What gives, aye?
With the recent string of UFC layoffs, it would only make sense that the trend would eventually trickle down to other networks. Now it seems even our poutine eating brethren are starting to feel the strain.
In a recent facebook post, former Fight Network color commentator Robin Black put out a statement saying he had been released from the Canadian media outlet earlier this week. Robin says this came as a complete shock as he was helping others grieve over the company’s major layoffs – little did he know, he was also on the chopping block.
“I got a few calls yesterday about big cuts at Fight Network, about friends being let go. I was sad and scared for them. Then the call came in to me. Heavy scaling back of originally-produced content. Down- sizing. After 8 years, my job is being eliminated.
I’m now a free agent. I don’t have a job today. I’m a bit frightened to be honest. Surprised and frightened. Analyzing The Martial Arts and breaking down fights is not a job for me. It’s a way of life. A lifestyle. It’s who I am. I will continue to do it. I will continue to do my breakdowns, they are a great joy of my life. Where? For whom? I don’t know. I’m hoping those answers reveal themselves soon. There is no one more passionate than me, no one more driven, no one who will work harder on their craft.
My name is Robin Black and i analyze fights and do Colour Commentary on The Art of Combat. For whom?
I’ve got my phone in my hand. I’ll let you know when it rings.
To be continued…”
Woah, heavy stuff. But to be honest Robin Black is well known and has worked with damn near every professional in the sport, so we’re sure he’ll find a home soon. If not, just go rogue, in the age of the internet do you really need a boss to make money? In the words of Joe Rogan “Dude…you should start a podcast…”
Surprising as it may seem, not everybody took this news hard. Some people were even happy to see the former Robin Black and the Intergalactic rock band member go. Many MMA fans found his breakdowns a bit too ephemeral, stating he used a lot of lofty words to say a whole lot of nothing. I mean how dare the man refer to mix martial art as…art?
I for one am a fan of anyone who is passionate about the sport. In a Meryl Streep world – outsiders see MMA as just violence – it’s refreshing to see someone who appreciates it as an artform. A never ending personal journey that’s inner just as much as outer. Sure, he can be a bit long winded, but if he gets his rocks off by giving us a great breakdown, then so be it. Let the man have his fun.
Even from an economic standpoint he was good money. Many of his picks lined my pockets for many Sunday brunches. Mimosas anyone? All kidding aside, the man could predict a fight, and will be missed.
Whether you found him cringe worthy or dy-no-mite, he was part of the close knit MMA family. I still consider this a niche sport so anyone with the knowledge and the passion to give the people what they need is okay in my book.
What really scares me is not so much the firing itself as to what it may imply. Is MMA doing that badly as a sport that major players such as the UFC and Fight Network have to conduct major overhauls? Have the best days of UFC come and gone? Although I don’t believe this to be true, it is food for thought. Could big money fights and short sighted gains be coming back to bite us in the tuckus?
Hit us up on in the comments section below and tell us what you think of the recent firings.
Lionel Harris-Spence is a writer, filmmaker, and functioning alcoholic. You can catch him screaming obscenities at flat screens on fight night.