The first televised prelim of UFC 172 started the evening out with a bang. Danny Castillo took on Charlie Brenneman. The fight itself was great. Good action on the feet, and slick moves on the ground. The one thing that did piss me off about this fight was the cage grabs. Not only the grabs, but how a clear foul goes unpunished. I want to make it clear that I hold nothing against Charlie. I can't imagine how hard it is to not grab the damn thing.
Brenneman first grabs the cage just over two minutes into round one. He is given a verbal warning by Dan Miragliotta, and releases his death grip from the links. Castillo and Brenneman scramble for control along the fence for around forty seconds. That's when Charlie grabs the cage for a second time. On this occasion though, it cost Danny a take down. It cost Charlie nothing, as Miragliotta simply gives him another warning. Castillo would go on to KO Brenneman just over twenty seconds into the second round, so it really didn't matter in the end. What if Charlie avoided the take down with that cage grab, and went on to win. Either by decision, or stoppage. It would have been an outrage for Danny and his team.
Brenneman isn't the first, and won't be the last fighter to grab the cage. Whether it be to stand up, or stay up it will continue to happen. To me the choices are simple. Either take a point away, or make it legal. Why have rules in place when you're not willing to enforce them? Personally I don't hate the idea of being able to use your surrounding in any way you can.