Hunt versus Silva – Educating the Naysayers
By Christopher Jester
After waiting on the fallout of a weekend full of MMA bouts, including the World Series of Fighting and Invicta FC, the UFC Fight Night 33 main event still remained the best of the bunch. The fight down under between Antonio Silva and Mark Hunt was full of excitement, blood, and a back-and-forth dynamic that displayed the heart of two warriors.
Was it the most technical and artistic battle between heavyweight behemoths? No. Was it sloppy at points? Definitely: especially in the last round. Hunt was swinging heavy and fatigued arms with the intent to knock off Antonio Silva’s head. But what endeared the fans the most about the fight? It showed grit and determination on a level that is rarely shown from heavyweight fighters. For that reason, it easily became one of the best heavyweight fights in history.
It was a bloody affair and an edge of the seat entertaining match-up that will remain memorable for quite some time. But what made this fight so inspiring for fans turned off some in the media; particularly one Phil Rothfield (The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph) who went on a disgusting tirade spelling the UFC as nothing more than a brutal and merciless blood sport. The idea that there are still ignorant-minded viewers of the sport is not surprising. To think that this guy is a so-called journalist for the sport is another.
The mindset Rothfield has is actually quite sad. His soliloquy was distasteful and simply not true. This decadent way of thinking about a sport that is majorly legalized is disturbing without any doubt. Rothfield would state, “This was nothing but barbaric savagery that should be banned in this country.” Was the Silva-Hunt battle barbaric? Not even close. Was it bloody? Sure, but it could also be inspiring; depending on how you look at it. One could take the determination from those two fighters and say that it was a battle-cry to never give up.
But Rothfield would likely turn that against anyone who identified to that. He would further say, “Almost defenceless men being held down on the ground and punched senseless.” The fight he is likely referring to is the Ryan Bader versus Anthony Perosh fight, where the latter was battered and cut open after suffering thunderous ground-and-pound from the former. It was a nasty and one-sided fight, but was Perosh defenseless? No. In fact, while numerous were saying it was poor refereeing, I actually tweeted stating how Perosh continued to fight intelligently even after being on the receiving end of numerous blows and elbows in the lopsided match-up. I actually called for his corner to throw in the towel; an entirely underutilized option to save fighters from taking too much of a beating.
The truth is the UFC and MMA as a whole has a lot of educating to do. Still. As uninformed journalists and bad press continues to exist, MMA will endure more slander and poor imagery. It is unreal to think that this slander will be silenced completely. That is a fantasy, but distasteful invectives from journalists like this ignite a reaction that is both good and bad. It is good because it erupts the fans into needing to instruct those who know little about the sport and it shines a light on just how educated the fans of MMA can be. It is bad because often it puts the spotlight on these journalists’ and politicians’ damaging diatribes, which is incidentally putting their negativity on a platform.
So the final point is this. While these sort of moments will continuously arise, it is up to the fans to influence the way naysayers think. We have to help the UFC and the sport of MMA educate the masses about the sport we love. We have to inform them that it is not just blood and broken limbs. It really is a sport and it is ingratiated into us forever.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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