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The growing lack of respect in MMA

titoortiz1With every upcoming fight in MMA there seems to be an almost immediate list of quotables attributed to every fighter. From Brock Lesnar to Frank Mir, Rashad Evans, Quinton Jackson, Michael Bisbing, Dan Hardy and so on, there seems to be an ever growing amount of trash talk between fighters.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the verbal assaults as much as the next man, but is MMA becoming the new WWE?

My reasoning behind this stems from the Tito Ortiz/ Mark Coleman debacle. When it was announced that Coleman was unable to compete in their upcoming bout scheduled for UFC 106, Ortiz immediately sent out messages via his Twitter account claiming Coleman was “sissying out”.

Now Ortiz’s initial response should surprise no one considering what he has done in the past. Tito has used trash talking better than anyone as a way to get under his opponents skin and mentally take them out of their game. See Ken Shamrock for that one.

But its what happened next that’s very WWE like.

After Tito’s statements made the Internet rounds, Mark Coleman’s manager, Mike DiSabato, issued a statement of his own, “Mark Coleman is not a talker, he is a fighter. He is a Hall of Famer who has fought a Who’s Who of great fighters. Tito says “sissy”? Please. He can prove Coleman is sissy on January 2nd if he wants. The only thing Coleman is afraid of when it comes to Tito is contracting swine flu from that dirty ass d-bag. We all know where he lays his head down at night. Tito wants to get personal with a legend? OK, let’s get personal – we can all go to our porn collections and watch what Tito sleeps with night after night”.

He has since offered an apology, claiming he was talking with emotion when referring to Tito Ortiz’ wife, pornstar Jenna Jameson.

While I don’t blame DiSabato for his comments. I don’t condone them either. It’s not necessary to issue a rebuttal to every comment made, whether it good, bad, or indifferent, but its almost automatic these days. It seems like every fight need some bad blood or back-story in order to build up hype. Why cant it be about two fighters battling to see who’s skill set is better, rather than a half hour prefight show watching interviews with the fighters calling each other d*****bags?

Now I understand there will always be bad blood between some fighters and not everyone can be like a Georges St. Pierre, but do we need a soap opera for every fight? Do we need Brock Lesnar to hate Shane Carwin in order to make the fight interesting, or would the battle between the two behemoths be enough? Does a fight between Machida and Rua hold as much of the publics’ interest even though they have mutual respect foe each other?

My rant may be way off the mark, but it seems as if some fights take a back seat to drama that precedes it. When I heard Ortiz’s comments about Coleman and DiSabato’s comments about Ortiz, it immediately reminded me of Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart, from WWE. I’m just waiting for Dana White to get choke slammed by Brock Lesnar for not letting him drink a COOOORS Light.

30 COMMENTS
  • moosebaby02 says:

    thank you Jason. One of the reasons why i could care less if guys like tito or brock are in the UFC or not. there is nothing wrong with a little bad blood but when you have to manufacture it like ALOT of fighters do just gets dumb. just put the gloves on and get in the cage. let your fits do the talking.
    DiSabato is the man. that was the best come back to clown like tito

  • freedom says:

    I agree with what you are saying however this lack of respect/trash talking is necessary to sell fights to people who are new to MMA. As you mentioned we have seen this more in the last year than anytime before that – correlation to the growth of the sport. Tito (one of the biggest trash talkers in MMA) is a huge draw even today.

  • freedom says:

    And I thought DiSabato’s response was harsh.

  • Gurthee says:

    This is a non issue IMO. We’re talking about guys who go out and beat each other up for a living. Honestly, I’m surprised we don’t see even more trash talking going on than there already is. Who cares?

  • Vogairian says:

    I think a lot of this just comes from the money that’s involved nowadays. The higher the stakes the truer someone’s colors show. Let’s not forget that this sport in the end is two men put inside of a cage with the point of seeing who is the better man that day and some just need the psych up for that and honestly I don’t a problem with it.

    On top of that, people are just more willing to get into a great story and it’s not just the WWE that understands this. It’s in every sport… Look at this weeks Vikings/Packers game, the networks built a story around Brett and his chance at taking revenge on the Packers and it was the highest rated show in cable history. Yankees/Red Sox is a huge deal and it isn’t because the teams are best friends. Shaq/Kobe was huge for the NBA, I believe one of their Christmas games is one of the highest rated in history.

    Do I feel every fight needs to have a great story behind it? No, not really. But it Doesn’t hurt.

  • 3OAM says:

    Not to mention that Bib Fernandez vs. Joe Warren fight at DREAM. I dunno what all that was about. Maybe Joe Warren is just a pompous jerk off who thought he could whoop anyone and said some nasty stuff about Bib…and that was his reaction..?

    MMA’s gettin’ dramatic.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Agree with Gurthee, to a point. Yes they are professionals, but they also are in a combat sport. SPORT. Try being around the US Military and see how thy act to TCN’s (Third Country Nationals)

    Moose, Tito has actually cleaned up a lot since his early days. Sissy was kinda light, coming from him. He could have just kept his mouth shut though. Why talk shit to someone you’re obviously not fighting anymore.

    As far as Brock goes, most people I know found his antics funny as hell. I don’t think anyone but the purists took them too seriously. Let’s face it, we purists make up a small population of the MMA community now-a-days. Just remember Brock didn’t start anything with Mir or Carwin till after they opened their mouth first. Proof? See Couture vs Lesnar.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Even I think it was pretty shitty of the guy to throw the man’s wife under the bus like that. That’s just uncalled for. When you start dragging family members in is when it just gets ridiculous.

  • s13 says:

    That was a better comeback than the one Forrest had on why he ran out of the ring against Anderson, hahaha classic! One thing’s for sure, I love Tito but being that he made such a ‘marketable’ woman his soulmate he should know that he should never say anything about anyone else, lol.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    ozz your right but calling a 44 year man a sissy for tearing out his knee is just……I dont know dumb. how bout him being a sissy for taking a fight against a 44 year old man for a come back fight????? If I were him that would be insulting to think the UFC believes that I cant beat a top 10-15 in their stable. The clown ducked Chuck for the longest time with some help form Dana and now is seaming to duck the top tier in the LHW just to insure a win. Selling tickets is selling tickets and if that wasnt the case we wouldn’t be seeing Vitor vs Anderson. But where is the credibility here. Tito vs Colman signing was a joke to me and a cop-out on tito’s part to his real fans. Your a man tito then take the fights that will measure that then???

    Sorry angry Moose just came out

  • metalmulisha says:

    Trash talking goes on in all sports I don’t think it’s overboard in MMA.
    Comparing the talk in MMA to the WWE is off base IMO.
    I mean the guys in the WWE for the most part are giving a scripted piece to work on and are told what to say aren’t they?

    As for Coleman’s manager dragging Ortiz’ wife into this yeah it was uncalled for, but it was in reply to Tito’s comments proving once again how dumb he is by calling Coleman a sissy because he’s injured and can’t fight when he himself has been sidelined for a year and a half because of injury.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Agreed Moose.

    Well said Mulisha.

    I still don’t understand why you’d call someone YOURE NOT FIGHTING a sissy.

  • DrummerFFG says:

    This may not be popular for me to say but to be honest, I got into MMA because of the sportsmanship. I remember being in the military and watching my friends’ old King of the Cage videos and watching two guys beat the crap out of each other and when that bell rang, that was it. They would hug or congratulate each other and both guys would be proud of not only their effort, but the effort of their opponent.

    There is still a lot of respect in MMA but the trend towards fighter feuds is definitely becoming more apparent. Hopefully this aspect of MMA will pass so that the masses will be able to see what is truly great about “our” sport.

  • Pajamashark says:

    Yeah, I think the trash talk is starting to overshadow the athleticism. You get months of following the smack talk, and then the fight is over in two minutes- what is a new fan going to remember? I think saying that smack talk brings in new fans is also inaccurate; if a fan is attracted to that part and not the fighting then why would they stay with UFC when the WWE does the shirtless sweat operas better then anyone?

    Tito needs to grow up- he’s a good enough fighter that he doesn’t need to run his mouth so much. But what DiSabato said was beyond the pale. And he’s a manager FFS not even a fighter in this stupid trumped up feud. Ortiz may be fucking a porn star, but pretty much every American man ever at some point wanted to fuck her too. DiSabato, the day you make Tito Ortiz look classy is when you know your hypocrisy has shrunk your dick so much you can’t even call yourself a man anymore.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    “DiSabato, the day you make Tito Ortiz look classy is when you know your hypocrisy has shrunk your dick so much you can’t even call yourself a man anymore.”

    OH SNAP!!

    That was absolutely the best statement I’ve read in QUITE a while!!

  • moosebaby02 says:

    yes i will have to agree

  • mikee1980 says:

    Hasn’t this topic been covered and discussed throughly in the past? MMA artists will be mma artists, boys will be boys, fighters will be fighters, trash talkers will be trash talkers, and respectful human beings will be well…………everybody gets it by now. Let’s move on already.

  • H3ro says:

    How can you even compare MMA to WWE, just because fighters talk trash? That’s asinine. MMA is entertainment and some fighters need to talk to help themselves get motivated. Everybody has their own personal way to get hyped up for their upcoming bouts.

    If fighters started hitting their opponents with a chair or if a referee mysteriously gets knocked out , I can than see how MMA could be more like WWE…but seriously, all they are doing is some trash talking. If there was no trash talking in MMA and all the fighters acted the same, how exciting would that be?

    All sports have players that talks trash…does that make the NFL and NBA less attractive? I don’t think so.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Every sport needs their Dennis Rodman.

    He even turned into a hero in Chicago…… I’m just saying

  • Niv says:

    I understand this is a sport where two people step into an octagon/ring and attempt to beat the tar out of each other, but it still annoys me when the trash talk goes over the top.

    MMA is changing a little bit now and I’m not so sure I like the antics. One of the great things about martial arts that helped distance it from boxing was, that built in mutual respect and honour of the martial artist. I have both of my young sons in Judo now and I always try to explain to them how much honour and respect are a big part of combat arts.

    I get some guys just don’t like each other, but I wish these guys would remember their roots.

    There’s no wonder why I enjoy watching fighters like Fedor, Shogun, Moussasi, Machida, Anderson Silva and GSP, all are great ambassador’s to the sport, and are the types of hero’s that can help legitimize the sport to the uninitiated.

  • ShinChan says:

    I think there are two (2) prevailing reasons for trash talk: (1) personal mindset and (2) generation of interest in that fighter.

    1. Trash talk may help aid in personal mindset by creating genuine dislike for the opponent in 2 ways, (i) motivation to prepare for the fight and (ii) performing at his fullest during the fight.

    (i) Motivation: As I’m sure most you have read when a fighter genuinely dislikes his opponent it often helps to motivate that fighter to train his hardest. Recent examples of high profile fighters who have publicly stated this include BJ Penn (training for Sean Sherk) Marcus Davis (training for Dan Hardy) Rashad Evans (training for Rampage) and Donald Cerrone (training for Jamie Varner…. by way of Ben Henderson). Trash talking may be effective in either or both convincing the declarant that the trash talk is real and/ or by provoking a response in which the respondent says something which can turn the trash talking to a genuine dislike.
    (ii) Performance: When fighters train for fights, when they spar, they rarely if ever spar at 100% especially as fight time comes close because they do not want the fighter to incur any unnecessary injury prior to the competition. However, this attitude can sometimes carry into the competitive field where the fighter, who pulls his punches when he trains with his teammates, goes on to pull his punches during competition. But as I’ve been told by many fighters, when there is a genuine dislike for the opponent, thoughts of not wanting to hurt the opponent more than necessary go out the window and it makes it easier for the fighter to pull the trigger on potentially fight finishing moves. Thus the trash talking sometimes helps remove the tentativeness that we sometimes see in fighters.

    2. Trash talking also creates drama and therefore interest. Some people subscribe to the view that ‘any publicity is good publicity” and so by acting brash, the fighter is creating publicity which in his mind is beneficial regardless of the interpretations.

    The first point is fairly objective, but the second point of generating interest seems to be hot point of debate. Modesty is a trait that most people respect, however my interpretation of peoples’ reactions is that modesty is expected from a fighter who is anywhere from mediocre to very good. But an excellent fighter who is also modest is the only time such modesty gets publicized and well received by the audience. Still, even Fedor, who is the undisputed top ranked HW fighter does not generate as much interest to the general public as some of the more vocal fighters. While the trash talking is often not well received, it does often generate interest. And in a business where a fighter’s pay is often linked to PPV buys and attendance numbers, generating interest in the fighter, regardless of the by means by which it is achieved, is and likely always will be a top priority.

  • xtreme_machine says:

    i don’t mind it as long it does not happen to often or gets in the way of the actual MMA

  • Porsche930_Pilot says:

    Yea exactly xtreme I agree. I like the way Hendo went about it with Bisping, just taking it all in and only saying he’ll get it all out when they fought and how sweet was it the way he knocked that ignorant mouth piece out?.As far as Tito goes I don’t see how he justifies bad mouthing anybody because of a injury when he himself has had a back injury that kept him out of the ring (among other things) for a long time.

  • fraz says:

    I don’t consider trash talk that big of a deal – and I think that most of the UFC/WWE comparisons are simply a result of Brock being a former WWE star.
    Trash talk “seems” to be on the rise in every sport but that’s simply because of the internet over-reporting ever little thing these days (and because of sites like Twitter where people feel the need to make every little thing on their minds available to the public).
    The NBA and NFL have had to institute “Twitter policies” because of this.
    Trash talk between fighters has a 100 year history in boxing. It’s just part of the deal. Some fighters are creative about it, others immediately sink 12-year old style insults.

    The crazy stuff that athletes used to say to each other on the field, court, ice was just as common (some say even MORE common) back in the day but it didn’t get publicized in the media. In fact, they used to say stuff that was even worse back then because the politically-correctly media wouldn’t castrate every athlete for every single thing that was said.

  • submit662266 says:

    I don’t agree with the thought that a fight needs some sort of personal conflict between the two athletes in order to be interesting. I will grant that several of these rivalries have drawn big numbers, but the sport itself is hands down the most exciting sport to watch, period. I had friends over to watch 102 last month. They had never watched a live event before, and they were amazed (as we all were)! They were impressed with the RESPECT Randy and Nog have for each other. They were impressed with the talent, the creativity, the possibilities of how this fight might end. This by itself, without the BS of one guy calling the other a @#$% or the other guy saying %#%&.

    I’m truly a fan of the FIGHTING. Wasn’ t the Diego fight against Clay Guida one of the best things you’ve ever seen? It was far better than anything the NFL, MLB, or any other sports league has going. The icing on the cake in other sports is when they fight. I say forget all the dribbling and pucking and cut straight to the fighting.

    The comments about Tito’s wife were terrible and thought-less.

  • danw84 says:

    I think bringing Tito’s girlfriend (not wife, they are not married) is a bit over the line in the shit talking. However, given the circumstances… Come on. How can you NOT go after him for being in love with and having kids with the most well known porn star ever? It’s just too easy and out there, especially when Tito, a guy coming off an injury himself wants to talk shit about an injury that he KNOWS is part of the sport sometimes, and should be an unfortunate thing, not something to make fun of. Tito could do better than a glorified hooker, but he doesn’t. His wife is a whore in every sense of the word, and as much as it is harsh to her, him choosing to be with her is a reflection of his character and the kinds of people he chooses to be around.

    Also, if nobody remembers, Tito opened his mouth first.

  • danw84 says:

    I love how I corrected people then made the same error myself.

    Tito and Jenna are not married.

  • scarred fighter says:

    mark coleman gets injured every training camp it seems like. that guy is not no randy. he needs to call it quit. a guy like tito will kill that guy . If you ever faught in mma u know u get injured all the time u work threw it and keed on going. the hammer is probley scarred either way it was only a matter of time before someone brought up titos wife

  • scarred fighter says:

    scarred fighter: mark coleman gets injured every training camp it seems like. that guy is not no randy. he needs to call it quit. a guy like tito will kill that guy . If you ever faught in mma u know u get injured all the time u work threw it and keed on going. the hammer is probley scared either way it was only a matter of time before someone brought up titos wife

  • You know….I don’t really mind people talking trash but there comes a point when its almost pointless. Tito talked his trash to get into peoples heads before and it stopped working right about the time Randy threw him around the ring for 25 minutes and spanked him. It worked against Shamrock because Shamrock gets mad easily. Forrest said it best the first time…. The persona is the persona he doesnt have to fight that he just has to fight the man.

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