There’s a certain amount of apprehension amongst MMA fans that the tide of public opinion may be turning against flyweight fighters. This all started when people booed about 30 seconds of the Demetrious Johnson / Joseph Benavidez flyweight title fight after it became clear that Johnson was going to keep up his Dominick Cruz impression for all five rounds. Then this past weekend they booed the John Dodson / Jussier Formiga fight after the two barely did anything for the entire first round.
To me, this doesn’t seem so much like a flyweight problem as a boring fight problem. The fans had no such issues with the the Uyenoyama / Harris flyweight bout earlier in the night. Or the majority of the other flyweight fights that have gone down since the division arrived in March. But some take the booing more personally than others. Guys like Pat Barry, for instance:
One fan who was sitting near UFC heavyweight Pat Barry not only booed the fighters but then called them “pussies.” When he said that word, Barry couldn’t let it go. According to a video he posted, he asked the man to repeat what he had just said. When the man wouldn’t, Barry chided him.
“Hey man, question! Gotta ask! What’d you say? Say it again. Say it loud so everyone can hear you,” Barry said.
But the man waved it off. After Dodson knocked out Forniga, the man sat down with his hat pulled over his head. When Barry was confronted by him later, the man blamed his actions on having a bad week.
In the video, Barry called fans like this man roaches.
“That’s why I call them roaches. There are more of them than us. They’re never going to go away. They’re feeble creatures.”
We’ve all experienced douchebags at MMA events that singlehandedly makes you regret associating with the sport let alone splurging on expensive tickets. So from that perspective we could definitely use several dozen more Pat Barrys in the crowd calling them on their meathead bullshit. But I’m also a firm believer that fans have a right to boo and everyone needs to stop being so damn sensitive about it.
Some people pick a fighter and cheer them while booing their opponent. They’re just getting into the event and there’s no malice behind it. Some will boo an opponent’s tactics because it’s causing their guy to lose. And while I’ll never be the kind of guy to boo at an event (I keep my negativity on the internet like a decent roach), I don’t begrudge people booing a fight that deserves it. You know what I’m talking about – the dump and humps, the wall and stalls, and yes, the hit and runs.