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Sports Illustrated Attempts to Defend the Roundtable that Asked if UFC 162 Was Fixed, Fails Miserably


(SPOILER: No apology is made at any point in the video, which is actually worse than you’re assuming it is.)

In yesterday’s link dump, we shared a video of Dana White’s appearance on ESPN2′s “Highly Questionable” on Wednesday, where he had some harsh things to say about Sports Illustrated. To refresh your memory: Following UFC 162, SI.com published a roundtable discussion that implied that the main event may have been fixed. Watching legitimate, informed journalists debate whether or not a fight was fixed simply because the underdog won would have been cringe-worthy enough, but they took things to a whole new extreme by making it painfully obvious that two out of the three participants in the discussion didn’t even watch the fight. Needless to say, Dana White was not amused, and it showed during his segment on “Highly Questionable.”

There was absolutely no way that Sports Illustrated was going to let one of their biggest rivals trash them like that, so they immediately set out to create the perfect rebuttal. What they came up with was a phone conversation between Maggie Gray and Dana White, and words cannot describe how awkward it was to listen to.

You really have to feel bad for Maggie here. She was asked to defend what was arguably the worst piece of mainstream sports journalism this side of “The Patriots should have known Aaron Hernandez would turn out to be a murderer,” despite the fact that she wasn’t even involved in the discussion. It’s not exactly an enviable position to be in, especially when you’re against one of the most outspoken men in sports.

A quick apology and follow-up interview about the rematch between Weidman and Silva would have been a safe play, but don’t worry, that doesn’t even come close to happening. Instead, Maggie uses the most condescending tone possible while discussing the roundtable that was totally just about combat sports in general (it wasn’t), yet somehow managed to offend Dana White (maybe all that fight fixing stuff). Any remaining doubts that the upcoming interview would be a total clusterfuck are erased when Maggie concludes her opening statement with the MMA-ish non-sequitur “After sparring a few rounds – no one tapped out! -we moved on discussing the rematch between Weidman and Silva.”

Yeah, we’ll be offering play-by play for this one after the jump…

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Sports Illustrated Asks If UFC 162 Was Fixed, Didn’t Actually Watch UFC 162


(SI debuts its new show, “Internet Commenters: Live!”)

By George Shunick

It was bad enough when conspiracies theories begin to pop up about Chris Weidman’s triumph over Anderson Silva this past weekend at UFC 162. Somehow, some people can’t seem to comprehend that Silva isn’t the reincarnation of some Byzantine deity of violence and as such is susceptible to being knocked out, and they’ll engage in whatever mental gymnastics it takes to absolve their hero of the errors that led to his demise. Still, this is the Internet — a place which was the inspiration for Godwin’s law, which holds that “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches.” Point being, stupidity is an unfortunate but invariable norm of the Internet.

However, when Sports Illustrated begins parroting these allegations, something, somewhere has gone terribly wrong.

It’s pointless to bother debunking these conspiracy theories. Sane, rational people will be able to conclude that fighters who throw fights don’t allow themselves to be fully knocked unconscious, that fighters who do stoop to such are desperate for cash as a result of not making an exorbitant amount of money quantified by their own name, and that if Silva did intend to throw the fight, he would have just been submitted by the kneebar/heel-hook attempt Weidman attempted in the first round. If that train of thought doesn’t make sense to you, nothing will.

But surprisingly, none of the participants in this discussion for SI felt the need to bring up any of these points. Contestant number one, senior writer Chris Mannix, defended the allegations by asserting that he’s heard rumors of fight-fixing happening in boxing, but “maybe not at the highest level” though. It’s probably worthwhile to point out that it does not appear Mannix has watched the fight in question, or for that matter is familiar with the UFC or MMA in general. Much like a high school student who is asked to offer an analysis of a book he was supposed to read but clearly hasn’t, Mannix grasped for whatever tangential information he can muster in an effort to sound informed and insightful.

He wasn’t successful. His counter-argument to his own non-existent argument was “why would the UFC want Anderson Silva to lose when the potential for a superfight is right around the corner?” That would be solid logic if he’s referring to a fight with Jon Jones or even Georges St. Pierre, but Mannix was actually referring to a bout with Roy Jones Jr. That bout – despite Dana White’s pre-fight bluster – was unlikely to happen in the first place, would not have happened before a real superfight, and probably would not have drawn as much as a real superfight between UFC champions. To his credit, he seems to conclude Silva did not throw the fight. To his lack of credit, he doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about.

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SI Writer & CBS Analyst Seth Davis Hates MMA, Loves Homophobia


(The douchebag in question. Photo via KJHK.org)

Sports Illustrated writer and CBS analyst Seth Davis may have gotten himself in a little hot water yesterday in a particularly 21st century way — being an idiot on twitter. Evidently Davis is not a fan of mixed martial arts and he used some good old-fashioned homophobia to make his point.

One tweet from Davis’ @SethDavisHoops account Sunday read (props to Stephen Douglas of TheBigLead);

Looking on news sites showing picture of two muscular bloody men in homoerotic fighting pose….Sorry, I’ll never get this UFC thing.

We can’t imagine what kind of trauma Davis may have sustained that makes the CBS personality have erotic thoughts while watching two men covered in blood hitting each other, but we are truly sorry for any pain that the writer has to live with.

Another similarly idiotic tweet of Davis’ read:

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