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More UFC Media Nonsense – Fining Brock Lesnar And Dan Henderson? For What?

The main thing I’ve learned in the aftermath of UFC is simply that people will always have opinions of what they’ve seen, and will communicate those opinions, even if they are simply out of touch, or uneducated. And yes, they will publish them.

For the most part, it’s hard to get upset because it’s simply someone’s opinion. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a wrong one. An opinion isn’t anyone claiming fact, so there is no right or wrong.

One of my favorite sites that covers the business end of MMA is MMA Payout. It’s a really smart site and looks at things that some bloggers don’t, which is the business of MMA. As I was checking out their latest articles, I noticed one that mentioned antics from UFC 100. I figured it had to be about Brock Lesnar and I was right. After I rolled my eyes for a bit, I dove in and didn’t like what I saw.

The article is written by Zac Robinson, who I’m not familiar with. I don’t have any issues with Zac whatsoever and though I may not agree with the article that I’m about to take a look at, he has the free will to post whatever he wants and I very much back him up on that.

The title of the article is Robinson: UFC 100 Antics Deserve Consequences. Robinson writes for a website called SportsbythenumbersMMA.com.

He starts off the article by saying that because he was in Vegas for the event, he was in the dark about the aftermath of UFC 100.

First, Dan Henderson’s final shot on Michael Bisping is regrettably part of the sport. The game is fast and the referee doesn’t always have time to dive in and save a downed fighter before he takes an unnecessary blow. The fighters can’t be faulted, they are in a high-intensity moment and trying to end it in victory, so I had no problem with Henderson’s final punch until he said it was intentional immediately afterward.

Second, Brock Lesnar’s actions were over the top. He didn’t need to go WWE on everybody after he pummeled Frank Mir, but he did.

I very much agree with his first point. Henderson didn’t do anything different than most fighters would’ve done in his situation, especially with what that fight meant to him. Bisping is a sly fox and though he had to know that he hit him good, I’m not sure Hendo was 100% that Bisping was out until probably right after he hit him the second time. But it was the remark that the second blow was to rub it in a bit that made it faulty. In my opinion, I think he was just trying to play the crowd a bit, but maybe it was with as hurtful intentions as he said it was.

I disagree with his second point. What was so WWE about Lesnar’s actions? He got in Mir’s face after winning and he celebrated. MMA celebrations are more over the top than any WWE celebrations. At the end of most WWE matches, the winner stands in the ring and poses to the crowd, or simply walks to the back while smiling. Lesnar did neither. As for his comments, I’m not sure how those were WWE either. He knocked the UFC’s biggest sponsor and said he was going to possibly jump on top of his wife. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard John Cena or Hulk Hogan say those things ever.

I understand why these two reacted as they did after the fight. In those few moments they are wired up like we can only imagine. Weeks and weeks of training, all the anticipation, the stress leading up to the fight, and then just like that it is over and their hands are raised. It is hard to fault them for sometimes saying or doing inappropriate things. Even so, they need to be held accountable.

Again, I completely agree with 90% of this paragraph. When these guys are so wired up, it’s hard to imagine that they can just go back to being calm and clear headed. But I’m not sure what they need to be held accountable for. Didn’t Zac just say that what Henderson did was part of the sport? And has anyone ever been held accountable for saying they were going to get on top of their wife?

I recognize that both men changed their tunes a bit after the fights. That’s good, but still there needs to be repercussions. The UFC, while not a league, is now routinely being compared to other sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, or MLB. Even Dana White has recently compared the promotion to other leagues when discussing the sponsorship issue. Any of the other leagues would fine or suspend their athletes for actions that compare to Henderson’s or Lesnar’s. The same should hold true with the UFC.

I really want to analyze this statement. I’m trying to think about an analogy to other sports that would work here. Do football players get fined or suspended for continuing to play after the whistle is blown? What’s comparable to what Henderson did? Maybe a hard foul in the NBA? But since what Henderson did was according to Robinson, part of the sport, would it be more comparable to something like a batter being hit with a pitch? That’s a tough one.

But what could we compare what Lesnar did to? After losing to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron James walked off the court without shaking the hands of the Orlando Magic players. He wasn’t fined for that. He was fined for blowing off the press conference. Would Michael Jordan have ever been fined by David Stern for telling reporters that after a big game that he was going to go have fun with his wife? Doubtful.

Maybe the fact that they have since dialed down their words or actions should help lessen the consequence, but each man, Henderson and Lesnar, should be fined or receive some kind of suspension from the UFC. I say UFC, not the Nevada State Athletic Commission, because the promotion is now looked upon as a league similar to the leagues of other sports.

If the UFC were to do this, they’d have to go back into the vault and look at tapes of all the rest of the shows they’ve done. They’d have to fine Nate Diaz for flipping off his opponent while having him in a triangle. They’d have to fine Tito Ortiz for digging a grave for his opponent. Ok, bad example. They’d probably like doing that. They’d have to fine every fighter who has ever showed up his opponent by going on top of the cage to celebrate their victory, because it’s unsportsmanlike to celebrate while your opponent is hurt. They’d have to fine everyone who didn’t shake the hand of their opponent after a fight. They’d have to suspend Rampage Jackson for hitting Wanderlei Silva three times after Silva was out. That one was worse than this one.

Now in saying all that, the fine or suspension should not be made to truly hurt the fighters. A suspension of six weeks or three months would not damage either man’s career. A $5,000 fine would certainly not send them to the poorhouse, but what it would do is tell the mainstream media and everyone else that the UFC is not going to tolerate dangerous or outrageous actions.

Then what would be the punishment for? Henderson nor Lesnar will fight in six weeks. They may fight in six months. What’s the point? If you want to punish someone, the goal is to get them to understand they did something wrong, not simply to show the media that you are catering to the media. That’s so silly it’s outrageous. I don’t want the UFC to fine Brock Lesnar if they truly don’t believe he did something wrong, just so the media gets off their back. The media will forget by next week anyways and move on to the next story.

Dana White and the UFC are once again in an unenviable position. The Henderson KO of Bisping and Brock Lesnar’s domination of Frank Mir and his subsequent antics sell a boatload of tickets and pay-per-views.

How is this unenviable?

But at the same time the UFC is still teetering on the brink of total acceptance so any misstep or unwillingness to squash uncalled for behaviors might damage the promotion’s hard-fought efforts.

This article has come full circle, and I finally agree with something else. If what Brock or Henderson did hurts their future business, then there’s something to what they did. But we don’t know that. We can’t predict the future. They don’t have a TV deal with a network yet. Does this hurt a future deal down the line? How do we know? We can’t say yes it will or no it won’t. There’s no way to tell.

That’s my biggest gripe with these kinds of articles. Here’s what we do know: UFC 100 was tremendously successful. That’s all. We don’t know anything else. We can guess. We can predict. We can guess that they probably turned more casual fans on than off. We can guess that some people were upset at what Brock and Hendo did. But we don’t know how many.

As bloggers, we are very much trained to have an opinion one way or another about something. And most of these arguments are 50/50 arguments with people completely taking one side and then people taking the opposing opinion. I say let’s talk about what we know. We’ll know more about what the aftermath brings when we do.

Lastly, I’ll repeat this. I don’t have any issues with the writer. He has a definite opinion and the right to express it. Zac, no hard feelings. Feel completely free to take me to task for my thoughts.

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4 thoughts on “More UFC Media Nonsense – Fining Brock Lesnar And Dan Henderson? For What?

  1. I’m not a big fan of the total lack of respect Lesnar shows, but certainly nothing really wrong with it. He didn’t cross any lines, and I enjoy the idea of “thinking about the kids at home” when the event is on TV. I can hear it now…

    “Now watch this Timmy, two large men are going to punch one another until they are bloody and one of them either goes to sleep or begs for mercy”.

    “COOL DAD”.

    “I might get on my wife…”

    “I can’t believe he said that in front of children!”

  2. You are half-right. MMA is not mainstream yet. Close, but not quite there. Hendo’s second shot was fine, the fight wasn’t stopped. What he said afterwards was questionable…but not unduly. Lesnar though, damn. Getting in Mir’s face after the fight, haven’t really seen that except once or twice. Flipping off the crowd? Really? Putting down a main sponsor? UFC is becoming more and more like WWE with bullying tactics of fighters, a business machine instead of a sports opportunity. Lesnars actions just took the entire scene further down that lane. I guess it depends on where the UFC wants to go. I’m starting to tune out, and I’ve watched just about every UFC since the 1st one.

  3. What about Lesnar’s tactics did though? Do you watch pro wrestling? I’m intrigued as to what MMA fans are seeing as “pro wrestling”? The last time I saw a pro wrestler win a match, he did nothing of what Brock Lesnar did.

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