Mark this date down...July 7, 2018. That is the night the UFC completely delegitimized itself with the events of UFC 226.
The card was going along smoothly with some pretty good fights until the night reached its co-main event. That fight pitted Derek Lewis against Francis Ngannou in what should have been one of the best and most exciting fights of the night. This bout replaced the cancelled Max Holloway/Brian Ortega championship bout but on conclusion of the heavyweight bout instead of a quality fight, we had what has amounted to perhaps the worst UFC scrap in the history of the league.
All these two big men did was a dance for three rounds throwing the fewest strikes in a three round fight over the course of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s history. Maybe for the first time ever at least since I’ve been a fan, a referee had to stop a fight and pull two fighters together to warn them they need to start engaging. That in a word is pathetic.
But it was the main event heavyweight championship where Stipe Miocic was defending against light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier that changed the UFC forever. With Miocic the favorite and throughout the week boasting no one would ever take away his title, instead he gets hit with a strike on the jaw that was hardly in the class of a punch like what Ngannou hit Alistair Overeem with and down goes the champ only to be hit with a few hammer punches before the ref stopped the fight and made Cormier only the second man in history to hold two titles simultaneously (Conor McGregor the other).
On Miocic’s walkout to the Octagon before the first round, I was suspicious of how the champ appeared, commenting to my wife that his eyes appeared very red, and that was odd. I also said “I hope he spits that gum out before the fight starts.” His nervous chewing was odd and he certainly didn’t have a game face on like Cormier did. That for me was a red flag.
So what has ruined the sport began when WWE’s Brock Lesnar entered the building and made his way to outside the Octagon. Once the fight was over, Lesnar was allowed into the Octagon where he, Dana White, and the new champion proceeded to put on a pro wrestling like act that culminated with Lesnar shoving Cormier just like they do in the WWE and then plenty of cursing by both with a microphone in their hands.
It was a circus that was so obviously pre-staged and planned jut like pro wrestling, so disgusting, embarrassing, and revolting that it immediately turned me off to the UFC for good. I am sure I am not the only one with this sentiment and with my wife who is also a big MMA fan at my side we immediately began a conversation about a “fix.”
Scoff if you want at this accusation but in looking at the big picture this whole mess smells really bad...it reeks of a pre-planned, organized post-fight play to set up a pay-per-view event between Cormier and Lesnar. If you weren’t aware, Cormier had already been talking about a big fight with the ex-WWE champion weeks before July 7 and had predicted he would knock out Stipe Miocic even though the now ex-heavyweight champ was known for being rugged and having a solid chin.
More proof in the pudding is Dana White’s reaction with the Lesnar shove in the Octagon which was essentially a smile and a hearty laugh like he knew this was going to take place. But just the fact that Lesnar was permitted to enter the Octagon dress to the nines is something that rarely happens like almost never following a fight in the UFC.
More evidence is how Stipe Miocic reacted to the loss which was essentially a nonchalant oh well, my wife is having a baby that is more important and an attitude that doesn’t match his personality for someone who just lost his title, a belt he claimed he so coveted. Why a fix? Because if you do your research you find that ex-fighter Dan Hardy had said on YouTube (see video below) that Dana White had deemed Miocic “not marketable.” In other words he could not draw pay-per- view buys with a match against Lesnar like Cormier will.
Let’s get one thing straight right now. Dana White is a joke. Agree or disagree, if you think Don King was bad for boxing, Dana White makes him look like a choir boy. While King notoriously robbed fighters of hard earned cash, he at least did not publicly disrespect boxers or try to make boxing appear as some sort of staged sideshow. Dana White has done just that and more.
White runs the UFC as how he sees fit, he has ties now to the WWE, and allowed ex-wrestler CM Punk two totally embarrassing fights in the UFC, and now has put on this sideshow at UFC 226 that has 100% made the UFC look like some sort of staged joke.
One of the worst parts of the final act of UFC 226 was the cursing by Brock Lesnar and with Daniel Cormier’s family in the Octagon with his own version of f-bombs and cursing that should have been disrespectful to his wife and more importantly his children standing nearby. What kind of example it that to set when you should be a polished professional?
This whole affair puts into question how many other fights the UFC may have set up in the past. With legends like Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes sitting at Octagon side they must have been shaking their heads at the proceedings as pioneers in the UFC.
Worse, I can’t imagine what that Gracie family must have thought about UFC 226 and Dana White as they are pretty much the founders of organized MMA.
Message to Dana White...you’ve lost two fans of your league in myself and my wife and the UFC will not be covered on my site anymore. Maybe Bellator will keep me in tune with MMA but the UFC which has now become WWE like is history in my book.