When beginning these fanposts, the intro (and title) are among the most difficult and time consuming for me. For some reason, until I dive right into the content I want to be writing about, creativity seems to fail me. That being said, I'll try to get right to it.
It's been a few months since I last contributed to the community here, and the last time you guys heard from me I was strapping up for my Bellator debut, set for June 25th. I ended up losing that fight via 29-28 decision to talented ATT product, Dan Cramer. The fight itself, as well as the whole experience of my first fight in a larger organization in general, are both topics I intend to share in the near future, but that's another story for another day.
What brings me here today is not to share my own experiences, but rather to share some of my own analysis. It's way too often I find myself lurking on BE without taking part in the dozens of discussions going on every day. If you ask any of my friends (or ex-girlfriend), they will easily tell you what website consumes my time, whether it be on the computer or through mobile browsing. Why, they ask, am I so intrigued by this obnoxiously named website? What could there possibly be to read about over and over again? I'm sure many of you can relate, as it's easy to get caught up in the need for up to date information, sometimes in a borderline compulsive way.
I try to explain to them that it's not exactly the website itself that has captured my heart and mind. Its the sport itself. It's all the intricacies of applied technique. It's the compelling story lines behind the scenes. It's the beautiful, instinctual, simpleness of pitting one man's strength of mind and body against anothers. When you are as passionate as I am, as a fan, a participant, and a coach to young fighters, I would be doing myself a disservice to miss out on the opportunity to always be learning more. Being that BloodyElbow.com is, in my opinion, the home to the sharpest minds in MMA dissection and discussion, this is where I choose to come.
Humble opinions on last night's fights, from a fighters point of view, after the jump.
Last night was a big night in combat sports. While all my Seminoles were here in Tallahassee anxiously and drunkenly awaiting kickoff for the Oklahoma game, I was waiting for the Grand Slam of fights that was being served up on 3 different channels. Of course, many are quick to point out that it wasn't the most relevant Fight Night Card in recent history in terms of title fights. Yes, I'm also fully aware that many MMA fans aren't into boxing, and that many considered last nights fight a squash match for the challenger. And finally, yes, I also realize that last nights Bellator live play-by-play results on this website got only 31 comments. None of this slowed my excitement, as I had a personal vested interest in many of the fights taking place.
Clearly the fight that got the most attention was the clusterfuck of confusion that was the Mayweather vs. Ortiz fight. There has been no shortage of criticism for one of the all time greatest boxers in Mayweather, both in and out of the ring. The controversy seemed to come to a climax in an odd turn of events at the end of the 4th round, which I assume everyone has seen by now. Although there has been widespread outrage regarding Mayweather's actions, I can't help but feel a lack thereof.
First off, let's not pretend like Mayweather has been the best role model for sportsmanlike conduct in his very public career. We are talking about the same guy who came out to the Oscar De La Hoya fight in Mexican colors and a damn sombrero. Also the same guy who released a shameless public video spewing racism in Pacquiao's direction. Can anyone say they are that surprised by his actions last night?
Secondly, and past behavior aside, let's realistically assess what happened at the end of the fight. Ortiz, after backing Mayweather into a corner, attempted a flying headbutt. Let's repeat for emphasis. In a world title fight, while being down on the scorecards 4-0, the "champion" attempted a flying headbutt. It doesn't stop there. From that point, Ortiz attempts to hug and kiss Mayweather on the cheek after the blatant foul. Something tells me Floyd is not the type to enjoy being kissed (or headbutted) by other men. After the weird headbutt, hug/kiss attempted cuddle session by Ortiz, he decides to try ANOTHER hug.
What. The. Fuck.
Now I am not one to hate on the bro hug. In fact, I think it may actually be appropriate sometimes in a rare situation. This was not one of those situations. If you are reaching out for an embrace from your opponent, it better have been after the most back and forth, bat-shit crazy, intense round of your fighting career. Not after you just tried to headbutt your way through his face.
Understandably, it is easy to point the finger and lay blame on the more boastful and arrogant fighter. That's not to say he wasn't somewhat in the wrong, as the second punch was undoubtedly uncalled for. Ortiz was clearly not engaged in the fight at the time, and was more worried about Referee Cortez facilitating his new found man-love for his opponent, as evidenced by his multiple attempts to embrace Mayweather. Still, not a good ending to a night for a fighter who has recently repeatedly emphasized putting the "finishing touches" on his "legacy."
Moving past that, I think there is another point to be taken from last night's fights that needs addressing. For the large amount of us that are constantly complaining about the fickleness of MMA fans (which I agree with whole heartedly), you are doing nothing but perpetuating the situation by being quick to write articles and comments condemning fighters to mediocrity, and whatever other revisionist history nonsense that is so easy to make up within the sport. Maybe Ellenberger is the future of the division, maybe Shields was distracted by the recent and unexpected loss of his father. Either way, it is irresponsible and, in my opinion, ignorant to take a fighter with so many credentials and levels of success and write him off because of one performance.
Let's remember that we are talking about a former champion in multiple weight classes and multiple organizations who was on a fifteen fight, 6 year winning streak before his run in with the champion. The same fighter who overcame amazing odds to defeat Henderson, something only Anderson and Rampage have been able to do in roughly the same 6 years. The same fighter who also took out Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit, Robbie Lawler, and Paul Daley on his way to the top. And yes, the same guy who took multiple rounds (unintentional eye poke or not) from the current champion when it wasn't thought possible. The bottom line is that no matter who the opponent, much more often than not, Jake finds a way to win, and I don't see that changing any time soon.
Other than that I tend to agree with most the other thoughts from the UFC card. I was surprised to see the judges give to the decision to Koch, although that's not to say he didn't deserve it. Even in his loss, I am excited to see the matchups Joe Silva has to offer Brookins in the coming months, as I have been a fan for some time now. Court McGee promised in his pre-fight interview that he would go out and find a way to defeat The Ox, and he did just that. With an endless gas tank and an iron will, he took the larger fighter into deep waters, and had the fight lasted any longer I think The Crusher would have finished it.
Lastly, from last night's busy schedule was the forgotten card, Bellator's opening round of the Middleweight tournament. This was a tough one for me to watch, as it was indeed the same tournament I was fighting for a spot in back in June. There weren't many surprises in terms of who won the matchups, and overall it was a fairly exciting night of fights with a good mix of a back and forth decision, a surprising submission, and a couple exciting TKO's. The highlight of the card for me was seeing Baker pull out another win against Lombard's pick to win the whole tournament, Jared Hess. For those of you who don't know, Baker fought last years tournament while battling Leukemia, and has triumphed over the disease to come back for another season. The fact that this is not getting more publicity is mind-blowing to me, as I think it's one of the more inspiring stories in all of sports today.
Well that's all for this time folks, I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. I enjoy being a part of this site and the support I have received thus far. Please feel free to check out my earlier posts or my HL reel to get an idea for who I am and how I fight. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my manger Gary Ibarra with the AMR group.
Last but not least, props to Ben Saunders for not letting me be the only fighter on here! Good luck in the tournament man, we will all be rooting for you.