Michael Wilbon has been one of my favorite sports columnists for a long time. He has many great insights on basketball and the Washington Redskins. Having seen some of the stupid things he has to say about fighting, he should really just stick to hoops and the 'Skins.
As we mentioned earlier today, Wilbon said on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption that the Kimbo Slice loss was thrown. He then went on compare MMA to WWE and the Slice loss to Ali-Liston II and the "phantom punch." It turns out that this is not the first time that Wilbon opened his mouth about MMA and shown that he has absolutely no knowledge of the sport.
In May 2007, Wilbon called MMA bare-knuckles:
“Well, but they [young athletes] go into UFC, and that’s like bare-knuckles. That’s like a trip back to 1880’s and John L. Sullivan [the last bare-knuckles era Heavyweight Boxing Champion].”
This makes me wonder if he has ever truly watched any MMA, or even any martial arts in its base elements. Do you know what jiu-jitsu is, Wilbon? He must have been too busy following the Redeem Team in Beijing to notice the excellent amateur wrestling going on at the Olympics, or noticed the fact that many of those wrestling Olympians have gone onto successful careers in MMA.
But wait, there's more. In 2003, former boxing Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson considered going into MMA against veteran fighter Bob Sapp. Again on PTI, Wilbon said:
Michael Wilbon: Isn't he getting closer to fighting the lions, as you once said you would watch on pay-per-view?
Kornheiser: That's next. Absolutely.
Wilbon: You know, he has to do this...
Kornheiser: Because he has no money?
Wilbon: We know that Mike Tyson, at least 13 million dollars in debt and maybe more, has to continue to fight his way out of debt. And a lot of people would watch this. It would not... you know, I think this other fighting martial arts thing that Bob Sapp does, some of it looks like WWE, but this guy's huge.
Again, Wilbon shows that he would be better off not talking at all. Comparing an MMA fight between two competitors of equal abilities and size to the gladiators of ancient Rome is just stupid.
Wilbon, you really are an excellent writer, one I admire and read often. But when it comes to MMA, I really just wish you would shut up, because you have no clue what you are talking about.
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