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Sorting Through Some TUF Contradictions


(‘Oh bicep, you’re the only one I can truly depend on.’)

Watching Dana White drop the hammer on Jesse Taylor during last night’s super-shocking episode of “The Ultimate Fighter”, I have to say I was filled with mixed emotions.

On one hand, everything White said to him seemed justified. He can’t have someone representing the UFC who is incapable of controlling himself after downing a few drinks. Not only does it create a bad image, but as White pointed out, this is what Jesse is like after merely fighting his way into the finals. If he’s out of control without really even winning anything yet, what’s he going to be like in six months?

Aside from Dana’s assertion that Las Vegas is “his town”, his admonition of Jesse and the punishment he handed down seemed completely appropriate.

But then I had a flashback to earlier episodes. I recalled images of Jesse drinking and breaking things, peeing his pants, and generally acting up. That’s when I had to wonder, what’s the fundamental difference between destroying a house that doesn’t belong to you and kicking out a limousine window? Hadn’t they been content to show Jesse’s antics — which you could also argue reflect poorly on the UFC and its fighters — for weeks?

This is what’s difficult for me to grasp. What, exactly, is so unforgivable about Jesse’s Las Vegas rampage that differentiates it from what he did in the house? Is it because he did it in public? Was it the fact that he “terrorized the female guests”? My point is there seems to be a very hazy line being drawn here. No one knows exactly where it is until they cross it.

I’m not saying that Jesse should be given a free pass just because the UFC allowed him to do plenty of other dumb things before this. But this is a good opportunity for the UFC to reflect on what they expect out of their fighters all the time.

There’s something hypocritical about encouraging this type of behavior when you think it makes for good TV, and then suddenly taking the high ground when it happens after the show. After we all watched Jesse Taylor piss his pants for the second time, how surprised can we be that he went crazy out on the town in Las Vegas? Where I come from, urinating on yourself is a pretty clear warning sign that maybe you have trouble controlling yourself when you drink. After that, property damage and the terrorization of female guests is right around the corner.

I understand why they want the guys to drink and get crazy in the house. It alleviates some of the monotony of the show, and it’s entertaining in a cathartic/idiotic way. I also understand why they don’t want their fighters acting like that once they’re off the show. But those are two incongruent goals, and the UFC knows it. Sooner or later, they’re going to have choose between them.

(-Ben Fowlkes)

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Who Cares- June 20, 2008 at 1:26 am
The way i look at this. Is when they enter the house for the first time i am sure they tell these guys hey its a show we want people to watch. Have fun, go crazy, and make good drama. Just don't fight each other so you hurt yourselves and can't fight at the end of the episodes.

Now common sense would tell a normal person that once your are out of that house and off the show you have to go back to being a normal person living under normal rules again. JT being a drunk couldn't do that. I understand it might have been hard riding on the high knowing your in the finale and on top of that being in Las Vegas at the time. The problem is he destroyed property (limo window) that wasn't the UFC's. He caused a scene in the UFC owners casino. Also possibly assaulted some females during all of it.

Now I get Ben's point of there being little difference between private and public when they broadcast it on TV. Which is true, there is very little difference at all. But, what JT did in the house, Destroying the house (which the producers might have even encouraged cause i am sure if they told them breaking shit would have gotten them kicked off most would have not done it), Pissing himself (nasty but not illegal), and shaving half $ in his head and calling himself JT money (sorry i just thought that was dumb as hell). Those things aren't even close to what he did after the show ended.
Jack Booted Thug- June 19, 2008 at 1:55 pm
I agree that what Jesse did was a "termination" offense, but I too find it very hippocritical on Dana White's part after what was done on the show. Destroying a house and peeing all over yourself on national tv seems to be OK as long as the UFC can benefit from it (through the ratings).
KTFO- June 19, 2008 at 7:02 am
Holy crap you fuckers are long winded, I feel like I just read a friggin novel. Let's sum it up JT style: "Alcohol make Mongo bad. No bananas for Mogo. Mongo sad".
Michael M.- June 19, 2008 at 4:18 am
See, Ben, that's where you're not getting it: the UFC doesn't want to curb "that sort of thing" for the purposes of TUF -- as we've learned, the UFC does everything it can to encourage bad-boy behavior on the set short of spiking the fighters' water bottles with vodka. These guys, effectively, are actors -- they may be playing pretty close approximations of themselves, but they are still performing for the entire six weeks they live in that hot-house atmosphere with cameras trained on them 24/7. There performances and personas are as shaped by the directors and editors of the series as any performances and characters in any scripted drama or sitcom. And just like an actor who plays a cop or a criminal on TV knows that there's a difference between fighting for the camera and fighting some joe out in the real world, these guys are supposed to know the difference between cutting loose on the set, where it'll all be packaged and shaped for the entertainment value, and going apeshit in public. JT knew the difference, but he couldn't control himself in public.

I don't think Dana White or anyone else at the UFC is so concerned about avoiding negative images of UFC fighters. Every season there are guys who are made to look like assholes or screw-ups. That's just part of the drama, and part of the mythmaking about "separating the men from the boys" and who has "what it takes to make it as an MMA fighter." It comes down to control -- the set and all that goes on there in under the thumb of the UFC, random hotels in Las Vegas are not. No one, not even JT, is *really* "out-of-control" in the house, they are all under the watchful eyes of UFC minions, who can step in anytime they want. The UFC can't do that when someone who's bragging to anyone who'll listen about being a UFC fighter is harassing random citizens.
Teachbug- June 18, 2008 at 11:17 pm
Ben, its called a "controlled environment" for a reason.
why is that the UFC shouldnt promote the bad behavior for TV ratings, and NOT expect the guys to act better in public? JT is the only one in the house who didn't get it, everyone else acting a fool as well, but when they got in public they knew to tone that shit down.
Thats like blaming the bar cause people drive drunk.
Everyone knows where the bar is, everyone goes there and buys booze, but the NORMAL person has a friend drive em home, or stops a few hours before leaving.
It doesnt matter what anyone promotes, we were all taught better by our mothers, its called being a responsible adult.
He wasnt he paid the price, its all JT's fault.Pimps PROMOTE hookers, but only the stupid and desperate become prostitutes.
Big Balls McGraw- June 18, 2008 at 10:31 pm
I think DW's main reason for kickin JT out was the fact that he was yellin that he's a UFC fighter. He doesn't need his company to get any black eyes from one guy's drunken rampage. When DW had the meeting with Rampage and Forrest, he put a lot of emphasis on what JT said than the other things he was doin. I think he would've been a bit more compassionate had JT not said that.
bfowlkes- June 18, 2008 at 9:11 pm
Here's the thing about the public vs private argument. Yes, the TUF house is a private environment, but unlike most private environments everything in it is filmed and broadcast to millions of homes.

Tell me this: why would Dana White not want these guys acting up in public? Because it creates a negative image about the UFC and its fighters. They do something stupid, it reflects poorly on everyone. And yet, they're totally willing to broadcast them doing stupid things. The fact that those stupid things happened in private becomes less important once you put it on TV.

As I wrote before, I believe Dana was totally justified in kicking Jesse out of the UFC. But that doesn't mean the UFC should act completely shocked when someone who they've filmed (and profited from filming) when he's drunk and out of control then leaves the house and immediately gets drunk and out of control. If the UFC wants to curb that sort of thing, and they should, they ought to stop promoting it when the guys are in the house.
Patrick- June 18, 2008 at 8:55 pm
You're an idiot if you can't see the difference.
The TUF house isn't public.
They aren't destroying other peoples property.

People have been kicked off the show for a LOT less than this.
Jeremy Jackson got the boot for sneaking out to hang out with a girl, yet Jesse Taylor should be allowed to destroy SOMEONE ELSE'S PRIVATE PROPERTY, harass women, and then proudly beat his chest and try to claim immunity because "I'M A UFC FIGHTER!"

Wake the fuck up, guys. That shit is unacceptable.
Dana was completely justified and made the right choice.

I know you guys will jump at any excuse to bash Dana White, but this is just ridiculous.
Kevin Marshall- June 18, 2008 at 7:27 pm
CW wrote:
"How are TUF fighters not employees of the UFC?? They appear on the show, and they get money from the UFC for doing so. Seems bizarre to suggest they aren’t."

Well, they aren't, is the thing. They're getting paid by the UFC to appear on this reality show and can win more money by winning fights, but they're not signed to long-term contracts with the organization to fight on a professional basis. It can be a grey line, but there's a difference. Mostly in terms of whether or not the UFC considers you a UFC fighter or competing to BECOME a UFC fighter (which is the whole point of the show).

Regardless, it actually goes back to one of my earlier points, which is that the general perception is that they're UFC guys anyway simply due to their participation on the show.
cw- June 18, 2008 at 7:06 pm
How are TUF fighters not employees of the UFC?? They appear on the show, and they get money from the UFC for doing so. Seems bizarre to suggest they aren't.
Jemaleddin- June 18, 2008 at 6:57 pm
A couple points: one of the key legal principles of fighting in America has always been, "Keep it out of the streets and don't scare the horses." If we grand that Edith might have been one of the women in the bar, we can all see how this applies.

That said, there's a huge difference between getting blitzed and stupid and breaking stuff at home - even if it's not your home - and out in public. That's pretty well established: did you ever hear of someone arrested for private intoxication? No, it's not cool that the UFC doesn't expect more from these guys in the house, but its' in no way illogical to expect these guys to behave under the same constraints as everyone else in the world.
PG- June 18, 2008 at 6:51 pm
Bottom line is this he went into the majority owners (the fertitta's) hotel "Terrorized" some female guests whatever that means. Pissed off security and opened his mouth about a show when he shouldn't have. I say don't bite the hand that feeds you and thats exactly what he did. On top of all this for this guy who has a kid at home and misses him so much why would you spend another night in vegas when you have not seen your son for months on end. I am not questioning his love for his son but i think Dana said it best when he said that he was not mature enough to handle this type of situation now i am not a father but i would believe if put in the same situation i would have said screw vegas i want to see my son.
2 cents- June 18, 2008 at 6:45 pm
What I think is funny is that Dana says that he is concerned with the "public's" perception of UFC fighters.

Newsflash Dana: The "public" is the millions of people watching this reality show and not the 14 drunk patrons of a casino at 3 am. Don't air the dirty laundry if you are concerned about it.

If Dana was concerned about how his fighters came off to the public he wouldn't keep the house stocked with booze.

It's all for the sake of entertainment and revenue.

Go Amir.
teachbug- June 18, 2008 at 6:44 pm
....oh and as an added note "why dont other fighters like diaz brothers or so and so get fired"? cause they ARE employees of an organization, and can have thier licenses not renewed, or fined. thats why even a bad ass like Rampage jackson sits there and gringes and dont say shit, cause they know who signs the checks. They all know, you can go in a ring and act like a monster if you want but in tne real world there are consequences for your dumbass actions. Even Forrest said he had done some stupid shit, but it seems he didnt get caught or or fined for it, the facts are he IS a UFC fighter, unlike JT.
forrest44- June 18, 2008 at 6:39 pm
The sad thing is that JT has a son and that kid will see all this one day and realize what a idiot his dad was (or still is)

I remember JT before one of his fights saying something to the effect that, "he needs the money for his son and won't let anyone take money away from his son" which is admirable i guess but then he goes and gets piss drunk and effectively....takes money away from his son himself.

The dude can fight but has horrible judgment, no sense of priorities, and a bladder control problem
teachbug- June 18, 2008 at 6:39 pm
nothing like a bunch of conspiracy theory guys to post about how its all set up, and why didnt jesse take em to court and why did this happen, and Dana White made this happen, blah blah blah, good GOD what a crock-o-crap.
Jessee taylor, nor NONE of them are employed by UFC....yet!
JT couldnt do shit but stick his tail between his legs and cry, and go home, just like he did, cause he may piss his pants but even he knows all the paperwork he signed puts UFC in complete control, and thier ass is covered and lawyered up 100%, and you think YOU would do anything different? ha, go try it dumbasses.not only taylor NOT obey a direct order from a potential boss, he cant even behave in public like a normal human being. and the only ones who think what he did was ok, or not really all that bad are kids with no life, and who havent seen the world enough to take off those rose colored glasses.
AHS- June 18, 2008 at 6:19 pm
I think the deal with JT was both for show and for the integrity of the UFC. Kicking somone off for dunken hijinx is good TV but it also makes sense from the UFC's standpoint. The way DW said JT was "terrorizing" female guests and not simply "harassing" female guests might have some weight to it.

JT seemed to spend the entire show on the verge of some kind of total collapse. I know they will edit the footage to show what they want but the fact remains that they had that footage. We got the displeasure of seeing a grown man piss his pants twice. Was that it? Or did a few more wettings end up on the cutting room floor?

It comes as no surprise that JT goes ape-shit once he leaves the house. I think Dana and the UFC made a good call. It's too bad. The kid has plenty of potential as long as he stays off the bottle. And, truth be told, the UFC has plenty of "bad boys" in their ranks but the real super stars don't behave like this.

Oh, and go Amir!
joey rh- June 18, 2008 at 6:16 pm
You know, I have to agree with the editor (Ben). Jessie should not have gotten kicked off the finals. This is a perfect example of how Dana White has complete dictatorship of who fights and when in the UFC. I believe he manipulated this event so that he can have CB Dalloway fight in the final and have him win. Keep in mind who made the decision on who was going to fight who in the semifinals. Griffin wanted Jesse vs CB and Tim vs Amir. Dana made the decision to switch who fought who in order to have a strong ending for the show. I believe Dana wanted Jesse and Definitely CB to fight in the final. He just never counted on Amir actually beating CB. What Jesse did was not different than what Chuck Liddell does after a fight. The guy goes off and takes a bunch of girls into a hotel room reeks havoc...Nothing ever happened to him. In the end, I believe Dana wants to see CB succeed and win the TUF finale....why....look at CB....he is MARKETABLE. I believe Jesse should have not been kicked out....he did nothing out of the ordinary that other UFC fighters have not done.

peace out
joey rh
Aikura- June 18, 2008 at 5:53 pm
Good-bye Mungo! And good riddance! I'll wager that your three-year-old son doesn't wet himself as often as you do. Bottom line: Dana's a smart man. If he wants an excuse to throw someone out he will. Just like he culled that boring wrestler Paul Bradley sighting his gladitorial rash/herpes as the reason. Similarly, Dana has always favoured CB, thus his miraculous second chance. The kid has obvious potential, but lacks any semblance of strategy. Amir - you won, buddy, and everyone knows it. Having said that, Kudos to Dana for bringing back Matt Brown, Cale Yarborough and Tim Creuder for the finale. And, for paying out those $10,000 bonuses to CB and Tim for their last fight. BTW - it wasn't all 16 guys wrecking the house; Sadollah, Brown and Dolce can confirm that much!
Kevin Marshall- June 18, 2008 at 5:52 pm
CW wrote:
"If all your dreams were crushed and Dana said ‘get out, I’m not giving you your shot or a cent more money’ would you be like ‘yes sir!’. Fuck that - you’d call the newspapers and drag them through the shit. So why didn’t Jesse?"

Because the dude's not the sharpest knife in the drawer? You could also make the case that he kept quiet because if he DID try to go to the papers and drag people through the mud, his career would be done (it's not like he's gonna make big money with another promotion).
cw- June 18, 2008 at 5:47 pm
One more thing - notice that the last fight aired was Amir/CB and Amir got that monster cut? Then within a couple of days Jesse Taylor is out and CB and Tim are back in? When the fight took place between Tim and CB you get the impression it was within a few days of the wrap - then you see Amir ringside and his face is totally healed. I had surgery on my neck last year - same kind of cut that they stitched and it took weeks and weeks to heal completely. I'll bet that fight took place a month after the show wrapped. I wonder why? Maybe the whole Jesse thing took a while to play out, maybe CB and Tim wanted time to recuperate and train... but it's strange they don't mention it on the show and it's so obvious.
cw- June 18, 2008 at 5:43 pm
We only know that Dana White told these guys to behave in Vegas when the show wrapped because Dana White says so after the incident took place. There's no video of it. Also I'd be willing to bet that they compensated Jesse on the quiet or made some sort of arrangement. He may never fight in the UFC - but he had to get something out of this. Whether or not he could win a lawsuit with the UFC for breach of contract when they cancelled his fight for the finale - he still could have tried to sue and drag the UFC through the mud. So far it appears he hasn't - he has walked away quietly. Would you? If all your dreams were crushed and Dana said 'get out, I'm not giving you your shot or a cent more money' would you be like 'yes sir!'. Fuck that - you'd call the newspapers and drag them through the shit. So why didn't Jesse? Either they paid for his silence or he really did something truly horrible - like rape a woman and the UFC and him are remaining silent. The Fertittas have a lot of money - you don't think they could pay witnesses to shut up about a crime that occurred in their casino? Vegas is famous for this stuff.
Steve Barry- June 18, 2008 at 5:37 pm
Ben,

I wholeheartedly agree with you. This was my first reaction ever since the first promo aired. They're going to kick someone off the show for doing essentially the same things they encourage inside the house. If they cared about it adversely affecting the perception of their company and the sport, they wouldn't promote that kind of behavior in the first place and air it as hook to get ratings. By doing that and then taking the "moral high ground," they are essentially having their cake and eating it too.
Blackleg- June 18, 2008 at 5:22 pm
So many people without a fucking clue.

All it takes is one story about a Joe Citizen getting pummeled by some 7th stringer like JT to hit the network news and the UFC is going to be under some serious scrutiny. See also; that IFL douche that was recently arrested for sexual assault. If the IFL was even remotely relevant more people might have picked up on the story. Even if it's nothing and it comes to light that they made it go away they're screwed.

DW said in the piece: "I told everyone what was expected of you." It's not really that outlandish to tell the guys, this is a TV show have a good time in the house but when you walk out the front door, act like you have some fucking sense.

It's not conspiracy is decency.
tully- June 18, 2008 at 5:20 pm
i think king raises a very interesting point i had not thought of. as everyone says he is a grown man and needs to face the consequences of his actions. well maybe those consequences should be a lawsuit from the women if they press charges for whatever happened and he should have to pay for the limo he fucked up. like the king said leben did go to jail and has his little drunken escapades well documented on youtube. "chris leben pukes on my car" probably isnt something you want representing your company either. but on the other hand leben is a proven fighter and has been around a while. same thing with sherk.

and what orusbrand said made me think of something else. how many people would have even known about this if it wasnt on the show and dana white didnt make a little extra commercial for it? i mean they hyped it up and everything. i cant help but think that other fighters have done some stupid illegal things and the ufc has helped quite it down to save face. it seems that was not the case here because it made for better tv this way so it wasnt kept quite but instead shouted through a megaphone.

all things considered, it does seem more just like a business move than an ethical one, we are talking about dana white here.

bottom line is taylor better work his ass off and get back in the ring and make something happen or he will always be the meathead who pissed his pants on television and blew his chance in the ufc.

seriously though what motivated him to kick in that window for no reason? icing on the ice cream indeed mr.taylor. you crazy wierdo.
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