Mailbag: Should the UFC take a harder stand against steroids?
As we move into the last quarter of 2010, it's time for SI.com's MMA readers to have their say. The biggest topic in September was reaction to the news that
I'm not asking the UFC to do anything but police itself. And I don't understand what's so heavy-handed about a policy that says Zuffa won't promote fighters after they're caught using steroids. The UFC has dropped fighters from their contracts for many reasons: missing weight, backing out of fights, reluctance to sign a video game licensing agreement, or simply being annoying. Yet it's never parted ways with a fighter because of his PED use.
Until uniform and comprehensive drug screening standards take hold across the United States, nothing will change unless promoters enact as serious a deterrent as possible. I agree with Dr.
Zuffa (i.e. UFC) sets the agenda for so much of what happens in MMA, it's difficult to comprehend why it sends mixed messages regarding PEDs.
I wasn't arguing for lifetime banishment across the board, though I probably wouldn't have a problem if it happened that way. Anyhow, the UFC is far from a league in any sense you mean it. For one thing, especially in the drug-screening context, there isn't any sort of labor agreement between the athletes and management. Fighters are essentially independent contractors. Relying on state governments to handle testing allows the UFC to steer clear of a NFL/NFLPA system. They can throw their hands up, place the onus on the state regulators and act as if there's nothing more to do. I don't buy that.
To your point, why should the UFC hold its fighters to a higher standard than the NFL or any other league? Because blunt-force trauma isn't something to trifle with. Because if someday a fighter gets hurt against an opponent who is found to be using, it could be a big blow to the sport.
What did Sherk lose? Outside of some damage to his reputation, not much. He was granted a title fight by the UFC just 10 months after the California State Athletic Commission said he was caught. Whether he held the belt or not coming into the fight didn't matter since
It's ugly out there. Whether that stems from a lack of specific scoring criteria for judges to focus on, or it's a result of commission-appointed judges remaining ignorant of what to look for in a fight, there's a lot of room for improvement.
I think it will get better in time, though my major concern right now is judges being taught to score a certain way that, in the long run, will influence how MMA is fought. If certain tactics are more likely to produce a winning decision, fighters will tend to use those tactics.
When I watch a fight, I ask myself a simple question at the end of each round: Which person would I have rather been? The vast majority of the time, the answer to that question dovetails with the winner of a round.
Wrestling isn't any more valuable than striking or submissions. Not in my book, at least. Because a fighter scores a takedown doesn't automatically mean he or she should gain an advantage. What's done afterward matters. Did the fighter on the bottom reverse or stand within, say, 20 seconds of the takedown? Did the fighter on top do any damage with the position? Who is attacking? Is the person on the bottom outworking the fighter on top? Is the fighter on the bottom looking for submissions? There are a million things to watch for, which means it's incumbent on state regulators to license judges who know what they're watching.
At this point, I'm not a proponent of the half-point scoring system being bandied about by regulators. It could be a nice tool for experienced judges, but I fear it will lead to more confusion among officials and frustration from fans who feel like you do, Michael.
Well, Lashley's not in my rankings, is he?
I don't share your world view of MMA. The sport is larger than any one promoter. A great fight/fighter outside the UFC is just as valuable as one inside the UFC. To believe otherwise is unfair to mixed martial artists everywhere.
Rankings shouldn't have anything to do with the belief that one fighter can hang with another. They are, at best, as snapshot in time. After spending seven years atop the heavyweight division, Emelianenko was triangle choked by Werdum in 69 seconds. It was shocking. I ranked
Broaden your view of the sport. You're missing out on great MMA if you don't.
If you're in the minority, then so am I. Nine times out of 10 I prefer a hard-fought, smart, tactical fight -- one that includes aggression in the right spots too -- to wild brawls. Give me checked leg kicks instead of windmilling punches.
Mir-Cro Cop was slow and uninteresting until the end. Just an awful fight to watch. Apparently White's comments about cutting Mir were overblown. He said emphatically on Twitter that Mir wasn't going anywhere.
Actually, judges can score rounds 10-10 based on MMA's unified rules, though even with the option available some commissions apparently frown upon its use. Can't say I disagree, as I despise 10-10 rounds (you're right, most of the time they are a cop-out) and try my best not to give them out. But there is a time and a place when it's necessary. That's how I saw Round 2.
Yep, I'd take these dudes over those dudes:
Don Frye (transferred out)
You can't make a mistake against Overeem and survive. Hopefully he fights MMA at least three times in the United States in 2011. Right now he's working himself through the K-1 Grand Prix tournament and meets