When broadcasters fail to show the true picture
By the time
Less than four hours earlier
Not one mention of Galvao's condition made the broadcast produced by Versus, nor did any shots of him being attended to by EMTs. The only reason I saw it -- like most of you, I watched at home -- was thanks to an enterprising fan that shot the footage on what appeared to be a camera phone and put it on YouTube. (The video has since been taken down at the behest of the event's promoter, Zuffa LLC subsidiary World Extreme Cagefighting, due to claims of copyright protection.)
Unless you were in the building, and unless you were able enough to catch the video that circulated around mixed martial arts message boards, you'd have no idea that Galvao was under such dire straights.
This is hardly new. Far too many MMA broadcasts have glossed over the results of serious knockouts or just about anything else that would require a sense of journalism, newsgathering and reporting. Though the journalistic coverage of MMA has grown exponentially on the Web and in print, there remains a gaping hole when it comes to responsibly covering the sport on TV.
When Versus and the WEC decided air the Page-Galvao fight, they knew exactly what fans at home would see, as Page had already won by knockout on the under card. I'm not saying the network was out of bounds for doing so. It was an impressive finish from Page, who, in dropping down to 135 pounds, has clearly retained the power that made him dangerous at 145. The point is, Versus failed in its responsibility to the viewer. The network chose to air a sensational finish without bringing the broadcast to where it should have gone. It needed to follow the story with updates, and had the broadcast's producers done their job, fans at home would have known Galvao was recovering back in his hotel room.
This would be like FOX deciding to show
Veteran MMA broadcaster
In his most recent gig calling MMA on Showtime, Quadros served a far more traditional role as a journalist calling the fights. And while MMA broadcasts are beginning to trend this way, particularly thanks to the work done by
Following the controversy surrounding
Only when Page expressed hope that Galvao would recover, and followed with "please man, be alright" did anyone at home get a sense that something wasn't right. (Galvao remained in Texas on Monday, where he was asked to undergo another battery of tests by the state commission. According to his camp, the slender fighter appears to be fine, though he doesn't have any recollection of the fight or its aftermath.)
"It's important that the producers in charge know how to wing it if something goes awry, you have to follow the story," Quadros said. "Obviously we all want to protect and shield and guard the sport, but there are certain realities about the sport that occur. What used to be called safer than boxing, now guys know how to punch and are wearing 4-ounce gloves as opposed to boxing gloves, there's a propensity where people can actually get hurt. And if people do get hurt, you have to figure out a way to factor that in."
Moreover, networks covering MMA need to be acutely and accurately aware how they cover the sport: warts and all. Taking a page from Hall of Fame boxing broadcasters like
We need much more of that kind of coverage in MMA.