(Reached for comment, Peoples stood by his assertion that the MagnaFlow Exhaust Products corner is the most prestigious corner in the world. VidProps: YouTube/ZombieProphetMMA)
Man, is it really too much to ask that Cecil motherfucking Peoples just referees and/or judges one fight without doing or saying something ridiculous to make himself the center of attention? Apparently yes, it is. Witness this video, in which MMA’s favorite head-in-the-clouds official puts on a command performance of his own tenuous grasp of reality prior to Friday night’s King of the Cage heavyweight title match. Not only does Peoples mutter something into the microphone about the KOTC championship being “the most prestigious belt in the world” during his prefight instructions to Daniel Cormier and Tony Johnson Jr., but then he does some kind of weirdo karate chop bullshit to start the bout. I swear, this guy.
Thankfully Peoples — who ends his comments to the fighters by saying “Let’s dance!” — doesn’t do anything to screw up the actual fight. You have to consider that a cut above his average appearance as an MMA judge/ref. Seriously though, what’s it gonna take before state athletic commissions start looking at Sensei Cecil and thinking, “Do we really want this jackass representing us in any way?”
The whole King of the Cage production in fact seems to be doing its best to overshadow the actual fighting here. From the totally over-the-top ring announcer to Michael Schiavello doing his usual thing to the fact that KOTC has seen fit to do away with the standard “red” and “blue” corners in favor of having the athletes fight out of the “MagnaFlow Exhaust Products” corner and the “Boo-Ya Fightwear” corner, it makes the entire ball of wax seem pretty low-rent. That’s a shame, considering KOTC is something of a venerable old stand-by as far as independent MMA promotions go.
The real rub is that all this peripheral madness makes it easy to overlook Daniel Cormier’s ongoing and impressive ironman performance. When the former Olympic wrestler appears on the undercard of Strikeforce: Houston this coming Saturday it will be his third MMA fight in just 21 days. Eat your heart out, Chris Leben.
Cormier won the XMMA heavyweight title by defeating Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne in Australia on July 31, in a bout where he was filling in for AKA teammate Mike Kyle, it seems. Then it was on to the thriving metropolis of Mescalero, New Mexico, to capture the KOTC belt with the above first-round strangling of Johnson. His world tour wraps up in the Lone Star state this weekend, with a bout against Jason Riley. Even if he should somehow lose at the Strikeforce show, Cormier will still have pocketed two title belts and more than doubled his total number of MMA fights (all wins, so far) in a little less than a month. Sure, he’s not (yet) doing it against UFC-level competition, but it’s still not too shabby.