By Kevin Iole Yahoo! Sports
Nothing sends the keyboard warriors into action more than a questionable fight decision. The call in the Michael Bisping-Matt Hamill fight at UFC 75 on Saturday set off a deluge of response.
I'll answer those questions as well as a handful about various boxing topics in the latest edition of the mailbag. As always, my answers are in italics below the question.
OUTCOME A FARCE
That Bisping fight was a farce. I shut the TV off after they announced the decision. Bisping was on his heels the entire fight and wanted no part of Hamill. I feel Dana White is going to eventually ruin the UFC and turn it in to a circus, similar to the WWE. He is money hungry and acts like an uneducated moron during press conferences. Boxing will overtake UFC very soon and be as popular as it was years ago. What are your thoughts on this?
West Pittston, Pa.
If Bisping was as aggressive toward Hamill as he was toward the media at the post-fight press conference, he would have won by first-round knockout. But to compare Dana White to anything going on in the WWE is a joke. I don't agree with everything he says or does, but he's hardly turning the UFC into the WWE. I don't think he had a thing to do with the judging, nor has he ever. It was a bad call, in my opinion, but why does everyone have to immediately yell fix when they don't agree with a decision?
The Bisping vs. Hamill decision was so bad that the programmers at Spike TV couldn't even find a positive replay for Joe Rogan to ask Bisping about in the post-fight interview. They actually showed him attempting to escape a takedown as his highlight. What a load!
Not everyone agrees that Hamill won the fight, though. I got a few on the other side, too.
I was reading your article in regards to the Bisping-Hamill fight and wanted to see why you felt Bisping had lost the fight 30-27. I've watched the fight twice now and plan on watching it one more time (in favor of Hamill) to see if I can come to the same judgment you did. I'm probably one of the few fans who believes it should have ended in a draw. I clearly gave Round 1 to Hamill. I gave Round 2 to Bisping by a slim margin and scored the third round even. In my "expert" opinion, neither fighter did enough to win the third round.
In Bisping's defense, the challenger (Hamill) didn't do enough over three rounds to win the fight. I'm sorry but when you're the challenger in a fight it is your responsibility to go out there and win the fight not hope you do enough to get by on the judgesâ€™ score cards. I would probably favor Hamill as a winner over Bisping, but again, did Hamill really do enough to win the fight?
As I said many times, I think Hamill won the fight. He landed the cleaner strikes and he had many takedowns. While I agree he didn't do a lot when he had Bisping down, he still did it repeatedly and deserves credit for it. But Bisping was not a champion. And even if he were, that thinking is outdated and wrong. A judge has to score a round based on who won, not who is the champion and whether the challenger 'took' it from the champion. If a fighter does enough to win a round, he deserves the round whether he's the champion or challenger.
BISPING WON IT
Are you kidding me? I had a fight night party with about a dozen friends and at least a majority felt that the second and third rounds went to Bisping. The fact is, Hamill dominated the first round without a doubt, but looked like he had no life left in the next two, appearing exhausted. And the couple of times Bisping was taken down he popped right back up without Hamill causing any damage at all.
Were there any, um, beverages being consumed at that party? And might they have had any impact upon the judging of the dozen or so who were watching? Just wondering.
DON'T BLAME DANA
People are wrong to think poorly of UFC president Dana White concerning the terrible judging at UFC 75. Dana always reminds TUF fighters to never let it go to the judges. Now, this is not to say that the scorecard was right, because in fact Bisping lost that fight. But to think Dana White "influenced" judges is clearly out of bounds and I'm shocked that true fans believe this nonsense. Dana has revived MMA worldwide and I think he is a man of character and honor. I just wish Dana would clean up his potty mouth in interviews so that he is a better role model to kids that may be watching. The MMA viewing audience adores Dana and although he is not above a bit of controversy, Dana White is a man of integrity and he wouldn't hurt the sport or the fans.
White had nothing to do with the judges, but if the tenor of the email I receive from MMA fans is any indication, we're going to hear soon that he's a suspect in the Kennedy Assassination. If you're upset at the scoring, be upset at Jeff Mullen and Cecil Peoples, who scored it for Bisping. Dana White had nothing to (expletive) do with it. Oops. Sorry.
IT'S THE MEDIA'S FAULT
They were all good fights. Stop being the media who look into the problems of the management. No one cares. If you knew anything about MMA, you would break down the fight in its whole and explain how Hamill won the fight, not why the judges got it wrong. Once again, a failed media pool is focusing on the wrong issue. You donâ€™t even know the first thing about what Hamill did right, so stop. But you're an armchair fight author, so little can be expected from you.
All we want to see is a good fight. If it goes to the judges, they will get it wrong half of the time. Thatâ€™s why a submission or a knockout is the only way to win.
Properly chastened, I apologize to Matt Hamill since it was my fault he lost.
A FORMER BISPING FAN
I cannot express how disappointed I was for Matt Hamill. He clearly won two of three rounds. At the end of the fight when they did a short interview, even though he felt he had won, Hamill still had the integrity to compliment Bisping and accepted the decision with great class and sportsmanship. Bisping, however, was very classless. Until that point, I really enjoyed watching Bisping grow in the UFC, but I am now compelled to root against him in any upcoming fight.
I was shocked by Bisping's post-fight conduct, because he's generally a good guy. But I'll cut him a break. He made a mistake, but he's young and he didn't hurt anyone. I'm not ready to give him a death sentence for a parking ticket.
DOWN ON ROGAN
UFC announcer Joe Rogan, who seems to care about the integrity of the sport, and his crew did not mention anything about the decision being unjustified. If he felt the decision was wrong, it should have been mentioned. If he felt the decision was right then I heard that the WWE is looking for hosts.
As questionable as the decision was, the complete lack of discussion about it leads me to believe the commentators were either told to ignore it or they can't judge a fight. In either case that implies that Dana White controls what's said on the air or he hires incompetent people to judge a match.
The announcers are UFC employees, but they are not told what to say. I haven't heard the broadcast yet, since I was in London, but they did have to get ready for the main event, which was arguably the most important bout of the year
In "Questionable Verdict," Dana White is quoted as saying, "We have a different model from boxing. Bisping is a big star in the U.K., but one loss doesn't kill a guy in the UFC." Is the UFC model the same as pro wrestling, with a script? How can the model be different if it is on the level? Sort of an interesting quotation. It does not change the "entertainment value," I suppose, but it does sort of show how guys can come out of nowhere all at once and be headliners.
What he meant was that because in the UFC in specific and MMA in general, the top fighters always fight each other, unlike in boxing. You're not penalized when you lose to a top guy as much as you are when you lose to someone down on the ladder. So he was saying that even if Bisping had lost, since he had been beaten by a quality fighter like Matt Hamill, he still would have been an attraction.
OLD MAN B-HOP
I don't understand why Bernard Hopkins is considered such a challenge anymore. His past few fights have been won due primarily to an "accidental" head butt, delivered by him early into the fight. How does boxing let fighters get away with that so repeatedly? I think he used his head twice against Jermain Taylor and he recently finally won his last bout due to the same tactic. I don't deny that he was a great fighter in his prime, but when aging, decrepit sportsmen have to lower their class to resort to this, isn't it time to just head out to Shady Pines and let the youngsters have their day?
No doubt, Bernard has been known to use the head on occasion, but you're shortchanging him. The guy hammered Winky Wright and it had nothing to do with head butts. He did the same thing to Antonio Tarver. He'll retire when the young guys show him he can no longer beat them, which they're not doing.
GIVE LENNOX PROPS
How can you so-called boxing experts consistently disrespect Lennox Lewis as not being one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time? Lennox 's only two losses came because of his lack of dedication/focus on those fights. Once he became focused, he beat everyone in his path. The only heavyweight champion I would rate ahead of Lennox Lewis would be Ali. An argument can be made for Rocky Marciano, Larry Holmes and George Foreman. The next time you write about the heavyweight greats, how about making a worthy mention of Lennox Lewis.
I've never belittled Lennox. He just didn't beat the quality competition that many other great heavyweights did. I'd rate Lennox somewhere in the second 10 of all-time heavyweights. That's giving him a lot of respect, I'd say.
DID ANGELO HELP?
Turn back the clock. Do you think Angelo Dundee saved Muhammad Ali's bacon after he was flattened by Henry Cooper, or is that just my whiny English friend Paul's penchant for complaining about anything anti-England in sports. I'd love your input.
Woodland Hills, Calif.
For those who don't know, Dundee cut Cassius Clay's (as Ali was then known) glove after Clay was knocked down at the end of the fourth round of a 1963 bout in an effort to buy more time. It turned out only to be about 10 extra seconds. But even if the bout had restarted on time, one of Clay's strength was his ability to fight hurt. He would have found a way to survive, I believe
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- Dana White