(Video props: YouTube/MMAVictor)
There’s nothing new about Bob Sapp losing a fight without dignity, but every week he seems to hone his craft as an MMA-Theatre master thespian. A typical Sapp fight consists of him lumbering in toward his opponent, waiting until he feels incidental contact, then feigning a tko until the ref halts the bout. Wash-Rinse-Repeat. But last night he may have sunk to a new low in his bout against Soa Palelei at Cage Fighting Championship 21.
Sapp starts off the bout by touching gloves –just like *real* fighters do, too cute!–then he ducks his head and
charges meanders forward toward “The Hulk”. This is his opponent’s cue to tag him with something—anything–that could count as a landed blow and explain his fall to the canvas. To his surprise, Sapp makes it all the way to the opposite side of the cage with Palelei nowhere to be found. Stupefied, he does the only thing he knows how: he teeters over.
As a real fighter with real intentions of fighting, Palelei tries to partake in the ‘takedown’ but his help is completely unnecessary. Sapp is all too happy to let gravity ease his menacing frame down to the canvas. And so the Australian does his thing, pounding away at a turtled-up Sapp, while Sapp does his thing, turtling-up while getting pounded. Although this isn’t the first bout where Sapp has succumbed to a phantom punch, at least his previous opponents were somewhere in the general vicinity when he fell.
The new rules of the Bob Sapp Challenge™ await you after the jump.
Even though he willingly signed on for this farce, you’ve almost got to feel sorry for Palelei. The former UFC and Pride competitor got caught up in the emotional rush of a quick victory before coming to his senses on top of the cage–you can literally see the embarrassment for his involvement in this charade sweep over him in mid-celebration. Only Bob Sapp can muster up ‘winners regret’ in his opponent.
Now that the bar for defeating Sapp has been set at 12-seconds, it’s time to usher in the new Bob Sapp Challenge™. No longer should fighters strive to defeat him faster than ever before with fewer punches than previously thought possible. No, the new Bob Sapp Challenge™ should be to see how long you can force him to fight you. Who can drag him into the deep waters of minutes three or four of a fight? Who can land enough punches to leave a mark before he channels his inner-Greg Louganis. Future opponents: when Sapp falls down of his own accord, don’t swarm. Calmly back away and either force him to stand and continue the fight or shield himself from punches that will never arrive. I won’t chastise you for taking an easy payday with plenty of media attention, but don’t wallow in shame beside him. Make him fight you or make a display of his cowardice–whatever you do, don’t give his tired act a shred of legitimacy by giving him an easy way out.