Three “Huh?” Moments in MMA Last Week: July 3 Edition

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UFC MMA Dana White disputes Demetrious Mighty Mouse Johnson's claims
Dana White. Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

A fighter won a battle against a state regulatory body, the UFC President is saying a bunch of stuff, and a rapper will be doing commentary as part of the UFC’s new weekly contender series. Huh?

Finding the proper response to much of the news finding its way into our social media feeds is becoming a tougher task every day. Nothing is surprising, and there’s always more to the story. Leaving us with one reply: “huh?”.

Last week, Cortney Casey’s fight with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) finally ended, UFC President Dana White continued his fight against Demetrious Johnson and the flyweight division, and Snoop Dogg was announced as a commentator on the UFC’s new Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series.

The reason “huh?”, in its various forms, is such a quality reply is simple. The word is as versatile as a response gets, and while it may require some explanation, “huh?” is sometimes the only way to react to the news of today. Defined by Merriam-Webster as an interjection that’s “used to express surprise, disbelief, or confusion, or as an inquiry inviting affirmative reply”, “huh” or “huh?” can mean a lot of different things.

Despite some of the follies of human evolution (see: Fox Sports Digital), the development and growth of “huh” is something we should embrace. To be the change we want to see in the world, here are a few MMA stories last week that made us go “huh?”.

3. Cortney Casey gets justice

More than a month after having her unanimous decision victory over Jessica Aguilar at UFC 211 overturned to a no-contest, strawweight Cortney Casey has her win back. After doing nothing wrong, and getting a suspension and potential fine, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation took it all back. Huh.

“After reexamination of the documents in our possession and careful examination of the Sample B results, your 90-day suspension is lifted effective June 29, 2017, the enforcement case dropped with no further action taken, and the bout “win” reinstated on your record.” – Letter to Casey, via Bloody Elbow

It’s always nice when state commissions and regulatory boards ultimately come to the right decision after a mistake. That’s not always the case, and thanks to the likes of Bloody Elbow’s Iain Kidd (and even the UFC), the TDLR was under constant pressure to do the right thing. Unfortunately, they still could’ve, and should’ve, done more.

In a country supposedly driven by an “innocent until proven guilty” mentality, the announcement of fighter’s potential violations is a direct attack on their integrity without the basis to do so. The result is immeasurable and irreparable harm, which no commission or regulatory body is ever held accountable for.

The least they could do is publicly apologize, and the TDLR made sure they avoided that. It may not change much, but if you’re going to ruin people’s reputations, you should have the ability and approach to apologize when you do.

2. Dana keeps saying stuff

UFC President Dana White was busy last week, giving his thoughts on a wide variety of topics as we head into International Fight Week later this month. We don’t hear from White as often, or in the same ways, as we used to. But the long-time promoter knows how to share his side of things, especially when he feels he (or the promotion) has something to say.

Last week, White managed to get everyone riled up about the potential of a title-fight between current professional boxer and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia at the end of the year. Then, he once again placed doubt on the return of the Diaz brothers to the Octagon, while even admitting that the promotion made some mistakes surrounding the situation with Cris Cyborg over the last year-plus.

That’s right. UFC President Dana White admitted a mistake, on the record! While a collective mistake, he played a role as much as anyone, and it’s nice to see someone take responsibility for the disaster that is the women’s featherweight division. But, while he was busy sharing these thoughts, White still found time to sarcastically support flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson’s wishes to fight Ray Borg later this summer.

“You want Ray Borg, we’ll give you Ray Borg,” White told MMAjunkie. “I’m sure the fans will be clamoring, and ticket sales will be through the roof and pay-per-views will be off the charts.”

Huh. That’s a helluva way for a guy who is literally paid to promote fights to get fans interested in a bout. Regardless, watching the boss throw his toys out of the pram when he doesn’t get exactly what he wants is never a good look for White, or the UFC. Especially when it’s blantatly disrespectful to one of the best fighters in the business and degrading your own product.

“So I’m not thrilled about it, but guess what? You want Ray Borg, we’ll give you Ray Borg. I don’t want to hear any (expletive) if it’s not the blockbuster event you expect it to be.” – White via MMAJunkie

Deal, Dana. But we don’t want to hear any (expletive) if it’s an awesome fight which draws well, either.

Over there, in the women’s featherweight division, the UFC is stripping Germaine de Randamie of her title for not being willing to face the top contenders in her weight class. While over here, that’s all that Demetrious Johnson is trying to do. Johnson-Borg may not be a “superfight”, but the argument that it’s a significant step-down from Johnson-Dillashaw is being overblown by White, to the promotion’s detriment.

1. Snoop Dogg is a UFC employee

A week after MMA fans were treated to the Bellator debuts of both Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo, the UFC announced the signing of Snoop Dogg as a commentator for their upcoming Fight Pass show, Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. The rapper will feature alongside fellow Californian Urijah Faber as an alternative audio commentary for the series, dubbed “SnoopCast”. Huh?

On the surface, it’s a weird move. Snoop Dogg providing commentary, in a world where fans are treated to the likes of Dominick Cruz, Brian Stann, and more, doesn’t exactly fit the bill. Which is exactly why it could work.

Flexing their WME-IMG muscles, someone at the promotion is recognizing that there’s a market for commentary that doesn’t focus on the intricacies of MMA, of which there are many. The success of part-time UFC commentator Joe Rogan’s Fight Companions are one major sign, and it’s nice to see the promotion embrace that aspect of enjoying their product.

As an alternative option, there’s no way anyone can be mad or get annoyed by Snoop and Faber’s take on fight commentary. How well they do covering five-fights each week remains to be seen, but if there’s a duo that could get the job done it’s Snoop and Faber. They’re two talented, intelligent, and successful guys. While that doesn’t always translate into further success, count us among those interested to see how it goes.

At the very least, the UFC has a huge, mainstream superstar attached to their new show, which happens to feature exclusively on their online streaming service. The coverage and notoriety Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series has gained and will continue to gain from Snoop’s involvement can’t hurt, even if his commentary does.

Anytime a fighter gets a win, it’s a big deal. When that fight comes against a state commission, that win is even bigger, and we’re glad Cortney Casey finally came out on top in her battle with the TDLR. We are sick of the fighting between Dana White and Demetrious Johnson, but are looking forward to the champions return to the Octagon. Depending on how things go with Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, maybe we’ll be able to enjoy Snoop Dogg calling a Mighty Mouse bout in the future. Huh.

Huh? For the Road

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