Eyepokes, Nutshots & Cage-grabbing

I've never done a fanpost, and I started to post this as a comment in the "AJ is the new Chuck" thread - but I realized I really wanted to know what other maniacs thought about this. I think people can go overboard with the "warrior code" sometimes, but as a competitor, I can't help but wonder where the line is between doing anything to win, and maintaining some unwritten code of ethics (or even the written rules).

For instance, AJ has a loss to Kevin Burns. Yes, THAT Kevin Burns. Burns knew he poked the shit outta AJ's eye, and when I saw it my initial reaction was "He shoulda told the ref!" But since then I've been thinking about it and I began to question why I would expect that. He saw an opportunity for a HUGE win, and we hear guys say things like, "It wasn't exactly the way I wanted it, but a win is a win" all the time.

I'm not sure where I stand on some fouls/self-policing in MMA since NFL QB's & receivers beg for flags, NBA players flop, and MLB batters jump back to influence an ump. It's kinda hard to fault a guy like Kos for faking an illegal blow (just using him as an example, but we see guys fake low blows and eye pokes pretty frequently) when we don't apply the same standard to other sports. Fighting is clearly different than any team sport, and honor is something instilled very early in any form of martial art, but these guys aren't really fighting...they are competing, right?

If so, does the "if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'" code apply? Were Aldo's cage grab, Silva's shorts grab, or Kongo's nut shots justified? If a fighter knowingly commits a foul that could impact the fight, should he/she feel the responsibility to inform the ref if no one sees it?

I still don't know where I stand on this, which is why I would like to hear from the community, especially those of you who actually have put it on the line and stepped in a cage.

FanPosts are user-generated content that do not reflect the editorial opinions of nor its staff.