This week it was announced that rapper DMX and admitted killer of black teenagers George Zimmerman would have a boxing match. The bout has since been called off, but it brings to light something that the sport of boxing faces nearly every day – an issue that will likely soon plague MMA as well. That issue? The bastardization of the sport for the sake of money. You see, every now and then boxing promoters will orchestrate “celebrity boxing” matches, not so much (or even slightly) in the spirit of competition as in the spirit of cashing in on someone’s dwindling fame. It’s an ugly practice that will always have some level of appeal. And its encroachment upon the world of MMA is inevitable.
Over a decade ago, the FOX network had a show dedicated to this brand of degradation of the “Sweet Science”, and on it viewers were able to see the likes of Todd Bridges (of the television series “Diff’rent Strokes”) taking on rapper Vanilla Ice and ice skater Tonya Harding take on President Bill Clinton’s mistress Paula Jones (back when he was governor of Arkansas). Matches like these were – and are – a far cry from the pugilistic contests the Manny Pacquiaos and Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s of the world engage in. They’re spectacle for spectacle’s sake, and akin to going to the Russian circus and watching an old man wrestle a bear. Do they harm the integrity of the sport? Not really, but they don’t do it any favors, either.
And when those types of bout seep into the realm of MMA, they’ll be even more deplorable. Because as we learned with UFC 1, two unskilled people engaging in an MMA bout is a thousand times more pathetic than two unskilled people engaging in a boxing match, and for the last 20 years, we’ve tried desperately to evolve past that ugliness.
It’s hard to say when a true celebrity MMA match will happen. The closest we’ve come is Kimbo Slice, and when it came to possessing actual fighting skill, he was much closer to an actual athlete than, say, a governor’s side piece. But it will happen eventually, when the lure of money and fan interest intersects at some point beyond the threshold of integrity that’s thus far kept such bouts from going down.
If and when that day comes, then we’re just going to have to grin and bear it.
Well, it looks like Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort may actually happen. Today, the UFC middleweight champ posted to Instagram a pic of him and the Brazilian facing off – which is indicative of the UFC’s PR machine’s wheels turning in the kind of forward motion needed to sell fights.
Since Weidman said that the bout is set for May 24, that means it will be at UFC 173 in Las Vegas. Does that mean Belfort is going to get his TUE for his testosterone habit? Who knows. Either way, it promises to be a great fight.
UFC female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey took “Throwback Thursday” to heart recently, posting several pictures from her first photo shoot.
Rousey didn’t say exactly when the shoot took place, but she looks just as incredible in the below pictures as she has while gracing the pages of ESPN The Magazine and other outlets.
Rousey is slated to face Sara McMann later this month at UFC 170.
Thiago Silva has placed his name in the mainstream news for all the wrong reasons.
Late Thursday night, Silva’s home in Florida was surrounded by SWAT and other law enforcement officials after the UFC fighter threatened a Brazilian jiu-jitsu gym.
After being taken into custody, Silva’s bond was set at $2.5 million early Friday morning. However, due to his “flight risk,” the judge denied letting him post the bond and Silva was sent back into custody.
The judge later removed the bond and ordered Silva be held without, as he felt there was concern the Brazilian would depart back to his native country and never return.
Silva was charged with four counts, including two counts of felony attempted murder. However, during the early morning hearing, the judge threw out the attempted murder charges, saying, “The court does not believe at this time there’s enough set forth in the affidavit to support an attempted murder based on these facts.
“It just seems if he wanted to shoot Mrs. Silva, he would’ve done it. He didn’t do it.”
Silva currently faces charges of two counts of aggravated assault with a weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and obstruction without violence.
Thaysa Silva, Thiago’s wife, trains at the Pablo Popovitch Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Oakland Park, Florida where this ordeal first started.
The UFC’s official first – and only to date – official statement was released late Thursday evening:
This evening, we were made aware of a situation involving Thiago Silva. We are in the process of gathering the facts and have no further comment at this time.”
However, UFC president Dana White told TMZ Sports early Friday that “This guy will never fight in the UFC again.”
Silva was scheduled to compete next month at UFC 171 from Dallas against Ovince St. Preux.
There is a possibility – ever so slight, but it exists – that Brazilian hothead Thiago Silva might not be fighting Ovince St. Preux at UFC 171 on March 15. Silva, it seems, decided to go buckwild last night, and while details are sketchy at this point the facts are thus:
- He allegedly stuck a revolver in his estranged wife’s mouth and threatened to kill her;
- He showed up at Pablo Popovitch’s school drunk and threatened his wife and Popovitch with a Glock;
- Silva went back home, barricaded himself inside, and SWAT had to come down and get him;
- Silva has access to a lot of guns.
The UFC fighter (ha, not for long) is now in custody and is being arraigned on attempted murder charges.
Quick, someone tell St. Preux that their fight may be jeopardy.