If you are a UFC fan and missed UFC 229, you missed one hell of a finale in the main event. Call him Conor “The Tapper” McGregor.
The main event was Khabib Nurmagomedov the champion taking on former champ Conor McGregor. The bout had plenty of drama (most of it self induced by McGregor and his whipping boy Dana White), leading up to the fight, and lots of so-called “bad blood.”
In the end, as I had predicted, if the fight was on the up-and-up Khabib would manhandle McGregor which is exactly what he did. So, there was no hanky panky as I had predicted might happen on my podcast, referee Herb Dean did not get in the way, although he allowed the Irishman several cheating moments such as holding onto the cage. Dean could have easily stopped the fight when in the second round Khabib was beating the living daylights out of McGregor, but he let it go on, much to the delight of McGregor haters.
Had it been the other way around and McGregor was getting the better of Khabib in the same fashion, something tells me Dean would have stopped the fight and proclaimed Conor the winner. So let’s be thankful it was not a reversal of fortunes.
Once Khabib forced Conor to quit with a rear naked choke (and boy was that a beautiful thing or what?!?), then the chaos began. Khabib had taken out his mouthpiece and threw it into the fence at the direction of MMA fighter Dillon Danis who had spent his time during the bout verbally abusing the champion. Word is that Danis was yelling at Khabib calling him a “fucking Muslim Rat.”
So now millions of people are kissing the ass of Conor McGregor calling him a victim after taking punches inside the Octagon during the melee and accusing Khabib of starting this whole fiasco. The Nevada State Athletic Commission is holding his purse from the fight and there are threats of stripping him of the title.
SAY WHAT? Ridiculousness. Favoritism at it worst. There is video clearly showing McGregor throwing the first punches in the aftermath inside the Octagon. Khabib’s reaction was a normal one for someone that had to go through weeks of verbal abuse against him, his religion, his country, and worse, his father. Who wouldn’t want to punch the lights out of some asshole sitting at cage side yelling obscenities and insults? There was actually a female reporter on ESPN’s First Take that was on the side of Khabib, just as I am.
The biggest problem of this black eye to the UFC is that Dana White could have prevented all this. He set up the infamous New York incident with Conor throwing the dolly through the bus window. He could have banned Conor from even being there. What trouble did McGregor get into for that which is far worse than what Khabib did last Saturday night? None. He was fake arrested in New York, had a hearing there, and no charges filed. Then he’s presented with a huge payday last Saturday night.
What about the time McGregor jumped into the Octagon when he was in street clothes and threw punches at a fighter in action after a bout? Nothing done to him. Conor McGregor is nothing more than a big mouth instigator with a sharp tongue and in control of Dana White. What Conor wants, White provides. Even if it is breaking rules, or damaging the UFC image. Again…FAVORITISM.
Still, the bottom line is this…Conor McGregor like Ronda Rousey before him, WAS EXPOSED! All Khabib did was prove what Conor’s weakness is…he has NO ground game defense. Four times Conor McGregor has lost in his career and all four were by submission. If Chad Mendes had been smarter, he would have achieved the same result. Dustin Poirier was a victim of an early stoppage. The next time around if it ever happens will be different.
To call Conor McGregor one of the best fighters in MMA history is a joke. He’s far from it. That was proven on what could have been his biggest triumph last Saturday night. Great fighters rise to the occasion, they don’t give up like some wuss. I dislike Conor McGregor and what happened to him in the Octagon in the aftermath is just a simple instance of “what goes around comes around.” He brought this on himself which is why he probably did not press charges.
For Michael Bisping to declare that with this one action Khabib Nurmagomedov has “destroyed” his legacy is just ludicrous. Bisping should talk. He has done more smack talk and belittling of fighters and UFC types than just about anyone else. Too many around MMA are trying to hard to be politically correct instead of seeing this whole mess through the eyes of the champion Khabib.
I found an article today from Dave Doyle on MMAFighting.com, who makes some good points and some I don’t agree on in his article “UFC 229 Aftermath: Khabib Nurmagomedov is the virtuous villain the UFC needs.” Here is what he said that I agree with:
“Matters of speech, faith, and geopolitics have been part of the fight game since long before Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, or Dana White were born. The intersection of such subjects made Muhammad Ali the transcendent sports figure of the 20th century. The topics will still be around in another 50 years in whatever form the combat sports landscape takes at that time.
So yeah, when you’re a guest here in this country like Nurmagomedov, you don’t get to dictate to us about which conversational subjects are and are not off-limits.
But if you insult a man’s family? Well, that’s a different subject, one which cuts across nations and cultures. If you belittle someone’s father the way McGregor called Nurmagomedov’s dad a “quivering coward,” well, anyone can understand on some sort of visceral, gut level why the UFC lightweight champion would feel compelled to defend his family’s honor.
And you can also understand why the champion seemed genuinely confused on why he was getting the level of flak he did for instigating the brawl which marred what was unquestionably the finest victory of his career, his fourth-round submission of McGregor in UFC 229’s main event.
After all, the UFC fostered this atmosphere when it let McGregor get off scot-free for his behavior in the New York City borough of Brooklyn back at the infamous UFC 223 media day in April. McGregor committed criminal acts on Nuramgomedov and a handful of people who had nothing to do with their beef when he committed an assault on a fighter van. The UFC not only did nothing about it, letting the courts inevitably coddle McGregor the way they always do for celebrities and the wealthy in this country, but it barely waited until the case was closed before they went and used McGregor’s criminal acts as promotional fodder.
The reason UFC 229 is likely to wind up the biggest-money event in mixed martial arts history is in large part because the UFC deliberately chose to use a shameful incident and make it the focal point of their hype. That’s the message Nurmagomedov has internalized for months: All these insults against his country, his religion, and his family were condoned for the sake of serving’s WME’s debt in purchasing the UFC.
We’re likely to have the mainstream sports blowhards descend upon the mixed martial arts world like locusts over the next few days. The cavalcade of clowns who wouldn’t know the difference between a wristlock and a wristwatch, because they’re required to act outraged at all times to earn their big paychecks, will pretend like Saturday night’s incident is something from which the UFC will never recover, a shame which should remove them from polite society.
This will go against all available evidence. If anything, bad behavior increases interest in combat sports. Exhibit A is Mike Tyson’s reign as PPV king after both being convicted of rape and after biting Evander Holyfield’s ear during a match. Exhibit B, is, well, the financial success of UFC 229.”
You can read the entire article here:
In closing, there have been several other brawls in combat sports and in the NBA that were MUCH MUCH worse than this event yet they didn’t get the attention this one did.
Riddick Bowe vs. Andrew Golota, heavyweight boxing. Golota gets disqualified for low blows and all hell breaks loose in the ring and outside of it. An all out blowout between fighters, coaches, managers, and fans. This was FAR uglier than what took place last Saturday night. Don’t believe me? Google it. Or watch below.
Remember Ron Artest of the Indiana Pacers getting into it with the Detroit Pistons on the hardwood floor of the NBA? That scuffle turned into a complete mess. Artest did get suspended but again, it makes Khabib’s actions look like kindergarten stuff. Again, watch below.
Finally there is Mike Tyson biting the ear off of Evander Holyfield. That’s permanent damage. No one was hurt last Saturday. But they just called Tyson crazy and everyone moved on.
One last addendum to this story...if you are a McGregor fan and believe he is innocent in this mess, watch the video below. It is crystal clear that it is the Irish fight here throwing the first punch and not ANYONE from Khabib’s camp.
This past weekend on Saturday (September 15), two major fighting sports had huge events that took place and both ended in major controversy.
First we had the rematch in boxing for the middleweight championship of the world with the champion Gennady Golovkin taking on Canelo Alvarez in a bout that took place almost exactly a year to the day from their first go-round which ended in a draw despite most fans and experts thinking GGG won the fight.
Heading into Saturday night, these two combatants had quite the weigh-in face-to-face and when fight time came, they put on another classic 12 round bout although GGG had said he did not want to put the decision in the hands of the judges. But that’s what happened and again many thought he was the better man, but this time around Alvarez became the new champion by a majority decision as the judges scored the fight as follows:
Glen Feldman 114-114
Steve Weisfeld 115-113
Dave Moretti 115-113
This is the problem with not just boxing but in MMA as well. If you leave the result in the hands of the judges and it is a close fight it opens up the decision to disagreement. GGG was so disappointed he left without being interviewed but like a pro, he took the loss on the chin like a champion.
“We can say a lot of things tonight, but first of all I want to congratulate Canelo, because he left this building as the champion. I feel like I’m a champion, but he also is a champion. It was a fight of two champions tonight. I felt very comfortable. I think we controlled the fight, all the jabs. Even though he was not running this time, it doesn’t mean he was controlling the fight. We were controlling the fight. As a fighter, as a boxer, I will continue to do my job. I will continue to work to prove that I’m the best. We would like to have a third fight. We will negotiate it. It would be great to have a third fight. I feel fine, I feel great. I have a very small cut where we butted heads, but otherwise I wasn’t hurt. I feel fine. I’m just a fighter. I’m doing my job. How to judge my performance, my work, is not my job. As a fighter, I’m just doing my job inside the ring. As far as I’m concerned, he was not running from me. He wasn’t running at all in this fight. But that doesn’t mean that he won this fight. I don’t think he really demonstrated some super, great Mexican boxing style. Yes, he was not running around this time, but it doesn’t mean that he won this fight. He didn’t do anything special.”
Still, there is a lesson to be learned from a long time ago, and it is the primary rule as a champion of any combat sport…do not leave the decision in hands of the judges. Most time when it comes down to that, it will go in favor of the champion but that was not the case on Saturday night.
The problem here is that the decision smells bad…not just this second fight but with the first one as well. We will never know what is on the minds of judges but by having a draw the first time these two fought, it obviously forced a rematch. Now that there is controversy swirling around this decision, there is already talk about a third fight.
Don’t get me wrong. Fighters do fight three times and it can happen without any question marks. Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali put on three classic fights where there was a clear winner. But now, in a fight that appeared to go in favor of the champion instead went the other way and it gave GGG the first loss of his career that began in 2006 and 39 fights later his record is no longer unscathed as it is now 38-1-1. It also snaps the longest current reign of a champion as GGG had been defending the belt sine he won it from Milton Nunez in 2010.
Boxing has given way in its popularity to the rise of the MMA and especially the UFC. With Floyd Mayweather gone, there’s hardly a star attraction from say the era I grew watching boxing in the 1970s. Boxing was immensely popular in the 1960s through the 1980s with so many big names and great fighters.
So on Saturday night when the broadcast crew started comparing these fighters to Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Thomas Hearns, I just about lost my lunch. You have got to be kidding. Any of those fighters in their prime would have absolutely destroyed either of these men inside of five rounds. That’s a joke to make that comparison.
With this result, it’s nothing new. Judges making poor decisions on close fights has been taking place for like forever. There could be a solution. It would be just use your freaking brain and keep favoritism, politics, and blindness out of the judging of fights. If the common man can see who wins a fight then a trained judge should be able to do better.
Boxing may still draw many fans to its fights. There will always be for this sport and any other sport the loyal, diehard, and dedicated fans that will watch on television and spend money on pay-per-views to watch. But the stink that evolves around results like this past Saturday’s will not end unless they make it clear when a fight concludes that the right man is declared the winner.
For proof that this decision may have been wrong, I give you the words from some prominent fight people:
Dan Rafael: “Round 12: Excellent action final round goes to GGG courtesy of his uppercut. 10-9. Unfortunately, I have this a draw, 114-114 as do other at ringside.”
Cub Swanson: "Should’ve called this one a Draw too."
Michael Bisping: "I had GGG"
Teddy Atlas: "Follow the money. Boxing doesn’t honor the things it should honour. It honours money, control, power. And there’s only certain power brokers in boxing, certain promoters, and they have the power. They have control who the judges are going to be, who the judges aren’t going to be, who they’re going to vote for. Las Vegas, where the money is going to come back there for the rematch. How can I stand here all week and say that there is going to be a controversial outcome? How do I know that?"
Keep in mind that Atlas is a very well respected boxing guy.
Now…over at UFC Fight Night 136 in Russia, it was a show of old men with Mark Hunt embarrassingly losing in the first round to Aleksei Oleinik by a rear naked choke. That makes Hunt’s record an even 13-13-1. Time to hang it up Mr. Hunt! Someone else that should have laid his gloves down in the Octagon last Saturday was Andrei Arlovski who lost a decision to Shamil Abdurakhimov and has now lost two in a row and seven of his last nine. Call it a day big guy.
But the biggest black eye for the UFC, MMA, and all of fight sports is what took place in the Khalid Murtazaliev vs. CB Dollaway fight. In a fight that ended at the close of round two, the bell to end that second five minute session should have never been heard. That’s because after taking a terrible beating, referee Herb Dean lived up to his reputation of allowing fights to go past their limit and allowed Murtazaliev beat on a defenseless Dollaway who was not fighting back.
Dean was doing such a poor job of managing this result that he even was yelling at Dollaway to fight back or he would stop the fight. It’s not up to Dean to tell a fighter to fight back, it’s his job to determine whether or not a combatant IS fighting back or not. Dean is not a coach for God’s sake.
To make this situation even more appalling is that once the round ended and Dollaway could not even get to his feet, this absolute idiot named Herb Dean was leaning over him telling him if he didn’t get up he would stop the fight. I’ve NEVER witnessed anything like this. It is easily the WORST ref’d fight in the history of the UFC.
So before I go further, a little history lesson. Former UFC referee Mario Yamasaki was fired for allowing a fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Priscila Cachoeira to go too long when Cachoeira was also taking a beat down and eventually submitted. This took place in early February of this year.
So not only did Dana White fire Yamasaki, he issued this statement on the Cachoeira fight:
"Priscila Cachoeira, you showed so much heart and toughness in that fight. I'm honored to have you fight in the UFC. Unfortunately, the ref is there to protect you and Mario DID NOT do that.”
As for Yamasaki, he defended himself with this statement:
“During the second round, I signaled to ‘Pedrita’ that if she didn’t move I’d stop the fight, and every time I’d stop, I told her and she moved to try to escape from the punches. Unfortunately, I also can’t control the number of blows thrown -- again, when a fighter is trying to come back she’s game. Fighters go through times of hard effort and dedication to be there. MMA is a contact sport and no fighter likes his fight to be stopped with no chance to revert the result. In my opinion, I allowed Pedrita to be a warrior and keep fighting. I could have stopped the fight in the second crucifix or in the mount, but she moved the whole time.I also recognize that I should have stopped when she tapped the first time to the rear-naked choke. I only stopped a few seconds later. About other people’s opinions, it’s their right to say.”
Some fighter’s and media reactions:
Aljamain Sterling: “Wtf did we just watch?!?! C’mon Herb!!! That was TERRIBLE!”
Angela Hill: “Wooooow. Wtf am I watching, that looked like a UFC EA glitch”
Dan Tom: “Seriously, though, that felt gross to watch, regardless of what Dean or any of us may have perceived about Dollaway’s body language. Hope C.B. is alright, and I also hope that situation is followed up on.”
Iain Kidd: “If a fighter is so hurt at the end of a round they can't even get up, that fight should have been stopped before the end of the round. That was a horrible, horrible call by Herb, there. Everyone in the arena, including Murtazaliev, knew CB was done 20 seconds before the horn.”
Mike Bohn: “Herb Dean. C'mon dude. That was trash.”
So what will Dana White do with Herb Dean? Dean USED TO BE one of the best refs. Now he’s the absolute worst. White won’t do anything because he has no regard for the integrity, safety, or paydays of UFC fighters unless of course they have him in their back pocket…can you say McGregor? Rousey?
The UFC has had far more black eyes than professional boxing or even Bellator or other MMA leagues have had. But as long as the green keeps rolling into Dana White’s bank accounts his empathy for anyone inside the Octagon that might be getting hurt or being put at a disadvantage of a referees decision will continue to be turned away at a blind eye.
The UFC and MMA is in DIRE need of a union like other professional sports, but Dana White has already done his best to make sure that doesn’t happen and recently the value of the UFC came out and what that league makes and it’s an utter disgrace that with the revenue they pull in, White fails to see that these fighters are paid accordingly.
DISGUSTING. Speaking of disgust, prepare yourself for the following video because if you haven’t seen Dean’s handling of this fight yet, you are about to get angry and feel your stomach turn in disgust. Even in Russia, those Moscow-ites gave Dean the royal boos.