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Reality Check: Cracked Skulls, Torn ACLs and other medical mysteries.

By now you probably have a pretty good guess where this article is headed.  It’s a plague that is beginning to really have a profound impact on the way people view fighters.  Insulting to an opponent at times, enraging to the degenerate gambler who just bet money he shouldn’t have, and often disappointing to the fan who spent 50 bucks hoping to see two performers at the top of their game.  In this edition of “Reality Check” we will take a close look at the post fight disclosure of the prefight injury.

“No one knows what to say in the loser’s locker room. “- Muhammad Ali

It’s becoming a monthly practice at this point; you shell out your hard earned money for the latest MMA pay-per view event, the fight you have been looking forward to has taken place, and we have a winner.  The fight was a battle between two fighters, two competitors who don’t like the thought of losing, much less talking about it before having a chance to even catch their breath.

I really don’t know what type of answer I expect to the obvious questions being asked of losing fighters these days.   “Tell me fighter B , after fighter A managed to control you for the first two rounds, did you have any idea you were behind on the judges’ score cards.”    “ Tell me fighter A, you said you had your  best camp ever leading up to this fight,  Is it possible you over trained?  Did you come into the fight at 100 percent? “   And the list of stupid questions continue to grow, at the post fight presser,  the one on one interview with the major outlets after the presser,  the Monday morning Blog Blitz.

I think the more important question is what type of answer does the organization expect their fighters to give their commentators.  I think all too often, the MMA “media” forgets who is media, and who is company man.   Media should be looking for answers to relevant questions. Company man is painting a picture, weaving a story, entertaining the fans who have spent perfectly good money.  Too often our media is taking our queue from the Company man and just regurgitating the same question hoping to appear to have done their jobs.

Just once, ( and I hope to be the guy) I would like someone to ask the question.  “Fighter A,  in your post fight interview with Joe Rogan, you mentioned you entered the fight with a torn ACL in your left knee, a painful groin pull, a cracked skull.   How did you pass your prefight medical with an injury that severe? If you knew going into the fight this injury was going to put you at risk of no performing well for your fans, why didn’t you  request to reschedule the fight?“

There are a couple of ways we can look at this situation.   The fighter is not being truthful, and is using injury as an excuse in a poor attempt to save face.  The state athletic commission doctors doing prefight medicals seem to NEVER EVER find a problem in prefight medical screenings for major promotions.

Quite frankly I am growing tired of the whole situation.  If a fighter enters a fight with an injury that he is aware of , and it is a contributing factor in why he lost, I don’t care.   You lost, and to blame it on a pre existing injury after the fact makes you appear desperate or stupid.   You have earned my pay per view dollar; I have purchased the event with the expectation to see you perform your best.  When I am informed that it was physically impossible for this to happen, it’s a touch irritating.  It’s insulting to your opponent and disrespectful to your fans who paid to watch.

Don’t misunderstand me, I think this is a horrible position to place these fighters in to begin with. I personally wish the practice of interviewing the losing fighter in the ring/cage would stop.   Let the athlete collect his thoughts, and come to grips with what has taken place.

At what point do these excuses begin to devalue the product?  Between piss poor judging decisions, and fighters entering fights with injuries that impact the outcome, how often does the fan get to see Top level athletes performing their best?

Perhaps something can be learned from Marcus Davis, who after a recent defeat had this to say. “ Thank u to those who supported me. I had the best training camp I ever have had. I don’t know why I wasn’t able to perform. Ben is a great guy and put an ass whooping on me. All I can do is go back home and digest this and try to come back – hopefully better. Thank u all.”  I can’t speak for you as a fan, but for me that works.  In a world full of empty excuses, I find myself having more respect for a man who can give this type of answer.   Humble, professional, and at no point do I feel cheated as a fan.  I know he brought everything he had, and will do so again in the future.

It’s often said “Nobody goes into a fight 100 percent” where does the line get drawn?   If a main event fighter enters a fight at 80 percent, can I pay 80 percent for the event?”

Or perhaps I’m being swayed too much by the interview questions. I went back and watched a recent post fight interview with the sound turned down, and it did appear like a much different interview.

  • elkymbo says:

    Tops article Davo. Tito Ortiz immediately springs to mind as one of the worst offenders. I hate the fact that fighters win after training there arse off and have some of the shine taken off their victory by a sore loser.

  • darth_irritable says:

    Exactly. Everyone goes into a fight injured, it’s just a question of how bad. Tito whining like a little girl does nothing for his rep, and only takes the shine off his opponent’s win.

    A few examples of injuries and how to handle them with class:
    When was the last time you heard Randy complain about an injury (and at 46, you know he’s got to have a few).
    GSP ripping his adductor against Alves, then going on and completely dominating.
    Faber breaking BOTH hands against Brown, and still continuing on to put up a good fight.

  • 27jride says:

    Yeah, I JUST started to like Tito after years of hating the guy and then he goes on his pathetic rant after the fight making himself look like the little pussy kid who starts fights with the hope that people will back down from him and then when he loses he’s got every excuse in the book. I think if the athletic commission clears you to fight you should keep your mouth shut about any injuries and Rogan should definitely stop asking the stupid questions to the loser to avoid some of this bullshit.

  • Ray Pist says:

    How Tito’s interview should have went

    Joe Rogan – Tito, you fought hard but came up short what do you have to say?

    Tito – Wah Wah I was Injured Joe, Wah Wah, my Back

    Joe – But Tito, you were telling the world you were finally healthy, isn’t that why you called up the Fertita’s and cried your way back into the UFC behind Dana’s back?

    Tito – But Joe, My back my aching back…did I mention I won…wah oh joe

    Joe – Do you maybe think it was taking a year off to mispronounce Fedor’s name as Feadore, pretending to be a mini trump business man rather than training that made you totally gas out in the third round and cost you a victory?

    Tito – I won Joe, oh dear god my back…my aching Back, but don’t worry next fight i’ll be at 100 percent for the first time since my last victory….when I just so happened to be at 100 percent

    Joe – Well with any luck the Fertita’s will see that Dana was right all along on this, that you were worthless, only 65% of the tickets for this event sold, and that people have caught on to your bullshit, they only tuned in to see you lose, and well…now that you always lose it isn’t that interesting to see anymore, and they will cut you.

    Tito – Maybe i’ll get ontop of my wife tonight

    Joe – I thought your back was hurt

    Tito – Its at 100% now, the first time in years, come and watch me screw Jenna, its the only thing people might pay to see me in :)

  • qat says:

    haha, but i dont think he can keep up with jenna’s cardio in bed either. :]

  • 27jride says:

    Ray Pist- thanks for the laugh!

  • Hohlraum says:

    Tito Ortiz has never met a loss for which he couldn’t find an immediate excuse.

  • David Andrest says:

    Tito is an easy target here, he simply doesn’t handle losing well. But let’s not forget he is not alone.

    If you have a chance to watch Faber vs. Brown I take a listen to that stuff. Good god.

  • Dufresne says:

    There are a lot of fighters that do this and it is just disgusting. I absolutely hate when a fighter, or anyone else for that matter, makes excuses for not performing. I would much rather them come out like Davis did and just say something to the effect of “He was the better fighter that night, thanks for the support, I’ll do my best to not let it happen again.”

    Tito is probably the biggest name that does it, and because of his name, personality, and history of injuries, the media know that he’s almost always going to say something that will stir the pot.

  • thedudex says:

    Great Article!! On point 100%. Tito and guys like him are just not man enough to admit they lost fair and sqaure. I’ve never liked Tito but I would have come away from that fight with some respect for him if he just admitted he was a little rusty and thats why he didn’t perform at his best. No shame in a little ring rust after 1 + year away and major surgury , but, instead he had to make a complete ass of himself. Guess i didn’t expect anything more from a douche like him.

  • GassedOut says:

    Yeah, you’re right…Tito isn’t the only guy. Anyone remember when Tim Sylvia did the same thing when he lost the belt to Randy? And the resulting boos?

  • Makington says:

    Very good article Dave. Props for showing how some fighters step up like men(Davis) as well as the fighters that whine all day long. We’re always going to see fighters with little nagging injuries but it’s their job to push through that and fight to their best anyways. I don’t think anyone really wants to hear about all these life threatening injuries that just make you seem like even more of a tool.

  • Makington says:

    David Andrest:
    If you have a chance to watch Fabervs. BrownItake a listen to that stuff. Good god.

    I didn’t get around to watching the post fight interviews but I remember they were extremely respectful to eachother in the ring after the fight. Urijah manned up in the ring afterwards. Uness you’re talking about their second fight where Faber talked about his broken hand? I don’t remember him outright complaining about it though… I must be missing something here?

  • David Andrest says:

    I didn’t get around to watching the post fight interviews but I remember they were extremely respectful to eachother in the ring after the fight. Urijah manned up in the ring afterwards. Uness you’re talking about their second fight where Faber talked about his broken hand? I don’t remember him outright complaining about it though… I must be missing something here?

    Not so much faber, but the announce team scrambled for the final few rounds making excuses on his behalf. Couldn’t have possibly been MTB was better that night.

    And people repeated it like a bunch of droning parrots.

  • Ray Pist says:

    WEC announcers are BS…they are good at it..but very BIAS…UNREAL BIAS…the WEC (zuffa owned) knows that in order to be able to sell to fans they need marketable names…but they forget that MMA is WWE and you can’t pick and chose who wins or who truly is the best…even though the most flamboyant easiest to sell guy is really good…doesn’t make him the best!

    I love Torres…I learnt to love him by watching so many of his very entertaining high paced fights….I don’t need the announcers telling me every two second how much better he is than his competition…why the fuck are they fighting Mr. Announcers if he is that much better? Let him create his own marketability because after you talk the guy up the way you do and he does lose it makes him look bad even though he wasn’t the one talking himself up the way you were.

    I don’t like Faber…I find his style annoying sorry nothing against the guy he is an amazing fighter…I don’t not watch his fights…I just usually am routing for the other guy (sorry faber lovers) but it is annoying when I see the other guy winning and the announcers are talking like he isn’t…it pisses me off, just like I’m sure Mizugaki fans’s weren’t happy with the way the torres fight was being called (I think Torres did win, but not in the fashioin the announcers made it seem)

    I understand that announcers are fans too, and they will carry some sort of Bias with them…they will have a favorite fighter etc…but then be honest…don’t be Frank Mir and take a handfull of miguel’s balls and smear our faces in it….do as Rashad Evans did while co-announcing the Jardine vs Rampage fight…HE WAS HONEST…he told everyone who didn’t already know he was best friends with Jardine, they train together, eat turkey together…probably have threesomes together…so when he was being Bias I as a fan went…well obviously and he even said he was being Bias.

    I don’t care if Joe Rogan says you know what….I love fighter a and fighter b never has thrilled me too much and I’d love to see fighter a win because it to me makes an exciting fight in the future with so and so….but tell me that instead of wiping fighters a’s balls in my face for 15 minutes without me knowing you have a “thing” for him.

    The other thing I have often wondered…and I do wonder if it would even be legal or not, but somehow I can’t see it being that illegal…but rather than pay judges pay off announcers. Won’t make you win a fight, but sure will make you loads of money with your new found popularity if Joe Rogan is hanging on your nuts constantly or Frank Mir in the WEC want’s to have your children and put them on his mantle next to his blow up Brock arm.

    Anywho’s in conclusion I feel that the announcers should take to their job the way a ref or a judge does…with no sway towards one fighter or another…although not quite as important as the ref and judge in terms of being unbias, they should call the fight the way it unfolds without preference and if they do want to hug a nut or two tell us before hand who you like and why you like them!


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