Monday, August 30, 2010

UFC 118 Dana White Contradiction Quotable

UFC 118 will go down in history as the first major pairing of MMA vs. boxing (Randy Couture vs. James Toney). For over 15 years the UFC has welcomed fighters of many disciplines. Over time, the accomodation of different styles in the Octagon has helped shape and mold modern MMA, a multidisciplinary fighting style that borrows from all disciplines. But every so often fans need to be reminded of origins of the UFC. The Ultimate Fighting Championships was built on the very concept of matching fighters from different fighting styles. Wrestlers vs. boxers, kickboxers vs. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters, this was the original basis of mixed martial arts' leading promotion. So, did Dana White contradict himself when he made the following comment after UFC 118?

"It's unfair to bring a guy in with one discipline, no matter if he's trained for eight or nine months. I wasn't the guy going out there and trying to badmouth boxing and take boxing down and hurt the sport of boxing. James Toney picked a fight, and he got one,

"I don't see [other boxers] ever doing that, coming out and whatever. James Toney is the guy that's crazy enough to come out and do this. He picked a fight, he got one, and we won't be doing any more boxing."

Why shouldn't the UFC continue to pair fighters who train in one discipline? The Octagon is the perfect place to settle the "my style is the best" debate, which is basically what James Toney was claiming, and was the marketing scheme behind UFC 118. Meanwhile, boxing fans persisted to call Randy Couture to the boxing ring. The problem with that is Couture is not a boxer, so he would obviously be at a huge disadvantage in the ring. Now, I know someone is going to say, "yeah, well Toney was at a disadvantage in the cage." Okay, say what you will, but the cage offers a place where any fighter can demonstrate his or her style without the restriction of style-limiting rules. For example, a boxer like James Toney can box in the cage, but Randy Couture cannot fully demonstrate his mixed martial arts style in the boxing ring. For this reason, I plead with Dana White and the Zuffa executive team to throw in a few more style vs. style matchups. Let's see Kung-Fu vs. kickboxing, or streetfighting vs. Judo, etc. Bring back the Dan Severn vs. Royce Gracie-type matches. Sideshow or not, call it what you want but with the right names and some good media hype you'll watch it just like you watched Toney vs. Couture.

No comments:

Post a Comment