LAS VEGAS – UFC President Dana White has a term for people who think Saturday’s UFC 162 headliner was fixed. It’s not a very nice one, either.
However, when stakes are high and your brain can’t fully comprehend what just happened, White said it should be a reminder about the uncertain nature of combat sports – and not fodder for conspiracy theories.
Soon after Anderson Silva tempted fate one too many times and suffered a crushing second-round TKO loss to new UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, the cries of a fight fix inundated social media.
“It happened so fast – and some of you said it, and I was thinking the same thing – ‘What just happened? Was he goofing around? Is he still goofing around when he’s down, and he’s getting ready to pull guard?’ Then they show that replay, and you just see him get clipped, and his eyes just roll back in his head,” White said after Saturday’s pay-per-view event at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“Yeah, the fix is in, you (expletive) idiots.”
White’s understandably bombastic response is nothing new. Just a few months ago, Vitor Belfort blasted Luke Rockhold with a spinning heel kick to the noggin. However, cries that Rockhold “nodded” in Belfort’s direction – apparently as some type of signal – became so prevalent that Rockhold actually had to issue a statement that no fix was in.
And it’s not exactly a tiny minority making such a fuss. Peruse any forum or message board or social media site, and you’ll see the craziness. Mixed among the fans’ cries of conspiracy are an equal number of folks calling them crazy. While disregarding the logistics required to pull off such a fix – and ignoring the irreparable harm it’d do a billion-dollar company – many are convinced such things can be choreographed.
White said those fans need to see the big picture.
“That’s one of the things that makes combat sports and this sport so exciting,” White said. “When two guys go in there, anything can happen. And to go out like that – goofing around and doing all the (crap) he did and then to get clipped?
“Did you look around that arena (Saturday) when he (expletive) lost? The whole (expletive) place was like going, ‘Holy (expletive)!’ People were clapping and cheering. I’ve got a buddy from Boston who’s down in Huntington Beach right now, and he said the streets were loaded with people out in the streets just yelling and screaming and going crazy. Imagine what it was like in Brazil, what it was like in Brazil when the dude lost. This is just one of those moments where people are just (expletive) going crazy. Anderson Silva lost (Saturday). That’s just one of those crazy moments.”
In this particular case, perhaps it’s just a way for some fans to comprehend what they saw.
Entering UFC 162, Silva, MMA’s pound-for-pound kingpin, had won 17 consecutive fights, 16 UFC bouts in a row and had posted 10 consecutive title defenses. He’s clowned and taunted other opponents, only to pull off one highlight-reel victory after another.
This time, though, Weidman assured that didn’t happen. He was prepared for the champ’s mind games and capitalized when the opportunity presented itself. So give Weidman the credit he deserves, White said. And do the same with Silva.
“He handled it like a champ, man,” White said following the UFC 162 post-fight news conference. “He got up; he gave his interview and said what he said. (Expletive) got dressed, showered, came out here, answered all the questions, stayed and had good answers to the questions. He didn’t act smug. He handled it like a man.”
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