Sun Aug 30 09:45am EDT
We told you it was coming on Friday. Another newspaper columnist "forced" to cover the ever growing phenomenon of mixed martial arts who didn't want to be there. John Canzano from the Oregonian told us in his Friday column that he didn't like the sport because it lacked social value. That said, he was going to cover the event with "an open mind" and "an open notebook." We told you that was a farce. As soon as the most vicious fight of the night Gabriel Gonzaga-Chris Tuchscherer featured a nasty low blow and a beating, we Tweeted that it would be a centerpiece for Canzano's story:
We were right. Tuchscherer and the unfortunate beatdown he took was featured in the second full paragraph in Canzano's wrap-up column.
After the fight, Canzano made sure to run to the bowels of Rose Garden Arena to find Tuchscherer and miss the majority of the pay-per-view card which included a main event featuring native Oregonian Randy Couture in what almost became a triumphant return to the pleasure of thousands of his fans. A heroic effort for a guy who is still trying to grow as a fighter at an amazing 46-years-old. Not one single word of Couture or the winner Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, one of the real gentlemen of the sport, was mentioned in the state's biggest paper by one its most prominent columnists.
Nor was Nate Marquardt's rousing win over Demian Maia or Thiago Silva's comeback win over Keith Jardine after a terrible loss to Lyoto Machida. Also left out was three-time NCAA wrestling champ Jake Rosholt surprising many to upset UFC veteran Chris Leben. There's probably a great column waiting to be done on Leben, another Oregon native, who may still be dealing with the demons that have haunted him over the years. But instead of tracking down Leben, Canzano chose to roll out the typical scare tactics:
Someone is going to die in the Octagon someday. We're headed straight there, and anyone who saw the damaging blows to the brains on Saturday, including UFC head Dana White, can't ever say they didn't see it coming.
He made sure to focus on Tuchscherer spitting up blood after the low blow and that he got bloodied in the loss. It was eerily similar to the initial column when the only MMA memory he brought up on Friday was a sensational story about some dude pulled from the crowd to fight who vomited in the middle of the cage.
Oh wait, he did speak to Todd Duffee, who set a UFC record for quickest KO ever at seven seconds. But the only quote he used in the story from Duffee suggested fighters are underpaid. Why write about Duffee's rise from failed football star at Southern Illinois to UFC hot prospect status at age 23?
No one is angry at Canzano but just like T.J. Simers of the L.A. Times, stop telling us you're going to the event with an open mind when you know you're not. Okay, it's not the guy's cup of tea. It's clear he abhors violence while suggesting MMA fans thirst for it, we can accept that. He judges the sport on its worst moments, the rest of us don't. We see the complete package.
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