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Shooting From The Hip: A poor choice of words, playing the game & calling timeout

What NOT to say during a live UFC broadcast. I’d have to say if I was making a list of phrases not to utter during the commentary portion of a live mixed martial arts event, “He’s getting molested” would have to be near the top of the list. Any of you guys that caught last weekend’s inaugural “UFC on Versus” event know what I’m talking about? It happened during the Cheick Kongo vs. Paul Buentello mauling.

Here’s a play-by-play of the play-by play:

Goldberg: I don’t know how much more Buentello can take, Joe.

Rogan: Oh, he can take it all night. The thing is; will Herb Dean let him? He’s getting molested.

Goldberg: You must intelligently defend yourself.

Right off the bat, I feel like Joe Rogan is the best in the business at what he does, so this is in no way an attack on one of my admitted personal favorite commentators in the sport. If anything, it’s a plea to the entire mixed martial arts community to NOT make this some kind of trendy MMA slang.

Let me ask you guys something: What is the first thing that pops into your noodle when you hear the word “molested”? For myself, it’s nearly impossible not to associate the term with unwanted sexual acts with a minor; one of the lowest and most unforgivable offenses on the earth.

I understand when you’re kicking back with your boys watching a UFC it may get a few chuckles when you joke that one fighter is raping his opponent, but in my opinion, molestation jokes have no place or time where they are funny; and that absolutely includes a commentating microphone of a major mixed martial arts event with more than one million eyes and ears watching and listening.

It may not be pretty to listen to, but I’ll take a good old fashioned Lampley meltdown (see video below) over a molestation reference any day of the week.

Playing the game? Many of you guys heard Herb Dean tell Paul Buentello that he was doing just that after taking a set of knees to the Chiclets from Cheick Kongo during the pair’s “UFC on Versus” tussle.

So what is this “playing the game”? Well, it was described by Joe Rogan during the broadcast as a situation where Buentello had both hands off the canvas, but when he saw that he was going to catch a knee to the dome, he put his hand down on the mat to make the knee illegal. And that’s exactly what it is. I’ve heard “Big” John McCarthy giving other fighters the same warning in UFC’s past, so it’ nothing new to the sport.

My beef with this instance of “playing the game” is that fact that “The Headhunter” was supposedly “playing the game” for a full four seconds before catching some tough love in the form of a knee to the face from Kongo while technically “downed” (one hand on the mat) before Dean deemed that Buentello was basically at fault. Buentello puts his hand on the canvas at 1:43 of round two, takes the first knee to the head at 1:40, and the second at 1:39. To me, that’s not playing the game, but getting illegally bludgeoned.

I could be wrong, but my interpretation of “playing the game” has always been when a fighter attempts to put his hand down just as the knee is about to hit him, and not four or five seconds after the fighter has touched his palm to the mat. I don’t feel like a fighter is “playing the game” after having his hand on the canvas for two seconds or longer. That’s plenty of time for both a skilled referee and the opposing fighter to see what’s going on.

The rules are there for a reason – to protect the fighter – but with the sport being as young as it is in the grand scheme of things, sometimes it seems like we’re making things up as we go. Like when you’re playing touch football with your buddies back in grade school and some wise-ass decides to change the rules in the middle of the game. What is that? Unfortunately for Buentello, he couldn’t just take his ball and go home.

You can’t call “timeout” in MMA. You just can’t. Have you guys ever seen or been in a fight where someone is getting their lunch money taken from them and they decide it’s time to call “time”? You can’t do that. That is so against the rules of fighting that it’s not even funny.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because I saw two men that seemed to call “time” during last weekend’s “UFC on Versus” card. The subjects in question: Paul Buentello and James Irvin.

First it was Irvin who freaked out when he took a “for real punch” to the eye. I was shocked when referee Josh Rosenthal informed James Irvin that he had five minutes to recover from being punched directly in the face from the fist of Alessio Sakara. Luckily, some sense was eventually made of the unfortunate situation and Irvin was informed – rightfully – that he had basically submitted from a punch to the face.

Then it was Buentello who turned away from Cheick Kongo when his finger was jarred out of socket. I have no doubt that the injury must have been excruciatingly painful due to Buentello limping around the Octagon following the digit disaster, but the fight should have been waved off right then and there, just like the Irvin fight.

Long story short, if an injury occurs in MMA from anything other than a foul, it’s a wrap. No “timeouts” in MMA, fellas.

Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez. How can this fight not come to fruition? With Frank Mir and Shane Carwin set to duke it out tomorrow evening at UFC 111 for the right to challenge Brock Lesnar for the real UFC heavyweight crown, there really is no other fight for either of these human wrecking machines that have been carving out a path of destruction on their way to the top of the heavyweight mountain. Both look nearly unstoppable at the weight class, which brings me to my next topic.

Five unstoppable forces in UFC heavyweight division. Can we just celebrate the fact that the state of the UFC heavyweight division is the best it’s ever been right now? Right now we have a situation where there are five incredibly talented big men that look nearly invincible. There’s UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, a better than ever Frank Mir, and a trio of undefeated human wrecking balls, Junior dos Santos, Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez. What do all of these guys have in common? I can’t visualize any of them losing any time soon; but some of them will do just that. The beauty of the situation we find ourselves in is the possibility of establishing a heavyweight title holder that can not be disputed in just about a year’s time.

Until next time, bang, bang…. BANG, BANG, BANG!!!!!.

Jim Lampley: There you go – four punch, five punch, six punch combinations – body shot, body shot – bang, bang, bang…. bang, bang, BANG!!! Try and stop it. Bang, Bang! Here I come. Bang! You wanna throw some time? Bang! This is the Manny Pacquiao that has dominated boxing for the past three years. Bang, bang, bang, BANG, BANG!!!

Max Kellerman: And when Pacquiao…

Jim Lampley: You wanna throw back? Bang!! Keep coming!

Max Kellerman: And when Pacquiao starts doing this, now I tend to agree: Clottey has to do something to keep him off.

17 COMMENTS
  • Guthookd says:

    Agreed.

  • Dufresne says:

    Joe Rogan has a history of saying things that seem more like they’d come from my buddy on the couch 5 beers in than from a sports analyst. I was watching the Penn v Sanchez PPV again the other day and he yelled “It’s penis time!” during the weigh ins. I also remember him pondering why the scrotum is located right in the perfect spot to get kicked or kneed in during a fight. I personally don’t have a huge issue with it, but I can definitely see how something like that could cause a network fits when trying to work out a deal.

    Buentello getting kneed in the face and then Herb basically blaming it on him was the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Herb basically said “You intentionally took that knee from a giant kickboxer to the face instead of trying to block it.” Does anyone else think that’s f-ing ridiculous? Herb is one of my favorite refs, but every now and then he does/says the dumbest things.

    The only reason I didn’t get upset about the “time-out” in the Irvin fight is that eye pokes are so common in MMA the ref may have truly believed that Irvin had gotten more than a solid punch in the exchange. The Buentello incident was kinda iffy for me since certain injuries do get doctor checks on a fairly regular basis. Granted that’s the first time I remember seeing a stoppage for the Doc to check, and fix!, a dislocated finger.

  • king mah mah says:

    Yeah I completely agree that Buentello was down when he took the knees. His hand was definitely on the mat long enough to to legitimately be ruled down.

    What we need is a clear cut rule about hitting a downed opponent. Like exactly how long does your hand have to be down before you are ruled down? Four or five seconds seems like long enough to me. And I don’t call it “playing the game”. I call it “using the rules to your advantage”.

    You can’t make a rule about knees to a downed opponent and then tell the downed opponent it’s tough shit if they catch one if you feel they are “playing the game”. If that’s the case they need to completely eliminate the rule altogether and allow knees to a downed opponent.

    I have a question too. Was Jon Jones “playing the game” when left only one knee on the ground before he took an up kick from Vera? Just saying, where does this so called “game” start and stop?

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Dufrense said it just right again. For a dislocated finger you need to stop the action, if only temporarily, to fix it. If you can stop fights to wipe blood from a fighters eye you can stop fights to put a limb back in the socket.

  • MCM says:

    Joe does have a history of saying slightly “off” phrases while broadcasting. Goats Vagina anyone?

    As for Playing the Game, I think Herb was saying that Buentello put his hand down strictly for the purpose of not getting hit. The rule was instituted so that a fighter who is off balance and needs to put a hand down to stay on their feet won’t get punished without having a way to defend themselves. I don’t think Paul was off balance, he was playing the game.

    NO TimeOuts!! I’m a big James Irving fan but even if you catch a straight thumb to the eye followed by a groin kick, you don’t get to call time out, that’s the refs job, yours is to continue fighting.

  • mabus says:

    Re: Time out

    Well, there kinda is a time out, if we’re comparing this to a street fight. Street violence often get’s settled inmuch under 30 seconds — in the case of Ultimate Fighting, you get rounds with time-outs in between. Should there be special exceptions during the rounds? I think so. Why scarp a fight if it can be resolved as simply as by checking a cut, or… um… setting a bone?

    As for molestation… as far as I know, and as far as my dictionary term is concerned, the term has no specific sexual connotation. It can, but it’s not specific. So it’s fair game. If Molested is: “verb [ trans. ]
    pester or harass (someone), typically in an aggressive or persistent manner” Than that’s kinda what was happening — of course, we all know that violence requires a victim, and there are none in this conscentfull sport, so enjoy the richness of the english language. This is rated “R” kind of entertainment.

  • Makington says:

    mabus: Re: As for molestation… as far as I know, and as far as my dictionary term is concerned, the term has no specific sexual connotation. It can, but it’s not specific. So it’s fair game. If Molested is: “verb [ trans. ]
    pester or harass (someone), typically in an aggressive or persistent manner” Than that’s kinda what was happening — of course, we all know that violence requires a victim, and there are none in this conscentfull sport, so enjoy the richness of the english language. This is rated “R” kind of entertainment.  

    Faggot in the dictionary means a bundle of sticks too but if I say there’s a faggot outside my house, you’re not picturing the pile of wood I use for my fireplace. Molestation is not a smart word at all, but that’s what you get when you have a broadcaster that is a popular comedian who specializes in obscene style jokes. I also really like Joe and find him a very affable broadcaster btw, but you can see sometimes his mouth gets a little ahead of his brain. I didn’t get upset when he said it, but I’m sure some people out there did and would hold it against the UFC. Hopefully we won’t hear how GSP molests Hardy tomorrow, but rather is beating him down or something.

  • fetussandwich says:

    At its very roots, Rogan’s use of the word “molested” was a perfect, literal fit. It’s not his fault that modern society’s connotation and your thought process seems to think otherwise. Molestar in Spanish means “to bother.” Does the entire language now need to be changed? I’ll just go and tell my grandma to stop calling things queer too.

  • JabCrossHook says:

    The rules of the UFC play the game to help the wrestlers win. No up-kicks when the opponent is on his knees? What kind of bullshit is that? Up-kicks were Vera’s best weapon against Jon Jones, and you can bet yourself that jones would’ve never landed that big elbow if Vera was allowed to up-kick. No kneeing to the head of a downed opponent? Maybe they should change that to a downed AND dazed opponent. Besides a knee thrown from standing would have more force behind it anyway so what’s the big deal? All it does is allow wrestlers to play their game. Man I miss pride stomping.

  • Makington says:

    fetussandwich: At its very roots, Rogan’s use of the word “molested” was a perfect, literal fit. It’s not his fault that modern society’s connotation and your thought process seems to think otherwise. Molestar in Spanish means “to bother.” Does the entire language now need to be changed? I’ll just go and tell my grandma to stop calling things queer too.  

    It doesn’t exactly matter what the word means in the dictionary so much as it means in society. Back to my faggot example. Most people don’t know that it literally means a bundle of sticks or that a bitch is a female dog in heat. It’s a pretty weak defense to say, ‘Yah I said molested, but if you look at the Spanish origin it means to bother.’

    In society, if you molest something you are basically raping it, and it has nowadays become synonymous with pedophilia. Joe knew full well that this is basically what the word means now. He didn’t try to say Kongo is bothering Buentello.

    Yah, the word did fit perfectly into the situation, and it was said with humour, not to offend anyone, but you have to hold yourself to a higher standard at that point. It’s such a small thing to get in trouble for, and people will make a big deal out of it, guaranteed. Even though it was funny and essentially harmless, I’d rather not give someone an argument against commentators. It’s like how I don’t swear at work because I know even though it wouldn’t offend everyone, it would still offend some people, and that’s what I’m responsible for i the end.

  • Curly Biddles says:

    I am sick and tired of the acceptance of the term “getting raped.” Very surprised to hear someone pointing out their utter disgust for a “getting molested” comment, but UNDERSTANDING of someone saying “raping their opponent,” which is obviously a form of molestation….

    I refuse to suck up to the author and applaud and agree. This statement you made is both ignorant and hypocritical.

    Rogan is a foul mouthed commentator. He would probably tell you that was as clean as his filthy mouth had been all week.

  • edub says:

    Curly Biddles: I am sick and tired of the acceptance of the term “getting raped.” Very surprised to hear someone pointing out their utter disgust for a “getting molested” comment, but UNDERSTANDING of someone saying “raping their opponent,” which is obviously a form of molestation….I refuse to suck up to the author and applaud and agree. This statement you made is both ignorant and hypocritical.Rogan is a foul mouthed commentator. He would probably tell you that was as clean as his filthy mouth had been all week.  (Quote)

    The point he’s making is it gets said. I’ve heard it said more than once when watching fighting (boxing and fighting, I believe) , and I’ve probably said it. It just shouldn’t be said on national television.

    I don’t want to know you name all I want…bang,bang bang.

  • fetussandwich says:

    Makington:
    Even though it was funny and essentially harmless, I’d rather not give someone an argument against commentators. It’s like how I don’t swear at work because I know even though it wouldn’t offend everyone, it would still offend some people, and that’s what I’m responsible for i the end.  

    You’re a good guy Makington and I enjoy your posts, but I don’t even get how you can relate this to swearing at work. Rogan wasn’t saying it to be funny and “molest” isn’t a swear. The fact that you think the word is funny or taboo is the reason we’re here in the first place. If you say there’s a faggot outside your house, I would safely assume from the context of the conversation we would most likely be having that it wasn’t a homosexual male. It depends on the context, and in the context of his commentating, Rogan was spot on with his articulation. If he made some simile saying “molested like a priest” or something to that extent and alluded to its second meaning, then we would have a problem. You can’t take what Rogan said out of context and then compare it to how society perceives the word because that is a flawed argument.

    1 : to annoy, disturb, or persecute especially with hostile intent or injurious effect

    edub:
    The point he’s making is it gets said.  

    That actually isn’t the point he was making. He clearly states that it’s funny to hear about people “getting raped” then detests people using the proper form of the word “molest.” That’s like saying it’s OK to commit second degree murder, but first degree is wayyy out of line.

    I mean, I enjoy this site multiple times daily and love it for all it’s worth, but think before you type something like this for fuck’s sake. Your next editorial we’ll have MMA fans debating pro-life/pro-choice.

  • Jstew3785 says:

    All day long a foot up a dog’s ass, just bang bang bang up his ass! That’s my pleasure!

  • Genesis says:

    I seem to remember Randy playing the game during his fight with Sylvia and big john didn’t stop him.

  • Makington says:

    I appreciate the compliment inside of the argument fetus, and I agree to an extent. I personally don’t care that he said molested. I thought it was kind of funny, since he didn’t use it in the context that meant ‘raping a child.’ I’m not saying I’m above it, because I would say the same thing, and probably have, but with my friends at someone’s house. To be saying it on public tv the way they did, I just know that some mom or something is going to hear it and be all pissy about it. If I were Dana I wouldn’t even really give Joe much crap about it, I would just tell him to try to be as professional as he can be when he’s representing the sport. Try not to say things that some people probably will find offensive.

    The way I was relating swearing at work wasn’t to say it’s just as bad, it was to say I avoid doing things in the presence of others that might offend them. I swear all the times when I’m with my friends and none of us mind, but if I swear all the time at work, I’ll eventually offend someone. I try to be as professional as possible in a situation like that.

    It might not be fair that society’s meaning is above a literal meaning, but that’s the way it is.

    Good kind of argument though. That’s why I like this site more than any others, enough to comment on. A site like mmajunkie is just an insult-fest if you don’t agree with someone, but we can atleast have an intelligent argument with eachother if we disagree, while not quickly turning it into insults.

  • fetussandwich says:

    Makington:
    Good kind of argument though. That’s why I like this site more than any others, enough to comment on. A site like mmajunkie is just an insult-fest if you don’t agree with someone, but we can atleast have an intelligent argument with eachother if we disagree, while not quickly turning it into insults.  

    Amen brotha. If you convey your point to me intelligently, you’re a good man in my book. The brutality of MMA gives it this stigma that the people watching are nothing more that barbaric missing links incapable of formulating sentences, let alone arguments. Albeit true to some of the specimens on here, the vast majority of these posters always has something I’m genuinely intrigued to read and look forward to seeing, yourself included. It’s refreshing to be able to point and counter-point with you out of a complete respect for one another’s stances. It’s reassuring to know I can make a point and not every mongoloid will come out of the woodwork to be an e-comedian and type stupid shit like it’s an insult to escape the monotony of their mundane, petty existence, when in reality, the only person they’re too stupid to even realize they’re insulting is them. Like Goldie says, “a fighter has to intelligently defend himself”; you gotta stick to your guns and leave the mom jokes at home if you intend on swimming instead of sinking.

    Like you said, you’d be hard pressed to find a better site that isn’t a stomping ground for inbreeding like the forums at mmanews.com, where birth control needs to be handed out for free to every single user to prevent further piss in our gene pool. This site has its test tube accidents, but they know who they are enough to just sit back from the forest and not be able to see the trees and think their thumbs down button is a justifiable enough reason not to tie a noose and kick out the chair.

    Enjoy the fights tonight~

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