Yup, everyone is still talking about this one. First up there was word from American Top Team that Kalib Starnes was used as an example of “How not to represent ATT” by instructor Ricardo Liborio. There was a lot of rumors floating around with quotes from high ranking ATT peeps saying Starnes was out so ATT released this on the subject:
Having said that, ATT takes tremendous pride in creating an environment where our members are treated with loyalty and respect. It is no coincidence that “ATT Family” is a common tattoo on many of our coaches and fighters. Expelling a fighter following a poor performance would not be consistent with this philosophy.
Ricardo Liborio did in fact address our fighters following a recent training session regarding what it takes to represent ATT as a professional fighter. The essence of his statements (which were obviously meant to be private) was that ATT sets high standards for its members and it is not possible to reach those standards unless a fighter dedicates himself to the program 100% and participates in all team training sessions. He stressed that anyone deviating from that mandate will not be allowed to train with or represent ATT in the future. Kalib’s preparation for this fight was used by Liborio as an example of what he does and does not expect of his fighters in the future.
Next up we’ve got Kalib on the Sherdog forums clearing the air and saying he didn’t throw the fight and just wasn’t able to figure out a way to win. Perhaps if this was the only thing he’d ever said about the situation people would cut him some slack. As it stands, this quote is one paragraph out of 15 or so, and gets lost in the humming and hawing:
I found myself in a fight where I couldn’t stand with the guy, he was awkward and he hit hard having almost knocked me out three times in the fight, I couldn’t take him down and work my ground game (I got him down only once and just managed to land a few shots because he got up so fast), and so I felt like I could either keep moving or get knocked out. Then late in the third he started to mock me out of frustration, but really at that point, I was just a solidly beaten fighter who was trying not to get knocked out, and had fallen into a pattern that I couldn’t get out of. It was the worst athletic performance of my life.
Last but not least, Jake Rossen pays tribute to Kalib by compiling a list of the “10 Most Embarrassing MMA Performances“. Shit like this blows my mind, and I’m supposed to be the cocksucker of the MMA scene. I think the reason Rossen’s “Worst Performance / Should Retire / Totally Washed Up” lists are so evil is he’s not joking around – he’s just being a fucking prick, and so is Sherdog’s editorial staff for commissioning stuff like that.
And with that I’m pretty much done with the whole Kalib Starnes situation and everything surrounding it. You’d think a guy getting fired from his job should be enough for everyone, but it seems like no one will be happy till they drive the dude out of the fighting game. OVER ONE FIGHT. At this point it feels more like a mindless hate than a reasonable response. So honestly, that’s it from me about Starnes. There’s a lot more interesting people to mock out there.