Off-event weeks are usually surprising in the randomness of the stories that end up moving the needle. Today was no different. So...he we go again with another rundown of the three most interesting stories of the day in MMA.
1. Mike Kogan reminds us all that MMA is filled with a bizarre disconnect from reality
Mike Kogan dropping a "n***a" in reference to Jose Aldo's pay complaintswas a dumb moment. Dumb for anyone, honestly.
I don't say that to be mean or critical or "the PC police," whatever the hell that is, but rather because it is simply a dumb thing for a white person to say, let alone one that has his position.
We can argue intent and which friends have told him what words are okay to use, and then argue private vs. public and the endless circle that these conversations always go.
But, the real issue is that Kogan is a high profile manager in the sport. And I feel it says a lot about the sport that collectively the incident was met with little more than a shrug.
Can you imagine the uproar were this the NFL, NBA or MLB and the story about someone like Drew Rosenhaus? There'd be tons of attention from ESPN and the like, prepared statements, clients jumping ship, sponsors pressuring athletes to jump ship, probably press conferences, the league would weigh in and a tag would haunt that agent/manager for the rest of his life. And the prepared statements certainly wouldn't include calling people "dumbasses."
Instead, it's just another case of "that's how (insert MMA personality is), I like it that way." Which is basically code for "I'm totally cool with the niche status of this sport and hope it stays this way forever."
And, it's worth noting that fighters did tell MMA Junkie that they wish their manager wouldn't use the language Kogan did and that sponsors have put some pressure on them because of Kogan's behavior.
Wanderlei Silva more or less admitted (though a lawyer) that he sprinted out of the gym to avoid a Nevada State Athletic Commission drug test. The story was at least somewhat original, however. Silva says that he suffered a wrist injury and was on anti-inflammatory medication as well as diuretics as part of his treatment.
That won't stop the NSAC from handing down a twelve month suspension.
They haven't yet as they, for some reason, will put it off until another hearing later on. But it's unlikely that they're going to take his word for it and allow him to skate without the full punishment they can hand down.
Cheal Sonnen's fate--related to an actual failed test--is also not yet decided. He was given the standard "temporary suspension" until he has his real hearing to determine the actual punishment.
Of course, he is "retired" so that shouldn't have any impact on things.
3. TUF 19 is just awful, but the show's contestants aren't faring much worse than they used to
Dana White pulled no punches when it comes to the current season of The Ultimate Fighter, which he called "without a doubt the worst season and the least motivated the fighters have ever been."
Personally, I've lost all interest in the show. it does nothing for me, the seasons always seem the same with different faces. Some guys are overly emotional, there's a dumb prank war, dramatic music, etc.
Is it serving a purpose?
David Castillo says yes.At least in terms of continuing to produce viable fighters. He broke down the win percentages of fighters coming out of the show by season and saw no significant decline as the seasons have worn on.
Of course, you'd have to really dig down into opponent quality to take it to the next step in what that truly means. Obviously fighters from the first few seasons have gone on to face top level competition, while someone from the Jones v Sonnen season is nowhere near that level.