Salmon quit, plain and simple. Self-preservation and financial well-being trumped his competitive drive. But he didn’t "throw a fight" as so many have alleged.
At any MMA event, especially amateur and small regional shows, you’ll see at least a fighter or two who simply breaks mentally. He’ll stop fighting off a submission attempt, will quit fighting and cover up, or will simply tap-out. Like Salmon, they just don’t have the heart to continue that night.
Criticize them all you want. But suggesting someone "threw a fight" — that he or she went into a contest with the intention of losing — is a whole different matter. Unfortunately, some otherwise intelligent and well-informed MMA insiders have significantly and sadly confused the two in Salmon’s case.
The outrage has already cost Salmon two future fights, and the Ohio State Athletic Commission has told him he must attend a hearing next month to discuss the situation.
Salmon may be guilty of bad judgment. Perhaps he’s open and honest to a fault. But he’s definitely not guilty of throwing a fight.
Respected, tenured athletic commission officials like Bernie Profato and Nick Lembo are deciding to investigate Salmon's statement not because they have reading comprehension skills but because the media enticed them to circumvent good judgment? Oh, come on, Dann. I confess that I'd like to believe Salmon and do wonder whether or not he simply misspoke. If he did that's a colossal error. For purposes of clarity, let's review what Salmon said again:
In the second round, I took him down again. He went for an armbar, I defended it (only to prove to myself that he couldn't get it), and then I put my arm back in to give him the win so that I could return to England, healthy. Just so you all know, that is the most embarrassing thing that I have ever admitted out loud.
Emphasis mine. In my judgment, not risking injury by quitting early is categorically different than not risking injury by aiding your opposition. So even if Salmon spoke clumsily and he's entirely innocent, it's not as if the statement is so innocuous that it renders Profato's and Lembo's concerns over the top. The one thing we know for sure is that candor isn't Salmon's only problem.