There are times when being an MMA fan is awesome.
Like this past Saturday, at a sold-out (I think) Air Canada Centre, when Little Nog crumpled Tito Ortiz with that knee and every Brazilian within 50 feet of me (and there were more than you’d think) exploded.
Or when Frank Mir made the impossible happen in just a few minutes, breaking “Minotauro’s” arm and dropping around 15,000 jaws in unison (said Brazilians included).
Or when Lyoto Machida stumbled Jon Jones in the first round of their fight and you thought maybe, just maybe, he was going to be the guy.
Or even, hard as it was, when “The Korean Zombie” knocked out hometown hero Mark Hominick in the time it takes you to read this sentence. Man, that was a hard one to stomach. Fun fact: the top three fastest KOs in UFC history have all been delivered to Canadians. We are truly a polite people, not bred for violence and bloodsport. Just don’t mention it to that Georges guy.
Yes indeed, there are times when being an MMA fan is just awesome.
Then there are times when it blows harder than that storm George Clooney got caught in that one time when he was rocking the crazy beard. Times like when you go online, still buzzing from a night of awesome fights and arena beers and see the topic of conversation has shifted, as always, to b*tching about Greg Jackson.
In case you’re not up on MMA fans latest contribution to Team Jackson’s complaint box, I’ll fill you in.
Post UFC 140 main event, Jackson instructed a victorious Jones to “check on” the recently choked out Machida in order to “get himself some fans.” To some MMA fans, this is further proof that Jackson is phony. Or uncaring. Or calculating. Or something. It’s hard to tell with these guys.
Let me reiterate in case you were skimming: Jackson is in hot water with fans because he instructed his fighter to check on his opponent. Yes indeed, these are strange times we are living in.
The issue here is the language Jackson used. “Get yourself some fans.” Sounds slightly cynical, right? If only he had said, “Check on Lyoto because it is our solemn duty as martial artists to check on our opponents after we cause them to flop to the mat like a carp,” we wouldn’t be in this situation now.
Folks, Jackson needn’t concern himself with Machida’s well-being. That’s the ringside doctor’s job. That’s the referee’s job. That’s the athletic commission’s job. That’s the job of Machida’s cornermen.
Jackson is paid (and quite well, I’d imagine) to offer counsel, training and advice to Jones. That’s his job. That’s why he’s collecting a cheque.
What his job is not, however, is to be a constant beacon of Bushido bon mots, nor to dispense advice based on the internet MMA fan’s definition of a “true martial artist.” He’s a professional who is there to advise his client. He did that, and offered a young fighter sage advice in a charged moment. And yet the haterade flows like cheap beer at a frat party.
And besides, why are all you guys getting so hung up on “going to check” on someone? I mean seriously now, what difference does it make? I know Jones once stopped a mugger and all, but if Machida were seriously injured as a result of Jones' choke, what difference would his “checking on” him really make?
For that matter, what does “checking on” a fighter really do, except take up space that EMTs or commission officials should be in?
And for what? A token gesture at best, designed to show fans what a good guy you really are. Old sensitive you, who just strangled a man until he blacked out, but had the good manners and decency to go over and pat his unmoving form a few times. Maybe you asked “are you alright?” to his unresponsive face before being shooed away by the officals. What a paragon of virtue you are. I want to be just like you when I grow up.
Jackson told Jones to check on Machida to “get some fans”? Folks, everyone checks on their opponent to “get some fans.” Or, more accurately, to keep their existing fans—Jackson modified the advice in Jones' case in light of his (well-nigh inexplicable) plummeting popularity.
Or do you seriously expect me to believe that, in an ideal scenario, fighter X went over to check on fighter Y because, if he discovered something was wrong, he planned to immediately jump into action, give said fighter CPR, and set his broken arm in a makeshift sling made out of a jock strap?
The real shame is there are so many things to talk about coming off of this past Saturday’s UFC 140. It may have been the best card of the year, and provided headline news with every fight on the PPV card. Except for Ebersole vs. Patrick, of course, where the only real news is that Ebersole's chest hair now has corporate sponsorship.
Instead, we’re back to bitching about Jackson.
Only it’s tired now. It’s sad. It’s not even “so bad it’s good.” You guys were more fun when you had greasegates and nipple twisting to b*tch about.