Thatâ<80><99>s MMA to you and me.
The latest brouhaha from the sport is the upset that rocked EliteXC when Seth Petruzelli knocked out Kimbo Slice in 14 seconds. The next day, Petruzelli informed the media that he was paid to stay on his feet. Apparently, one of Kimboâ<80><99>s â<80><9c>few weaknessesâ<80> is his ground game.
Iâ<80><99>ll admit it. I donâ<80><99>t follow EliteXC, UFC or many of the other MMA promotions out there. Never interested me and it never was a part of my job. I stuck my toe in the water in talking to someone about a book, but that never materialized. Truth be told, I donâ<80><99>t know that much about it, nor do I care what happens. Itâ<80><99>s not that I donâ<80><99>t like it or refuse to see the entertainment value. Itâ<80><99>s just nothing that tripped my trigger.
In short, I donâ<80><99>t know s**t about MMA.
I know. A pro wrestling columnist who doesnâ<80><99>t give a whit about MMA. Go figure. Many of my contemporaries have a love fest going with the sport. They cover it extensively and talk about it with passion. Good for them. Sometimes that coverage is a tad over the top as if MMA does no wrong.
Did I mention that I find Japanese wrestling somewhat boring and highly overrated?
Oh, Iâ<80><99>m going to hell for that one.
Itâ<80><99>s funny how it took a tomato can like Petruzelli to scratch the surface of perhaps a seedier side of MMA.
Okay, letâ<80><99>s come down from the clouds and hang out in Reality-Land for awhile. Anyone who believes that what happens in MMA is 100% real and a shoot is kidding themselves. This sport is a spin-off of boxing and wrestling. Elements of both factor into it. We know that wrestling is â<80><9c>sports entertainmentâ<80> and outcomes are pre-determined. I would like to think that many are aware that there is an element of a work in boxing.
I realize that I may be bordering on blasphemy. Like my feelings for MMA, I donâ<80><99>t care.
The minute I heard of Kimboâ<80><99>s defeat, I smelled a work. I felt that in some form or fashion, the fix was in. It reminded me of the time that Mike Tyson dominated the heavyweight boxing division. He could not be beat. He was crushing his opposition in minutes, if not seconds. Boredom was overtaking boxing. No formidable opponents for Tyson was hurting the boxing industry and their bottom line.
Then, out of the blue, came Buster Douglas. He cold-cocked Tyson into his first defeat and the start of career oblivion. Yes, just when boxing got boring, excitement reigned. Tyson was beatable. Imagine the possibilities.
Now just because Tyson-Douglas smelled like a work doesnâ<80><99>t mean it is a work. Besides, the fix has been in for many a boxing match.
Which brings me to the latest controversy with MMA. If you think that each match is won by legit means, I have some swampland to sell you. While I admire the growth of the industry in the face of snobs who felt it was just backyard brawling with no rules, I still recognize that it is a business that needs to make money. Sometimes, you need to make shortcuts. Sometimes you want a guy who is capturing the mainstream public eye (i.e. Kimbo Slice) and serve up a bunch of tomato cans. When that doesnâ<80><99>t draw attention, ratings or money, you prop up a part-timer like Petruzelli and make the unbeatable beatable.
If Petruzelli hadnâ<80><99>t shot off his mouth, I guarantee there would have been a rematch. With all the mainstream coverage, you had to know that people would tune in. EliteXC is not exactly makinâ<80><99> money, folks. This was a perfect opportunity to generate interest and create a buzz. They succeeded. It was Petruzelli screwed it up.
Is all MMA a work? No. But to think there is not chicanery is foolish. There are dedicated and passionate athletes who bust their a$$ to succeed in the sport. I admire them. But in business, passion is one thing; the bottom line is something else.
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