Laying Down Leather is a Monday morning blog series where I share my tidbit thoughts on MMA, share the past week’s work, and look at what’s ahead.
Good morning and welcome to a new week. There were fights last week, and there’s even more on the way, so let’s discuss.
Losing The Plot
It seems like once a week there’s some discussion within MMA that questions how people should view the sport. In the past there’s been discussions like “did Daniel Cormier cheat in his UFC 210 weigh-in,” or “was it okay that Greg Hardy used an asthma inhaler in-between rounds” to name two.
More often than not these discussions drive me up the wall. Even more so this week as fighter safety was in the topic.
Very early on UFC’s show last Saturday, Max Rohskopf lost a fight against Austin Hubbard after giving up in-between rounds two and three. The forfeit was one that Rohskopf did against the advice of his corner, who spent the entire break time in-between rounds telling him that he should continue.
Since then the discussion has ranged from “was that good cornering” to “is it okay to end a fight like that.”
Listen. This is a very dangerous sport. I don’t even have to tell you that. Most, if not all people who engage in it leave with long-lasting injuries that come from broken bones, head injuries and more. There is zero shame for a fighter, especially a fighter in only his sixth fight of his entire career to determine he shouldn’t have continued. As the saying goes, “live to fight another day.”
If there’s shame involved, it’s on the corner of Rohskopf. After a minute straight of negotiation, the corner knew Rohskopf still wanted the fight to be called. But, it was not his corner who actually called off the fight. There’s a certain level of negligence you could attribute to the fact that the team was willing to put Rohskopf in up to five more minutes of damage.
The small chance, and it’s worth stressing, if you watch the second round it was a small chance, that Rohskopf could turn around a win was nowhere near the risk involved with putting him in a third round. It’s unfortunate that people aren’t seeing the bigger picture in this, and that while the sport should be competitive safety has to be a priority.
Unfortunately, people who agree that fighters should tough out fights don’t seem like they will change their perspective. The people who side with Rohskopf’s corner likely saw Felicia Spencer take a beating at UFC 250, or they saw Anthony Smith get hurt for too long against Glover Teixeira in May. It’s frustrating and near sickening that it might take a more extreme instance for some people to change their stance on the issue.
Onto Better Things…
To take a page out of author Roz Chast, you might be thinking “can’t we talk about something more pleasant?” I’ll grant your wish. There was some entertaining bouts last weekend on UFC’s program that are worth divulging in.
Strong performances last weekend came from names like Josh Emmett, Jim Miller, Justin Jaynes and Belal Muhammad, to name a few. Despite the UFC card having a few decisions near the top, it did not feel like a long watch to me. It could possibly be attributed to the fact that the show started an hour earlier than usual, with prelims starting a 5PM EDT. I could get used to that.
UFC’s last event before they head to Abu Dhabi is this weekend coming up and it’s a pretty strong lineup. The current 10-fight card has lightweights Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker in the top slot. Both war tested fighters in the division, it’s equally intriguing and scary to see how their collision could pan out.
Lower on the card are names like Luis Pena, Takashi Sato, Sean Woodson and more who I am looking forward to watching.
Titan FC will also hold an event on Friday this week. The promotion was one of the first regional promotions in the United States to start back up, with Titan FC 60 happening in late May. An issue on their last show was how slippery the mat they used was due to its constant cleaning throughout the show. It will be interesting if any adjustments will be made to the production.
What’s Coming Up on Knockdown News
This week is a more action-packed one than usual (by today’s standards) as there will be live coverage of Titan FC and UFC. Along with that will be the usual news and Flashback Friday article. This week, Flashback Friday looks at Pride 16: “Beasts from the East.”
Let me get some quick plugs out of the way before I get out of here.
I’m currently covering the 2020 KBO season for the Lotte Giants. If you are interested in that, visit here.
If you haven’t, consider following my Twitter, which is @JackWannan.
Have a good week. See you around.