If you use Twitter, you heard the ruckus.
Jessica Andrade obliterated Rosi Sexton for three rounds at UFC Fight Night 30, prompting many to berate both referee Neil Hall and Sexton's corner for not stopping the contest before the final horn.
Sexton, a victim of her will and toughness, absorbed powerful blow after powerful blow, offering little in the way of return fire. This disturbed many a Twitter user, causing them to sound off in powerful, critical fashion.
Watching the fight, I never felt that Sexton was exposed to an egregious amount of punishment.
Yes, Andrade teed off at will, but Sexton maintained her composure and frequently mounted immediate offense once her opponent's assault ceased.
Yes, this fight contained a few definite 10-8 rounds, but this is not unheard of in MMA. Sometimes one fighter is just a lot better than another, as was the case in this particular tilt.
Sexton was outclassed. There is no doubt about that. She was beaten down.
But the referee did not need to stop the fight, and neither did Sexton's corner.
As mentioned before, Sexton emerged from almost every brutal exchange on supportive legs with a clear mind and an aggressive offensive output. It is clear that she never forgot where she was or what she was doing—she was "in the fight" despite the obvious mismatch.
Sexton's own post-fight comments corroborate this claim.
I think fight fans reacted particularly passionately to this fight for a variety of reasons.
First, we have the recent death of boxer Francisco Leal (warning: link contains a poignant video).
While Leal's death is directly attributed to the beating he received inside the ring Oct. 19, his history made him much more susceptible to such a tragedy. Does that make it any better? Not really. This was something that could have been—and should have been—avoided.
It's sickening, but we cannot let a recent disaster cloud our judgement of current events. Controversial issues always shine brightest after they are recharged, and Leal's death certainly revved up the amperage on fighter safety.
Secondly, we were dealing with a women's fight. Pretend like that doesn't matter all you want, but it does.
Watching one woman dominate another so thoroughly is inherently more difficult to stomach than is a similar beatdown involving men.
Junior dos Santos said he did not remember the majority of his UFC 166 bout against Cain Velasquez. Diego Sanchez ate bomb after bomb from Gilbert Melendez on that same card.
The masses calling to stop either of those contests produced mere whispers compared to the uproar surrounding Andrade vs. Sexton. Maybe it's because we learned from the two former wars.
Or maybe it's because we can't watch women get annihilated.
The majority of MMA fans are men, and (most) men instinctively want to protect women. I won't fault you for wanting to see Sexton's corner throw in the towel on this basis. I get it. But you're still utilizing some faulty critical thinking.
Lastly, Joe Rogan's commentating was a bit ridiculous throughout the bout.
I did not pencil down any direct quotes (although I wish I would have), but Rogan made it sound like every punch Andrade landed was a Johny Hendricks left hook on the button.
The reality is that many of Andrade's wild punches did not connect, and if they did, they were deflected by Sexton's arms and elbows.
Sexton had been knocked out twice before in her career; if Andrade was truly connecting as solidly and as regularly as Rogan would have you believe, we would have seen more definite results inside the Octagon.
Putting our emotions aside, Sexton was not grossly at risk in this bout, and that is what matters.
Andrade put on a striking clinic for sure, but Sexton showed no symptoms of defenselessness or helplessness.
For allowing the fight to continue, I applaud referee Hall and Sexton's corner.
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