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NY Times Clueless About MMA, Elite XC Fighter Arrested, and More Strange News


(One brief moment from the “dull affair” that was Lawler-Smith)

New York Times reporter Joshua Robinson either didn’t really watch Elite XC’s event on Saturday night, or he didn’t understand what he was seeing. Those are the only two explanations I can come up with anyway, considering that he had this to say about the Robbie Lawler-Scott Smith middleweight title bout:

The next bout, between Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith, was a dull affair. The officials stopped it in the third round after what they deemed an accidental foul — Smith took a thumb in his right eye — and the bout was declared a no contest. But that fight was quickly forgotten when Slice stole the show.

It’s interesting to note that this is the perspective of someone hired by the New York Times — one of the best newspapers in the nation — to write about sporting events for a living. If he could have misconstrued what was happening in the cage so badly, is it possible that mainstream America was confused as well?

We gave Elite XC a hard time for their event as a whole, but to refer to Lawler-Smith as a “dull affair” is a statement that is untenable at best. It makes you wonder if it was the sporadic boos during the fight or the fact that it was actually pretty technical and not an all-out slugfest that prompted this reporter to start looking at his watch. Either way, he probably should have kept his eyes on the action. That, or the Times should have assigned someone who knew something about the sport they were covering.

In other news from the MMA world…

- Elite XC welterweight and former Team Takedown member Eric Bradley has been arrested on charges of burglary, along with a lot of other charges that often accompany burglary, such as receiving stolen property, criminal trespass, and “prowling”. Five Ounces of Pain got the scoop on the story this afternoon, and while Bradley, who last fight on Elite XC’s “Street Certified” event (ironic, no?), isn’t exactly a big name for the organization, this is still the worst possible time for this kind of news.

Sam Caplan reports that Ted Ehrhardt, the founder of Team Takedown, which takes promising collegiate wrestlers and grooms them as MMA fighters, disclosed that Bradley had been released from the team for “personal issues” about a month ago.

- All fifteen fighters drug tested for UFC 84 passed with flying colors. No performance-enhancing or recreational drugs were found in tests of Sean Sherk, B.J. Penn, Keith Jardine, Wanderlei Silva, Tito Ortiz, Lyoto Machida, Rousimar Palhares, Ivan Salaverry, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Rich Clementi, Yoshiyuki Yoshida, Shane Carwin, Thiago Silva, Dong Hyun Kim. Is it a statement about the world we live in that this is considered newsworthy? Probably. Best not to dwell on it though.

- Matt Hughes has confirmed that he will take on Matt Serra after his bout with Thiago Alves at UFC 85 this weekend, regardless of the outcome of the fight. Hughes also says that if he beats both Alves and Serra he expects another shot at title-holder Georges St. Pierre. One can only assume that Dana White told him that the same way you tell a child that if they’re really good you’ll take them for ice cream.

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Nick- June 10, 2008 at 1:27 pm
Who voted that Thiago Alves had the best performance!! He beat an old withered Matt Hughes that was dominated by GSP a few months ago. While Mike Swick destroyed a Killer Marcus Davis who has been running through dudes! And Werdum who beat a tremendous fighter in Brando Vera. Whos dumber, NY Times writers or "Main Stream Fans"
Kel- June 2, 2008 at 6:06 pm
Many thanks to Alex!
Here is the version I sent to all 4 addresses:

To Whom It May Concern:

To start, I have been following the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) for the past 10 years and I am by no means an expert. I do, however, know enough about the sport to recognize a fraud.

I recently read Joshua Robinson’s summary of the EliteXC MMA event on CBS, titled “Pulling No Punches, Brawler Wins His Prime-Time Debut” (published June 1st), and it immediately occurred to me that Mr Robinson had absolutely no idea what he was looking at.

I don’t mean this as an ad hominem attack, because my letter is not about a difference of opinions. I would bet a significant amount of money that Mr Robinson has not seen more than 3 MMA events in his lifetime and I would bet another that he was either distracted or absent during the fights which he describes. It’s painfully obvious to any fan of MMA (or any other combat sport, such as wrestling or boxing) that his summary was written in less than 10 minutes without the author actually watching those fights, or even doing the appropriate amount of research.

Please consider advising Mr Robinson to research the sport of MMA and watch the fights before he writes another MMA related article. Perhaps a journalist familiar with boxing would be able to watch the entire event. Otherwise, maybe refrain from writing a piece just to capitalize on a "hot" topic.

I would also like to point out that this summary is already making rounds on MMA websites (e.g. CagePotato) and most readers are finding it quite amusing and disappointing at the same time.
Summoner10- June 2, 2008 at 5:21 pm
What else do you expect from the New York Times? That paper is complete garbage and just lives off of its history.
AJB- June 2, 2008 at 4:49 pm
I know it's off topic... but in that picture, is it just me, or does it look like the ref has his hand shoved down the front of Lawler's shorts?
Anonymous- June 2, 2008 at 3:02 pm
YEA ALEX!!
C-Bus Allstar- June 2, 2008 at 11:39 am
I think "Alex" should get a fucking commendation for that letter. Everyone of us should copy paste that shit into an e-mail and shoot it off to ALL 4 of those E-mails. We need to get the word out that these fucking idiots don't know what they hell they're talking about.

He obviously enjoyed the Kimbo fight more, e.g. "But that fight was quickly forgotten when Slice stole the show.”

The guy's a fuckin' idiot.
Rich S.- June 2, 2008 at 9:10 am
I'd MUUUUUUCH rather this sport stay un-mainstream because the "new" fans that are being targeted.. are.. uhhhhh.. i don't know how to describe it... but.. you can see the outcome of the CBS showing...

ARRGGGGHHHH...
i wish we could just stick to Showtime EXC's [like the one w/ Yves/KJ coming up that is actually going to be good.. even though i enjoyed lawler/smith, villa/baroni, and carano/young] WEC's, Fight Nights, and PPV's.. because i was happy before all this.. i really think this might have brought shame to the MMA world!

i mean, we have reporters that don't know the half about MMA, let alone either of the fighters in the ring, and he calls the FOTN a freakin' "dull affair".. here's a question.. did you enjoy Kimbo/Thompson more?? if so.. kill yourself..
Rich S.- June 2, 2008 at 9:05 am
is it just me.. or does it seem like every fight Scott Smith has ends up being a memorable battle?? [w/ the exception of Smith/Terrel and Smith/herman]


"The next bout, between Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith, was a dull affair. The officials stopped it in the third round after what they deemed an accidental foul — Smith took a thumb in his right eye — and the bout was declared a no contest. But that fight was quickly forgotten when Slice stole the show."

bottom line ____ that guy's a DICK.. there's not other way to put it.. what a f**king DICK!
Of course this sucked, everything in NY sucks- June 2, 2008 at 6:36 am
Fuck NY and all it represents that is wrong in life. Any state that claims Phil Baroni and the Serras is the scum of the planet. NJ is still worse though.
Kim Couture is a cunt- June 2, 2008 at 4:45 am
@ MKXii

Thankyou. It makes me so mad I can't really explain it. It's almost like someone pounding your EX girlfriend your still in love with, there is nothing you can do but beat on them to make you feel better and you know it's wrong.
lolwut- June 2, 2008 at 3:31 am
I Fucking hate arrogant worthless piece of shit sport writers who dont know shit about a sport but still think they can write about it. Fuck why do so mnay people want this to go mainstream if this is the shit that happens. Arrogant cocksuckers.
Thank God for the UFC- June 2, 2008 at 3:14 am
Everyone can talk all the shit about Dana White and the UFC they want but when it comes down to it they are the top organization around. Shaw on the other hand is obviously in bed with Vince Mcmahon. I for one hope that the Elite XC debacule didn't damage the sport beyond repair. I also find it hard to believe that the UfC isn't paying its atheletes more than any other venue out there. If they are giving out light purses it can only be because they are growing their stock. This is evident in the top name sponsors that are grabbing a piece of the pie ie Budweiser, Harley Davidson etc... If I was an athelete in the UFC I would weather the storm for bigger payouts in the future. I know this doesn't really have anything to do with the topic at hand I'm just saying...
05busarider- June 2, 2008 at 3:07 am
@ALEX

Great. I will probably use most of that! when I do write
Fluyid- June 2, 2008 at 2:38 am
One man's trash is another man's treasure. The guy is entitled to his opinion.
PotatoHead- June 2, 2008 at 2:25 am
@ALEX

Well done!
Alex- June 2, 2008 at 1:24 am
Why don't we let them know how we feel about their MMA coverage?

PUBLIC EDITOR: public@nytimes.com
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: letters@nytimes.com
NEWS DEPARTMENT (FOR CORRECTIONS): nytnews@nytimes.com
WEB EDITOR: webeditor@nytimes.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I recently read Joshua Robinson's summary of the EliteXC MMA event on CBS, titled "Pulling No Punches, Brawler Wins His Prime-Time Debut" (published June 1st), and it immediately occurred to me that Mr Robinson had absolutely no idea what he was looking at.

I don't mean this as an ad hominem attack, because my letter is not about a difference of opinions. I would bet a significant amount of money that Mr Robinson has not seen more than 3 MMA events in his lifetime and I would bet another that he was either distracted or absent during the fights which he describes. It's painfully obvious to any fan of MMA (or any other combat sport, such as wrestling or boxing) that his summary was written in less than 10 minutes without the author actually watching those fights.

Please consider advising Mr Robinson to research the sport of MMA and watch the fights before he writes another MMA related article. Perhaps a journalist familiar with boxing would be able to watch the entire event.

I would also like to point out that this summary is already making rounds on MMA websites (e.g. CagePotato) and most readers are finding it quite amusing.

Alex, a concerned NY Times reader
Anonymous- June 2, 2008 at 1:22 am
ya the lawler- smith fight was the best fight of the night, cmon, who calls a fight for a finger in the eye when the fighter says they are ok, and has no visable damage to the eye. the gina carano fight was a close second, did you see her hit the gogo,that would of been a sweet finish. kimbo slice is bullshit
MKXii- June 1, 2008 at 11:28 pm
It gets frustrating when people don't understand your favorite sport. Talking to my friend yesterday, (who's only ever seen the EliteXC fight) was hypin Kimbo up so bad after the fight. Made me want to shoot myself.
whaaa?- June 1, 2008 at 11:11 pm
the snitch from the NY times watched the first 10 seconds got bored went for a beer and spent the rest of the fight trying to pick up the serving girl and failing miserably
The Survivalist- June 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm
The Lawler/Smith fight was by far the best fight of the night!!!

It is a shame that it got stopped for the accidental fingers in the eye. But that's the sport. Lawler was great about it and recognized his "wrong" right away and let the ref know it.

I could be off but all the fights seemed to stopped pre-maturely to me.. as if.. CBS PRIME TIME was scared to show any damage... except the Kimbo fight, that should have been stopped when Kimbo was sleeping on the matt not defending himself.

Speaking of Kimbo...

why was KIMBO headlining and not the BELT match between Lawler/Smith. This shit is all backasswards!
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