Posers, Cling-Ons and Wannabes
Whenever something gets popular there's bound to be some posers (or poseurs, as the French say) hanging around and MMA is no different. Everyone's seen overweight tattooed thugs who couldn't throw a straight punch if their life depended on it rocking the Tapout sleeveless jersey and straight brimmed hat combo. These are the guys who want to see sloppy slug fests and could care less about the ground game. Ironic considering the term "Tap Out" comes from the ground game in the first place. For these guys it's about an image that they can cop, not about the sport.
There's another type of poser and cling on in the MMA game too. The one's who actually are somewhat involved in the sport but overstate their involvement, talk about themselves a lot and try to convince people that they are big wheels on the MMA machine. For these guys too, it's about an image. It's about being part of something cool.
A great example of this is a recent article that appeared in my local newspaper. It was about a fella who sometimes spends time visiting his family in my city. To listen to him talk the guy is definitely a big deal; involved in every aspect of MMA including fighting, managing, sponsoring, reporting, promoting, owning an MMA clothing line and training fighters. And all of this at the age of 22. Wow. Here's the article Sault Star Article
There are a few hilarious bits in this article. The first is that he is sponsoring fighters but can't release their names to the public because of privacy issues. Hmm. I have a few sponsors and I'm pretty sure the way it works is they pay you to wear their stuff and in turn they can use your name and image to promote their product. He also talks about training fighters. An 0-1 fighter with no previous combat sports credentials training fighters? Sign me up! Speaking of his 0-1 record, the guy has every excuse in the book from taking the fight on short notice to citing injuries from an accident 7 years ago! Now I've had some pretty decent injuries (broken neck anyone?) and I understand taking fights that aren't on ideal terms but once you accept to fight under those terms you lose the right to complain or use them as excuses. When I fought in Japan there was a laundry list of reasons why the fight wasn't great for me but I took it anyways. I lost. I didn't lose because of all of the particular details around the fight that I thought were BS. I lost a winnable fight because the other guy fought better than me that night and planted a right hook on my chin that sent me wobbling to the canvas. End of story.
When I read the article I wondered how this guy could be doing so much in Canadian MMA without ever having heard of him. I wanted to find out if this guy was a legit or if he was, like lots of other questionable characters involved in MMA, trying to make a name and a few dollars off of the sweat and hard work of fighters and other people who have worked hard to make the sport progress to where it is today. I took my curiosity to a few well known message boards where lots of pro fighters and well known journalists, managers and commentators post and interact regularly. I asked if anyone knew him and what their impressions of him were. Here's a few of the reactions...
"can't help you...but apparently as involved as he is I should've heard of him, no?"- Sean MacManus, editor of TOPmmanews.com
"He probably got excited in the interview and kind of overstated where he's at in the MMA culture, as evidenced by the fact that the biggest MMA nerds in Canada (like the people on the Canadian UG- and I mean 'nerds' in the best sense) don't know who he is.- Robin Black, professional fighter, On-air personality for The Score, The Fight Network
Sometimes people try to oversell themselves, sometimes cuz, yes, they want the attention, sometimes just cuz they wanna get laid in their hometown, and sometimes just cuz they get wound up while being interviewed."
"Nice enough guy but touts his own horn way too much. In my brief conversation I tried to figure out exactly what he did, he just told me he does "marketing". I asked him what that entails and he says he makes moves, talks to people, gets people's voices heard and names recognized (paraphrasing here but you get the idea)" ... "His clothing company is "Lights Out Fight Wear" and until recently they only had 2 t-shirts and a hoodie on their website.. there's not much more now (and they claim to have been established since 1982 lol). He probably doesn't talk about the fighters because he only deals with amateur athletes with 1-1 or 0-0 records who swallow everything this guy says."- Anonymous poster
To be completely fair, I don't think this guy is malicious in any way. He has some ties to BDB Martial Arts in Calgary which is a very reputable gym so at the very least he sees high level training on a regular basis. I think he really does love the sport of MMA and wants to be involved. I just think that he is a little quick to give himself credit and, in this article, has overplayed his involvement in the scene. I'll let you judge for yourself.
A Few Thoughts on UFC 129
- Great showing by the Canadian contingent. John Makdessi, Jason MacDonald, Claude Patrick, Ivan Menjivar, Rory MacDonald, and GSP all got great wins. Pierson, Bocek, Jabouin and Hominick will all be back in the big show busting heads soon.
- Speaking of Hominick... what a warrior. He fought a great fight against one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world and even when he was behind on the score cards and had a hematoma the size of a baseball on his head he turned up the juice and blitzed Jose Aldo for the last 5 minutes of the fight. Not a lot of people gave him any kind of chance and most didn't think he'd last very long. I told everyone who would listen that Hominick absolutely belonged with Aldo and could beat him. I was down at his training center in March and trained with him while I was there. I look forward to training with him again soon.
- I hate watching Randy lose. Anyone else think that fight was bad matchmaking on the UFC's part from a promotional perspective? You don;t want one of your heroes going out on a loss but you also want Machida to get back into contention. Seemed like a lose-lose proposition for the UFC to me.
- Can Steven Segal please drown in wet cement?
- $129 000 in bonus money for winners of Fight of the Night (Aldo/Hominick) Knock out of the night (Machida's karate kid crane kick) and sub of the night (Garza). Dat's very nice. I know all of the bonuses from now on won't be that high but I can't see them dropping back to the previous ammounts.
I'm not sure what the format will be for this blog now that I'm back in Canada but I'm trying to figure it out. It will definitely be MMA based with some other side-bar type stories and comments but I'm not sure to what degree I'll include other topics.
I noticed that I have a few blogs drafts that I had written while in Korea and Japan that i never got around to publishing. I think there's some pretty interesting stuff in there that people might like. I'll have a look at them, add any additional info and post them shortly.