However, I recently engaged in a Twitter conversation with Mike Wise of the Washington Post and asked when he would start writing about MMA. His response wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but I have at least some hope that a real journalist will eventually start covering this sport. Then you won’t need me anyway.

In the meantime, I decided to dust off my MMADork blog and write another Stupid Predictions post, not so much to fix what’s wrong with MMA Journalism, but just to get a particular prediction off my chest. To keep things from getting too ridiculous, I’ll stick to the main card; I’m really not what I once was. But John Makdessi will win.

Let’s do this.

Pat Healy v. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Good night.
c/o StephanieJoplin.com

Khabib Nurmagomedov is really good. He’s undefeated at 20-0, and he’s proved himself capable of finishing fights, doing so 70% of the time, split evenly between KOs/TKOs and submissions. However …

I have a lot of faith in Pat Healy’s talent. Pat Healy choked out Jim Miller. Think about that for a second. Pat Healy choked out Jim Miller. That shows a ridiculous amount of talent, and if anything, his marijuana use would’ve slowed him down. I understand why the commission had to overturn the victory, but these picks are about who’s more talented, not who’s breaking technical rules. If Pat is high tonight, it’ll be declared a no contest, but otherwise, he’ll hand Nurmagomedov his first loss in a tough match.

Healy by decision

Costas Philippou v. Francis Carmont

Costas Philippou sort of snuck up on me. I never thought much of him, but he steadily amassed a ton of wins, some against some contenders. His only losses were a unanimous decision in 2011, and a split decision in 2008. Of his 12 victories, over half (7) are finishes. Of course, Joe Silva, matchmaker for the UFC, knows his job, and he’s given Philippou a good matchup. Carmont has won his last 10 fights, and if it goes to the ground, Carmont has the advantage. However, Carmont’s competition hasn’t been as stiff as Philippou’s, and I don’t think he’s guaranteed to get the takedown.

As with Daniel Cormier, I’m sick of picking against Philippou and looking like an idiot for doing so. I’ll take my chances that his run continues.

Philippou by 2nd round KO/TKO

Brendan Schaub v. Matt Mitrione

Brendan Schaub started out with so much potential, but he’s since found himself cleanly beating only the (relatively) low-level guys, while eking out decisions or being put to sleep when fighting the higher-level guys. He may one day meet the expectations we had for him, but I’ll acknowledge it only after I’ve seen it.

Matt Mitrione might not be a fan favorite, and losing to Cheick Kongo is nothing to brag about, but he wins fights, and usually finishes them. Losing to a top contender like Roy Nelson is not an indication you can’t handle Brendan Schaub.

Mitrione by 1st round KO/TKO

Renan Barao v. Eddie Wineland

Renan Barao is the bantamweight champ, and he hasn’t lost since 2005. One might counter that argument by pointing out he’s an old man that’s been fighting too long, but that’d be a bad assumption. He’s only 26 years old, and there’s no slow-down in his step. He can knock you out, submit you, or out-athletic you by going the distance and getting a decision. Also of note is that he’s done these things to some top-notch competition.

Then there’s Eddie Wineland, who hasn’t lost since … 2011. He’s hot and cold, and that won’t cut it against a talent like Barao. Wineland is good enough to be in the UFC, but he won’t win the belt tonight.

Barao by 2nd round submission

However, I wouldn’t be shocked if I got this wrong. Why? See my next entry.

Jon Jones v. Alexander Gustafsson

Don’t look too closely if you’re squeamish.
c/o Cagewall.com

Finally, we get to the main event, which is the one for which I’m dying to make a pick. The smart money is on Jon Jones, but I’m sick and tired of being smart. It’s clear that no title is safe, and that goes back to April 30, 2011, when George St. Pierre should have been medically retired from his fight against a completely over-matched Jake Shields. (An accidental eye poke left GSP temporarily blind in one eye, which was hidden from the doctors.) Lately, the number of examples of unbeatable champs being exposed as vulnerable is staggering. Anthony Pettis won his rematch against a very different, much improved Benson Henderson, finishing Bendo by armbar in the 1st round and capturing lightweight gold. Anderson Silva, who hadn’t lost since 2006 (by DQ), and who really hadn’t lost since 2004, was knocked out in the 2nd round by a wrestler. This brings us to the man of the hour, Jon Jones, who barely won his last two fights. He was almost armbarred by Vitor Belfort, and despite dominating Chael Sonnen, was 27 seconds away from being medically retired due to a broken toe.

*** No title is safe. *** (Did I emphasize that enough?)

I don’t believe that trends are caused by ghosts or some cosmic force like karma. There’s a scientific explanation for them, even if we don’t readily see it. In this case, the trend of champions losing their belts would fall in the realm of psychology, or perhaps sociology, and I’m not qualified to do an analysis in either area. I do know what I see, though, and what I see are champions slipping, and that includes Jones specifically. Once seen as unbeatable in their respective weight classes, they now are succumbing to the rust of old age, the arrogance of young age, or outright sloppiness. On the other hand, Gustafsson is typical of their opponents in that he’s both talented and hungry, having the best takedown percentage of any of Jones’s other challengers. I think he pulls off the upset, even if he has to rely on a medical retirement to do so. I won’t make my pick that specific though.

Gustafsson by decision.

The Paid Prognosticator

That’s it for me. Now let’s see how Sherdog’s expert, Tristen Critchfield, think’s it’ll go down.

Nurmagomedov by decision.
Philippou by decision or TKO.
Schaub by decision … unless he gets knocked out.
Barao by late submission or unanimous decision.
Jones by some sort of finish in the 3rd round.

So, I picked Healy, Mitrione and Gus; whereas Tristen picked Nurmagomedov, Schaub (sort of), and Jones. It’ll take a no-contest for us to come away with the same record. Let’s see if I’ve still got something in the tank.

Enjoy the fights!

Follow me @MMADork
Follow Fight Fans Radio @FightFansRadio
Follow Mike Wise @MikeWiseGuy, even though he doesn’t understand trademark law*

* P.S. Sorry. I had to go there.

Last night didn’t go well for me. Let’s look at the results.

Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar

Aldo didn’t fade, so my chances of a decent pick prediction percentage did.

Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

I was completely uninterested in this fight. I hear Nogueira won, which means I didn’t.

Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva

Overeem got complacent. He should have won in 60 seconds. What a disappointment, but I have no gripe with Bigfoot. Good for him.

Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia

In my defense, no one picked Maia.

Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall

I got this one right, but I feel dirty. McCall was game.

Evan Dunham vs. Gleison Tibau

Dunham by decision or 3rd round KO/TKO. More than likely, a decision.

Did I say that? Damn, I still got it. At least until you see my record at the bottom.

Tyron Woodley vs. Jay Hieron

Yeah, I’m a dope.

Jacob Volkmann vs. Bobby Green

No, seriously; I’m a dope.

The Results

First, the bad news: My record is 2-6 (25%), which is pathetic. Blaming that on a plethora of upsets would be even more pathetic.

Now, the good news: The experts suck, too. Tristen Critchfield had only a couple more victories than I had, giving this “professional” a similarly pathetic record of 4-4 (50%) for the same 8 fights. This is from a professional. When I was researching, I had a pick percentage in the low 60’s on a bad day (upsets or not), with my best day in the 80s. Suddenly, I don’t feel so bad. Because I haven’t been hired as an analyst, you should. You’re getting the short end of the stick with these “journalists.”

I’m still pissed at Overeem.

Follow me @MMADork

Everyone who’s read this blog knows that I’m no friend of the media. I take them to task whenever they screw up (whether I write about it or not). As I pointed out when I decided to end my Stupid Predictions series, I had a better pick percentage than the alleged “professionals” in the MMA media. Apparently, the problem exists in the NFL as well. Granted, in this age of ridiculous parity, it’s tough to predict who’s going to win any given game, but no tougher than predicting the fight game, and I was able to do that about 64% of the time (about 10% better than the best of the “pros”). So, here are some highlights of what your experts predicted for the 2012 NFL season.

Bill Barnwell

The Steelers (8-8) and Chargers (7-9) would win their divisions, and the Bills (6-10), Eagles (4-12), Buccaneers (7-9), and Cowboys (8-8) would make the playoffs. This means that 50% of Barnwell’s picks were not just wrong, but horribly wrong (i.e., those picks didn’t even get to the playoffs).

Andrew Brandt

The Chargers (7-9) and Eagles (4-12) would win their divisions, and the Steelers (8-8), Bears (10-6), and Giants (9-7) would make the playoffs. Of the 12 playoff teams, Brandt got 7 (58%) right. With two of his divisional picks not even making the playoffs, should we consider the 58% only 48%? There’s got to be a reasonable algorithm for adjusting the percentages for dumb picks. Believe me: These aren’t the last dumb picks you’re going to see.

Jeffri Chadiha

Good news: Chadiha got all of the AFC divisional champs right! Bad news: He picked the Giants (9-7) to win their division, and the Bills (6-10), Steelers (8-8), Bears (10-6), and Lions (4-12) to make the playoffs. Chadiha got 7 of 12 picks right (58%), but picking the Lions to make the playoffs should mandate some form of public humiliation issued by a judge.

John Clayton

Here’s an expert known for his inside information. How’d he do? He picked the Steelers (8-8), Chargers (7-9), and Eagles (4-12) to win their divisions, and he also picked the Bills (6-10), Giants (9-7), and Bears (10-6) to make the playoffs. This represents a 50% pick percentage, with some picks being ridiculous. If that isn’t embarrassing enough, he picked now-unemployed Andy Reid to be coach of the year. It looks like the reason Clayton always breaks stories isn’t because he knows football, but because he has a business card that says ESPN, so people will talk to him on the reputation of his network alone. He obviously doesn’t understand football.

Ashley Fox

Again, we have someone who picked all of AFC divisional winners, but she also picked the Giants (9-7) to win the NFC East, and the Steelers (8-8), Chiefs (2-14), Eagles (4-12), and Bears (10-6) to make the playoffs. The Chiefs and the Eagles? I really need to come up with a reasonable algorithm to modify her pick percentage (58%) to account for truly reprehensible picks.

Dan Graziano

The Chiefs (2-14) will win the AFC West? Someone please arrest this man. Where are the cops when you need them? In addition, Graziano picked the Giants (9-7) to win the NFC East, and the Steelers (8-8), Bills (6-10), Eagles (4-12), and Bears (10-6) to make the playoffs, giving him the familiar 58% we’ve seen throughout this article. Graziano should also lose points for making now-unemployed Romeo Crennel his coach-of-the-year pick, and even more points for picking the Eagles considering he specifically covers the NFC East for ESPN.

Jamison Hensley

Nothing could be sweeter than pointing out the stupidity of picking the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl. There was absolutely no justification for that pick. Hensley picked the Steelers (8-8), Cowboys (8-8), and Cardinals (5-11) – that’s right; I said Cardinals – to win their divisions, and the Titans (6-10), Bills (6-10), Eagles (4-12), and Lions (4-12) to make the playoffs. On average, the wild card picks have half the number of victories generally necessary to make the playoffs. This gives Hensley a 42% pick percentage, with the embarrassing Jason-Garrett-will-be-coach-of-the-year pick. Congratulations, Jamison; you’re in last place.

KC Joyner

This is getting tiring, but we’re at the last “expert” pick. Joyner had the Chargers (7-9) and Eagles (4-12) winning their divisions, and the Steelers (8-8), Raiders (4-12), Bears (10-6), and Giants (9-7) making the playoffs, bringing us another unimpressive 50% pick percentage.

Someone Should Hire Me

Professionals, indeed. In school, a 58% would be an F, and a 42% would be grounds for academic dismissal. Cheer up, though, ESPN. If you combine all of these picks, you have a decent number of good ones. Where do they find these people?

No so long ago, I went to Las Vegas and got a ticket picking the Carolina Panthers to beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl (I have witnesses). If John Fox (coach of the Panthers) didn’t go for two-point conversions twice, I would likely have won that bet (they lost by two points on a last-second field goal despite having all the momentum in that game). I didn’t publish my picks this year, so I can’t back up my claim I did better than this (I picked the Steelers over the Colts, and the Giants and Saints over the Seahawks and Vikings, giving me a 75%), but I’m willing to do so in the future. I’m going to watch as much preseason football as possible next year, then make my picks. We’ll see how I do.

Follow me @MMADork
Follow the NFL @NFL
Follow Bill Barnwell @billbarnwell
Follow Andrew Brandt @adbrandt
Follow Jeffri Chadiha @jeffri_chadiha
Follow John Clayton @ClaytonESPN if you think credentials are more important than substance
Follow Ashley Fox @AshleyFoxESPN
Follow Dan Graziano @espn_nfceast
Follow Jamison Hensley @jamisonhensley if you want to know who not to pick
Follow KC Joyner @KCJoynerTFS

It’s all over the internet. Sports commentators are so happy to have some news of this magnitude. The Seahawks-Packers game was decided by a bad call. Okay, I get it . . . sort of. I don’t understand the focus on the catch itself. Was it a simultaneous catch? Was it stripped away at the end?  At least there’s an argument there for the Seahawks, however weak, and I could see the refs being out of position for that call, justifying (to some extent) the screw up.

The push off, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter.

The talking heads are talking about the push off too, so I don’t need to explain it to you in great detail. In summary, there was unarguably offensive pass interference, visible from every angle,  which would have brought back the play and resulted in a 10-second run off by rule.  This means the game would have ended, with no second chance for the Seahawks.

There’s no excuse for missing it. A first-time ref with no prior experience at any level should have seen that. I could have made that call. You could have made that call. That should be the focus, because that’s the strongest argument to be made.

I Hate Drama

On another note, quit your bitching Packers fans (and all football fans). The replacement refs are making bad calls across the board. While complaining about the lower quality is reasonable, you’re overstating your arguments when you claim that a single call costs you the game, even a call like the one in question here. Without several prior bad calls in your team’s favor, your team would probably not be in a position to win the game on that play anyway. I’ve objectively watched this happen to my Redskins in both of their losses. Yes, they were robbed, but so were the Rams and Bengals. It seems to be balancing out. If your team lost, they lost, and next time they should try harder.

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork

As you might know by now, Miguel Torres was cut from the UFC. Dave Metzler has been cited as saying the “cut was the result of a ‘similar mistake,'” which is in turn referencing the rape van tweet that got Torres cut in December. Well, it turns out, I was personally involved in this mess! Torres was probably cut for tweeting the following (I’m still awaiting confirmation that this was the reason):

I heard Planned Parenthood wants to sponsor John Jones giving seminars about the pull out method.

There were a couple of retweets, including one (linked above) from Joseph Sandoval, a professional fighter, which lends credibility to the fact that the UFC saw it despite it’s later deletion from Torres’s tweet stream. I can’t believe that trained journalists have been unable to uncover this bit of information. It’s been published to Twitter. On second thought, I can believe it.

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow Miguel Torres on Twitter @MiguelTorresMMA
Follow the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Twitter @UFC
Follow Joseph Sandoval on Twitter @JosephSandoval1

I find it appalling that the Internet doesn’t respect the privacy of celebrities. The following photo has been circulating the internet, which is the earliest known photo of Michael Phelps. I circulate it just to say how horrible it is that you guys are circulating it.

Shame on you!

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork