UFC NEEDS GAG ORDER–FOR ITSELF
By Kenny Rice
Think Biblical: “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things, Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth” James 3:5
Think Counselor: “Sleep on important decisions.”
Think Grandmother: “Count to ten before you speak.”
Think Cracker Barrel $9.95 wood plaque: “Engage Your Brain Before Opening Your Mouth.”
But the UFC? “Think of something fast!” The approach of having to let everyone know immediately who gets the next fight is becoming too much WWE, a melodramatic declaration of emotion, without regard to the consequences or the overall image the sport is sending out to the masses. In the recent deal, or now non deal, with Carlos Condit to fight Georges St. Pierre for the title, it was a glaring display of saying too much too soon with too much to consider.
Why the rush? Let fans and media take in the moment of how good Nick Diaz is after his domination of B.J. Penn. Sure it’s an obvious question ‘Who’s next?’ but it doesn’t dictate that has to be addressed before they turn the lights of the post fight podium. Instead the opposite, a theatrical climax after the natural climax of the evening.
So now Diaz, the misunderstood, misguided, bad boy who twice thumbed his nose at the UFC by missing required press conferences to promote the original title fight with St. Pierre and subsequently lost that opportunity, gets it back because he fought so well. And Condit, who never got his chance when St. Pierre injured a knee, but quietly and patiently waited, might not get a chance again. No explanation given except Diaz was incredible and the microphone was open and some people wanted to know right then about a GSP-Diaz match.
I want to see Diaz fight St. Pierre, I can’t think of a fan who doesn’t. But in this day of the pampered athlete, the UFC could’ve taken a real stand and made him wait for one more fight. Condit deserved the shot and the UFC would’ve come out of it all looking like a leader in handling its own. Rewarding a talented contender for his class in handling the disappointment of waiting for the champ to heal. Plus they would be reminding another worthy contender that he had already blown his chance with his lack of respect, but could still get his chance again if he could exhibit a degree of humility and accountability.
But no, it was all gone in a few quick seconds. The announcement had to be made right then to get it on the web right then and hope people would start saving their money right then for a Super Bowl weekend showdown. Hype, hype, and more hype in place of thought, consideration and simply doing what is right.
As was reported first on Inside MMA, Condit’s camp was not in agreement that he would kindly sit out his date with GSP, on the contrary they were naturally upset at the rapid announcement Diaz was in and Condit was, well, still to be determined
Silence is not only golden; sometimes it is the only thing. There’s a reason almost every major sport has a cooling off period of 15-20 minutes for the coaches and athletes to compose themselves before meeting with the press. Too much can be said in the heat of the moment that otherwise would not have or at least been phrased more suitably.
The UFC post fights are borderline circus with three rings of whom will fight next, who must retire and who had better step up their game. They should impose a gag order on themselves, think it over for the night it will still be news the next day and it might avoid another situation where a rewarded fighter gets too much glory too soon while another deserving one is left in the shadows far from the lights of the post fight podium.
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