Okay, maybe it wasn’t exactly the right time to ask Dana White about this after they just forgot how to count to 28 in Australia (come on, guys, it really isn’t that much harder than " target="_blank">knifey spooney), but he has now officially come down against the implementation of the half-point scoring system in MMA fights. The mere mention of the half-point system was recently enough to send White into one of his vintage f*ck-laced tirades, recorded by MMAFighting.com’s Mike Chiappetta:
“We get into half-points? They better learn to count f—ing whole points before we get to half-points,” he said. “You put a half-a-point in there, holy s—, every f—ing card will be destroyed. It’s a bigger problem than half-points. And I don’t want to smash these guys, they accepted what they did and they were stand-up about it, but Jesus Christ, there’s three f—ing numbers. There’s 10s and 9s. If you can’t count 10s and 9s, let’s not throw f—ing fractions in there.”
White said that during his career of promoting over 1,600 fights, a similar scenario has only occurred one other time, and though he didn’t specify that instance, he’s most likely referring to a UFC 41 bout between Matt Serra and Din Thomas. In that event, Serra was originally declared the winner by majority decision, but a scoring error was later discovered and New Jersey state regulators corrected the mistake, giving Thomas the win.
“It’s the worst thing ever when you go back and you tell a guy, ‘I need to talk to you, you didn’t win this fight,’” White said. “The guy’s already made his f—ing phone calls, he’s already made plans. You think you won the fight and find out the fight’s a draw, or what would have been worse if I would’ve had to go back and tell him, ‘You lost the fight. You didn’t win.’
“That’s why tallying the scores and doing what they do is so important,” he continued. “Not only for all the selfish things for me, for the product and the sport and the brand and all that stuff, but these fighters… You literally have their lives in your hands. Get a f—ing calculator. You know what I mean? Do something. Take more time. Make sure that stuff is right.”
Sure, the half-point scoring system could end up producing lots of three-round draws due to one 10-9 round for one fighter stacking up against two 10-9.5 rounds for the other. But then, what’s to stop the UFC from putting a tiebreaker round (we’re not allowed to say “sudden death” anymore, thank you Rebellion Media) in all future fight contracts to break the impasse? Judging by how MMA fans were salivating like a pack of wild hyenas at the prospect of a fourth round during the McCall-Johnson flyweight tournament fight and then collectively gushed pus from an infected ulcer when they found out it was a mistake that they didn’t get it, tiebreaker rounds might not be such a horrible thing for the sport.
Georges St. Pierre had a chat with Fight Day when he was over in Japan for UFC 144. In addition to declaring that he no longer considers himself the champion and that he can’t get enough of the Japanese poontang culture, he remarks in his quaint little Frenchie-poo accent that although he heard that Nick Diaz “took marijuana,” he doesn’t think that it provides any “performance en-chancement.” One thing that’s for sure is that it’s not as bad as a “stechhoid.”
When a professional fighter talks like a toddler, it’s oh so cute and endearing – as long as he’s never been knocked out. If accumulated punishment was the cause of him being one punch away from subtitles… not so much.
When I saw the first shot of Strikeforce’s Brandon Saling last night as he was about to meander down the walkway to fight Roger Bowling, they only showed his face. Just based on that, I thought to myself, “Gee, he sure does look an awful lot like the white supremacists in those MSNBC prison shows.” I convinced myself that I was being unduly harsh because there are plenty of trailer park residents out there who can’t help the way they look and were essentially born into their white trash status. Even when they showed his huge “White Steel” tattoo, I told myself, “That’s OK, it’s just his nickname… ‘Black Steel’ would be a cool, non-racist nickname for a black fighter too! Besides, is that any worse than Brown Pride?”
But evidently, my Mr.-Rogers-like attitude was a bit naive and I really should have gone with my gut on this one. Some endeavoring Sherlocks out there with HD-DVRs (or Sherdog, or weighin photos, whatever) discovered that he has an “88” shoulder tattoo surrounded by lightning bolts. For those who aren’t well-versed in neo-Nazism (most of you, I hope), Bloody Elbow has some info on these groups’ use of 88 as a pro-Hitler symbol from Wikipedia. I won’t bore you with a sociology lesson, but suffice it to say, if you have an “88” tattoo that’s not something along the lines of “RIP grandma, 1912-1988,” you’re probably a scumbag. Dana White says he’s “looking into it,” but really, it seems pretty black-and-white to me.
Also, it seems that while Zuffa/Forza was busy implementing useless pre-contract drug tests, they forgot to add criminal background checks and simple google searches into the mix as well. Oops! Saling now marks another entry in the growing list of pervs in MMA: in addition to a 2008 domestic violence issue, Saling is a registered sex offender because of a 2004 case in which he allegedly raped a child under 13 years old:
Two Noble County men are facing first-degree felony rape charges following an investigation by the Noble County Sheriff’s Office into the weekend disappearance of a 12-year-old girl and her 13-year-old sister. According to Noble County Sheriff Landon T. Smith, the girls parents had allowed them to go to an all-night birthday party at a friend’s house in Monroe County last Friday. According to reports, the girls left the party with the suspects. Brandon C. Saling, 18, Summerfield, and James T. Allen, 18, Sarahsville were each charged with rape of a person under 13 years old, a first-degree felony.
There are multiple easily-googlable perv alerts available with his mugshot on them. Zuffa/Forza didn’t take the five minutes to look those up. But at least we’ll still know if a prospective Strikeforce fighter has been smoking pot. Therefore, the REAL miscreants will still be weeded out. So how did Strikeforce General Manager Scott Coker react to getting caught with his (thankfully figurative) pants down? And where is the athletic commission in all of this? MMAJunkie has news on what will happen next:
(More after the jump)
Coker noted that Saling is licensed as a professional fighter in Ohio and several other states. “We had no knowledge about that until someone brought it up to us this evening,” Coker said of Saling’s background. “It came to our attention during the course of the fights… [The Ohio Athletic Commission is] going to launch a full investigation on Monday,” he said. “So that’s where that’s at. As far as you guys know, the policy for Strikeforce and the UFC is that kind of body art, offensive behavior, (and) offensive art is not going to be allowed. So that’s something we went to the athlete (with). He responded, and we’re going to investigate further and see what the truth is.”
Coker declined to provide details of his conversation with the fighter and said Strikeforce would inform the media of the investigation’s outcome.
OAC Executive Director Bernie Profato confirmed early Sunday that he’s contacted the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, which will look into the allegations on Monday. He said Saling, who recently renewed his license, will be also notified that his license could potentially be suspended and will have the opportunity to defend himself as an individual or accompanied by legal representatives at an OAC meeting in April. “We’re not going to speculate until we have facts,” Profato said. “He’s innocent until proven guilty.”
Profato said Ohio licensees are required to disclose any criminal background but was unaware of whether Saling noted any past offenses. “If it’s on his application and we missed it, we apologize,” he said.
Even if Saling had fought two weeks prior to last night and was brought in as a late replacement, Zuffa/Strikeforce looks pretty dumb for letting this slide by, even if they try to act cute and Sarah Palin their way out of it. And the Ohio Athletic Commission is obviously going to go back through Saling’s application forms with a fine-tooth comb in order to see if they can find any way to revoke his license for lying. But if Saling did admit his criminal background in his athletic commission application, what then?
The issue of what to do with neo-Nazi fighters has been discussed recently with respect to KSW’s Niko Puhakka, who was pulled out of a title fight and basically hated out of Poland for his political leanings (sound familiar?). There are multiple schools of thought on this, and promotions can obviously not be compelled to hire any fighter who is seen as “bad for business” for any reason. But the ability to be licensed by a state to earn money at one’s chosen profession is not exactly a privilege to be granted only to people whom we like. He’s not asking to teach at an elementary school or drive an ice cream truck; he’s asking permission to get punched in the face for a living.
The prospect of Saling having his license revoked begs the question of where white supremacist, sex offending people are supposed to work. Should we force them to subsist on toxin-laden fish and live under a bridge, or should we try to reintegrate them into society, hoping that they’ll act less like sociopathic assholes in the future? Or should we bring them all to the town square and stone them to death in the name of Allah? Post your suggestions in the comments section!
Yup, it’s time for another round of hot, steamy Fightlinker chat! Except this time, we get to chat about an ant circus! I know there are many of you who fap to Jordan Breen and have therefore heard the word “Urushitani” until you find it as soothing as the word “syphilis,” but for the rest of us who think of women’s dresses or Hawaiian luaus when we hear the word, we’ll get to pop our high-level flyweight MMA cherry by seeing his scrap with Joseph Benavidez and the one between Demetrious Johnson and “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall. Oh yeah, and Thiago “Pee Pee Man” Alves is fighting Martin Kampmann too.
The prelims start at 6PM Eastern / 3PM Pacific, which is the earliest start in recent memory for a UFC event occurring on a weekday. This leads to all kinds of white people problems, such as “My boss won’t let me stream MMA on my work computer” and the ever-popular “My whole damn weekend is going to be booked with awesome UFC and Strikeforce shows.” But these are pretty good problems to have if you’re an MMA fan. So if you’re an East coast 9-to-5’er, a Californian jobless wonder, or a European meth addict, join us!
“They even sprinkled it with my favorite, Kibbles n’ Bits!”
Yum… it’s almost as good as pig feed! Last Sunday, Rousimar Palhares had his 32nd birthday. And instead of celebrating by going apesh*t insane or tearing knee ligaments, he received his FIRST EVER BIRTHDAY CAKE as a surprise from his family and friends. Evidently, they make “meat on meat” flavored cakes in Brazil:
“That was really a big surprise for me. I became a child again because this was the first time in my whole life I celebrated my birthday with a cake. Everybody knows my family always had a very humble life. I thank my BTT partners to have given me this happiness. I hope this is going to be a year of much work and that God can continue giving me the opportunities to represent Brazil and show my talent inside the Octagon.”
Isn’t he cute, you guys? This reminds me of rainbows, hugs, and and lots of other G-rated stuff that I thought was flushed out of my memory banks by the massive influx of porn. The glean in Toquinho’s eye in this picture is like when a kid who’s usually locked under the stairs eating fish heads gets a bike for Christmas. Or when Shrek gets laid by the princess. Or when you jackals tell me “Dick, you’re A-OK!” If this doesn’t warm your heart, you’re probably dead.
UFC 144’s championship fight between Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar was close and controversial enough that the automated robots behind Compustrike and Fightmetric can’t even agree on who did more. Depending on how much oil was in your automaton’s gears last night, Henderson landed either 10 fewer strikes than Edgar or 19 more. Edgar landed four (or five) more takedowns than Henderson, but didn’t attempt any submissions, whereas Henderson had three guillotine attempts.
But determining the outcomes of fights based on raw numbers has as many gaping pitfalls as a pornstar after a gangbang. Even if machines attempt to differentiate between pitter-patting, pussyfooting, and “significant strikes,” relying on raw numbers and crystallized ideas of what different techniques are worth is a lot like paying set fees for oral, anal, and DP. Even if you try to sell every scene for the same amount of money, not as many people will buy it if the execution is poor or if the performer is ugly. But that hasn’t stopped UFC judges from basing countless decisions on simple numbers in the past. Luckily, the judges last night remembered that there is a better way to do things.
If we blow the dust off the PRIDE rulebook, we can see that fights were judged as a whole rather than by rounds, and their top two criteria for judging, in order, were effort to finish the fight by KO or submission (“ippon”) and damage done to the opponent. This system has almost everything in common with Stockton Rules, which, contrary to popular belief, have nothing to do with wetlands jurisdiction unless the wetness comes from the blood, sweat, and diarrhea of fighter exertion. Under Stockton Rules, proposed by the Diaz brothers, the loser is the guy who looks more jacked up afterwards, and the winner is the guy who would have won if the fight would have continued forever. There may be slight differences between the two systems, but the agreement about winners under the two systems must be over 98% (source: my ass). If sexually repressed, boring Japanese people can come up with essentially the same idea as the Diaz brothers, there must be something to this.
(more after the jump)
So I was pleased when Chris Cariaso got the judges’ nod over Takeya Mizugaki despite short-fingered henchmen lingering in the background. Even though he spent lots of time on the bottom, Cariaso actually tried things from there. It would have been easy for the judges to put on their Ryan Bader ASU wrestling beanies and give the decision to Mizugaki, but they decided instead to weight that forgotten quality called “quality.” When the main event rolled around, the judges also decided to remember that word “effective” that’s been lying buried in the armpit of the UFC judging rules for a few years now.
Sure, the argument can be made that Edgar landed more strikes and takedowns, but he also fought a Frankie Edgar fight. Edgar is a great fighter, but he has the longest average bout length in UFC history for a reason. He throws a million punches, but they rarely land with the sort of power that could knock out anyone but Ken Shamrock. He takes down opponents quickly and effortlessly, but he never does damage from the top and never goes for submissions. He has only achieved finishes in 25% of his UFC fights, a figure eclipsed by one Matt Veach, who did more damage from shocking people by making it into a UFC 144 commercial than he did in his UFC fights.
Ben Henderson may not have the work rate of Frankie Edgar, but god damnit, he comes into the octagon to f*ck his opponent up. His single upkick that destroyed Edgar’s nose did more effective damage and came closer to finishing than everything Edgar did during the whole fight combined. He understands that real fighting does not use the video game scoring system of Olympic boxing. And his samurai spirit, of course, comes from the fact that he is Asian. Where he comes from, just like in Stockton, California, saying that pure punching volume should win decisions over real effectiveness " target="_blank">will get you slapped.