During the main event of UFC 131: Carwin vs. dos Santos I felt that the corner did a terrible job of doing a base duty as a corner. Going into the fight it was hyped as a guy with technique versus a guy with lots of power. Most expected Junior dos Santos to win the stand up, but as we've all seen with Shane in the past it only takes one shot. After about three minutes into the fight we all realized that Shane was too slow for Junior and after he was dropped and pounded on for a few seconds he came up looking like like he put on a Halloween costume. In addition to this he could not take Junior down so he was stuck on the feet against a guy who he couldn't hit.
The second round came along and it was basically more of the same, and I felt as it was about time for the corner to consider throwing in the towel. Of course this is MMA so that never happens and this is something that should definitely change
As we all know a fighter's corner is usually made up of a couple of trainers and a cutman. Fighters hire trainers to teach them how to protect themselves in a fight. As such part of the job of a trainer is to protect a fighter from himself when it comes time to do so. If your fighter is getting his ass kicked by a guy who is just plain better then there is no reason to let him stay in the fight and just continue to get his dominated. In boxing this is considered common sense, but in mixed martial arts it seems like trainers are fine just letting a guy go out on his sword and that is where the sport becomes barbaric. A corner should behave like they know this guy is not just a fighter. He is a man with a family so they need to take precautions to protect him from himself. This excerpt from Shane's blog is what should be going through the corner's mind when their fighter is getting completely dominated.
I called my Mom to let her know I was okay and to have her help my wife prepare my son for what he was about to see.
The Carwin fight wasn't the only example of a situation where a corner stoppage should have come but did not. A more recent example is the UFC 135 fight with Ben Rothwell and Mark Hunt. This fight should be fresh in most of our mind's, but if it is not then I'll summarize by saying it was a very dumb idea to have two heavyweight fights in Denver. After the the second round Ben Rothwell was completely gassed. He had to be assisted to his corner and his corner should have never let him back into the fight after that. They, of course, did and Scott Christ of BE's sister boxing blog Bad Left Hook described it best:
Rothwell slowly wanders around the ring looking like he's about to collapse. I've got the bloodthirsty streak of most fight fans, but this kind of punishment I do not enjoy. There's a difference in fighters being protected in the two sports, and when I see stuff like this, it does turn me off. That's just me. I applaud Rothwell's courage and admire his toughness, but this is a situation where in boxing, someone usually (and I stress usually) steps in and saves a fighter from potentially awful damage.
During this fight I was pleading for his corner to stop the fight. There was no way Ben was going to win that fight and all that was happening was that he's absorbing punishment. It was also humiliating for him to be in such a position where he is too tired to even get stand up and walk to the stool. So why would any corner allow someone to fight when they are in a condition like that?
Fighters always say they wont fight each other because of the pseudo-family bonds that form in a camp. I think it is more than time for their corners to start to act like share the same bonds they claim to have. I assume the reason they avoid it because that is what the fighter wants, but a corner isn't there to do what a fighter wants in a moment. A corner(i.e. his trainers) are there to do what is best for the fighter. A guy may not "want" to eat healthy or get woken up early to run so he can build his endurance, but his trainers know that is what is best for him. Boxing corners have used the same logic for decades and its time that MMA got on board. If a guy is facing someone that is just plain better by a significant margin then there is no upside to have him just take punishment.
Oh and a quick semi-relevant side note:
I REALLY want Joe Rogan to stop second guessing the doctors. Him asking the winner of a fight if he thinks the fight should have been stopped for cuts because they, "didn't look that bad" is not cool at all. If I remember correctly he was even openly rooting for the doctor to allow Josh Koscheck to continue fighting which he shouldn't have done. It turned out that Josh had a broken orbital and the fight should have been stopped. Josh could have lost his career as a result of that and at worst some of his eye sight. So him not siding completely with whatever a doctor decides(or even siding more on the side of caution) is completely irresponsible.
The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.