Some lighthearted topics this week, including Francis Ngannou wailing on some jackass’s junk, Don Frye punching a drunken
fan idiot, and Jake Paul claiming he wants to start a fighters’ union.
Let’s get to it.
Ow, My Groin!
The Jackass crew have essentially put a new spin on The Simpsons’ “Man Getting Hit by Football,” with Francis Ngannou instead wailing on some poor dude’s junk in a “cup test.”
Is the UFC really willing to let this guy walk away?
Don’t Effin’ Touch Don Frye’s Hat
UFC legend Don Frye, winner of the UFC 8 and Ultimate Ultimate 96 tournaments, is a genuine legend in MMA. In a sport where that term is thrown around far too often, Frye was one of the first stars to emerge at a time when mixed martial arts was still looked upon as human cockfighting.
He’s also got an old school mentality, meaning drunken transgressions shall not go unpunished. Like messing with the man’s hat.
A rowdy fan at UFC 270 was apparently unaware of this, and ate a right hand because of it.
Frye holds wins over Ken Shamrock, Tank Abbott, Gary Goodridge, and Yoshihiro Takayama — with whom he won the Fight of the Year in 2002, for their PRIDE 21 classic. Consider this your yearly reminder to go back and watch that fight.
Florida Boxing Commission Rejects Proposed Melvin Guillard-BKFC Fight
When Melvin Guillard was announced for BKFC’s KnuckleMania 2, it turned heads. When it came to light that his proposed opponent was Ulysses Diaz, who holds the fastest KO in promotion history, it became cause for concern. Guillard’s record in the past five years is abysmal. He’s 2-6 in bare knuckle, with those two wins both coming in 2017. In MMA, he went 1-10, 1NC from 2014 onward. The losses have been rough. In his last outing, he was left with facial fractures, slumped over the ropes.
Florida is where fight promotions go to get away with questionable matchmaking. It’s one step removed from sanctioning Man vs. Bear. When the Florida Boxing Commission turns down a fight, that’s saying something.
In the wake of the bout’s rejection, MMA Junkie reported that the Association of Boxing Commissions came out in support of the move, releasing a statement which read, in part, “This week, the Florida Commission should be recognized for making one of those hard decisions: denying a fight that was proposed by Bare Knuckle Fight Championship (BKFC).”
While the Florida commission did the right thing, denying a mismatch should not be considered a “hard decision” — it should be the norm. Also, promotions shouldn’t make them to begin with, but that, apparently, is asking a lot.
Jake Paul Wants to Start Fighter’s Union
It almost feels like this column has become the Jake Paul watch. He tends to get lumped in here because we don’t, in general, give Paul much press day-to-day; he’s a peripheral character at best when it comes to MMA, unless he decides to actually fight.
However as a foil to Dana White, Paul has become mildly entertaining, and whether it’s disingenuous or not, his campaign to improve fighter pay in the UFC has rekindled that debate. This week, Paul came out and said he wanted to start a fighters’ union. That, one would imagine, would require being an actual mixed martial artist, not a circus sideshow boxer, at least to be a member — but perhaps Paul could help get it off the ground.
“I want to create a fighters’ union,” Paul told ESPN’s First Take. “This is my goal to really impact the whole entire sport, both MMA and boxing, and leave an everlasting stamp. I just so happen to not be beholden to anybody. A lot of these UFC fighters they are beholden to Dana White. They can’t speak out against him, so I’m using my platform because I’m one of a very few people who actually can.”
Dana White Explains UFC 270 Absence… Sort Of
Dana White was conspicuously absent from the UFC 270 post-fight press conference. He was also nowhere to be found following Francis Ngannou’s win over Ciryl Gane in the main event. Instead, Mick Maynard put the belt on the victorious Ngannou.
The speculation after the fact was that White’s beef with Ngannou, over the champ’s contract, led to him skipping out on these two promotional tasks. While White tends to miss a number of Fight Night press conferences these days, he almost never skips out on one following a PPV event. Putting the belt on a champ? He rarely misses that opportunity either.
White provided his
excuse explanation this week, during an online fan Q&A held via ESPN.
“I actually walked [out of] the arena right after the co-main event, because there was stuff going on backstage that I was dealing with,” said White. “For anybody that would think that I was showing any type of disrespect toward Francis – I saw Francis all week, you idiots, I shook his hand, I said hi to him, I was out there for the staredowns, the whole thing.”
So there you go, idiots. There was stuff going on backstage.
More Jack Paul, This Time with a Diss Track
The “diss track” is probably one of the dumbest traditions in music, mainly because they’re usually hokey, and quickly wind up dated. They date back to… oh, who knows. Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd feuding in Southern Band and Sweet Home Alabama? Heck, if they’d had the option, Mozart and Salieri probably would have tried it.
But let’s give Jake Paul credit for two things here: one, he is simply not letting up on Dana White, so he’s definitely got some fight in him. And two, he’s done his homework, recruiting Cris Cyborg and Antonio McKee to appear in the video, which actually pretty much makes the track. Two long-running, outspoken critics of Dana White and his business practices.
Never Change, Kevin Holland. Never Change
There’s this incredibly dumb segment of MMA fans who truly, honestly believe they can get off the couch and beat a professional fighter on a whim. For some reason, you don’t see this in, say, the NHL, or NFL, or other leagues that are at the pinnacle of their sport. But combat sports? There sure are a lot of bodies who have never worked a heavy bag thinking they can hang with UFC fighters.
Kevin Holland decided to take one such troll up on his offer. After being called out on Instagram, the UFC star paid for a bus ticket and hotel room for his would-be opponent, and set up a gym challenge.
It didn’t go well.
We’ve removed said trolls name — just to save him some embarrassment, since he’s now gone private. Although, he at least showed up — and got a free trip to Texas, though there’s probably easier ways to visit the Lone Star State.
— Kevin Holland (@Trailblaze2top) January 29, 2022