Bloody Elbow's Tim Burke is a man of many opinions. Recently he went on MMA Sentinel to speak with Steph Daniels and Iain Kidd. He talked at length about what Vitor Belfort's current legacy is considering his current TRT usage, as well as his respect for UFC matchmaking. For those long time community members Burke spoke about working at Bloody Elbow and his goals as a writer and moderator.
It's a brief glimpse into the mind of our own beer and red bull fueled monster. Enjoy!
Vitor’s TRT issues & Title Shot
I have a different view on TRT than most people, I think. A lot of people want to take away from what he did to Rockhold and they just want to quiz him and bother the crap out of him about it, I think I’d probably get upset too.
He’s talked about it, he hasn’t hid it… there’s nothing he can do right now. He’s screwed, basically; he got one of the best knock outs of all time, in the main event of a big card, and nobody really cared. All they wanted to do was talk about TRT, so I felt kinda bad for him.
I think they’ll give him a shot at the title, assuming Anderson Silva beats Chris Weidman, which is a big assumption, but that’s a mega fight in Brazil – Belfort vs Silva 2. Even if they want to bring Belfort back to the states, there are lots of states that will let him compete with TRT. Nevada has a little bit of an issue with that right now, but I don’t think they’ll hold Belfort back any more.
There’s no reason to, they’ll just have him what, knock out more kids in Brazil? Who? He already took out Bisping, he already took out Rockhold, there aren’t many people he hasn’t fought.
The division is getting better, but it’s still shallow. When you have guys like, and no offence to him, Costa Philippou in the top 5 in the UFC’s official rankings now? I mean, the guy is very good, but he kind of took advantage over a hurt Tim Boetsch in his last fight, that’s his best win in the UFC and that makes him a top 5 middleweight? Not to me. It’s still pretty shallow in the end.
Already he's taking the difficult, hard hitting stances. "But what about matchmaking? What does Tim think about the UFC's fight picking process, and the fights upcoming?" He's got answers, in spades.
Being caught off guard by UFC decisions
That happens a lot. I write those pieces (The Cut List, Fights to Make) thinking that I have looked at and studied (everything), I try to lay it out the best I can and sometimes I’m right, (but) a lot of the time I’m wrong. Almost always as soon as Joe Silva or Sean Shelby makes a fight, I’m like ‘Wow, that’s so much better, that’s so much more logical than what I chose.’ They are the masters. Just in this last card, the Dos Anjos vs Dunham fight was 100% perfect matchmaking, you can tell by how close the fight was, and I never even thought about that.
Bigfoot vs Cain
I think they got stuck with this fight. They 100% expected Overeem to knock Bigfoot out and they would set up Cain vs Overeem, so they just had no choice in the matter. Who else were the going to give the shot to? They couldn’t just give one back to JDS with the way he lost, so they got screwed.
They almost ended up with another rematch, if Hunt hadn’t made it over from New Zealand with his visa issues, they would have had to go with Dos Santos vs Nelson 2 for the Co-Main event, which would have been even worse.
UFC 160 predictions
Hunt, as much as I like the guy… Dos Santos brings things he just hasn’t shown in the octagon so far; he can wrestle and he has submission skills and I think Hunt will have a really hard time with that. If Dos Santos chooses to stand with him, then you never know, but Hunt isn’t completely unstoppable;
MousasiManhoef knocked him down and submitted himout in Dream, so he’s not completely invincible (standing), so I don’t think I’ll be betting on hunt.
I don’t think Te Huna is a good bet against Teixeira. Easter Island boy in the main event probably isn’t going to beat Cain, either. I think Donald Cerrone is going to destroy Noons… not destroy, that’s a bad word, I shouldn’t overemphasize that, but KJ Noons has very overrated boxing in my eyes, guys like Conor Heun are standing and trading with him and that went to a split decision.
Cerrone is an excellent kickboxer, not just a boxer, he’s got OK takedowns and on the ground he will own Noons. Noons isn’t going to knock him out,I don’t think he wins a points decision against a good kickboxer like Cerrone, he can’t take him down, he can’t submit him, I don’t see how Noons wins the fight, personally.
Most of all, we all want to hear the details of his work with Bloody Elbow. What's it like to peek behind the curtain, to see the inner workings of the hardest hitting website in all of MMA journalism?
On his ‘Why I won’t be ordering Jones vs Sonnen’ piece
I was flamed every which way you could think of (for writing that), social media, email… I still get emails about it! I just wanted to give my opinion about that, I was on vacation, I had the choice to order it or not, I was just sick of the whole joke of a fight, the joke of a promotion, it was 6 months of wasted time. They were selling a joke, and I just wanted to say my piece – I didn’t tell anybody not to order it themselves, just that it was what I was going to do. I opened the floodgates on that one. I took shit from everybody.
Moderation on Bloody Elbow
We have four rules of moderation on Bloody Elbow, and the last rule is don’t piss off the staff, it’s a reason to get rid of people if you don’t like them, I almost never do it. If they fuck up somehow, if it was for a reason, then they get banned. Pissing me off is very hard but sometimes, if you lay something out serious to someone and they don’t get it, they gots to go.
What about MMA Journalism makes him happiest and most pissed off
Makes me happy… I don’t know, there’s not a lot! The work that Brent does at our site makes us look so much more legitimate than we do half the time when we are writing angry opinion stuff that we get flamed for. If there’s any person that deserves the accolades they get, it’s Brent. In terms of the overall picture, MMA journalism is kind of a big mess. It’s very political, you’re always worried about pissing people off and losing access, and getting credentialed… I got into writing because I just wanted to tell the truth and talk about stuff, not have to clear everything with people before hand and make sure I’m not stepping on toes. It pisses me off the way it’s set up, the way it is.
We either have to limit the picture we’re painting and only use certain colors to keep everybody happy, or just choose to be as monotonous as humanly possible and just drone on about the same old bullshit without ever really touching on any topic. It’s pathetic to me sometimes.
Fighters saying dumb things
I think that’s something that’ll get better. When they money starts rolling in, a lot of these guys will learn to control themselves. The fines will help, because they’re punishment for stuff like that. Now Vitor is a different case, he’s been around for so long that I guess he just feels like he’s got the run of the play-pen and can say whatever he wants and do whatever he wants. But if you look at a guy like Jon Jones, he’s fairly calculated about what he says. He’s a lot younger than Vitor but he’s a hell of a lot more mature sometimes. I think as athletes come along in the sport, they’re going to be more mature.
There's a lot more in the whole interview, you can listen to the whole thing here once it's posted.