If you follow mixed martial arts (MMA) at all closely, it’s pretty easy to tell that cheating pays. How and in what degree vary, but it’s pretty clear that Jon Jones’ eyepokes, Yoel Romero’s corner stalling for him, Jose Aldo’s fence grabs, Bryan Caraway’s fish-hooking, and Anderson Silva’s shorts grabbing have all benefited them in material ways ... and those are just scratching the surface. In fact, if you have a favorite fighter, chances are he’s used cheating in some way to win a fight. Conor McGregor is excellent at timing a strategic fence grab to gain positional control. Heck, I have one amateur win to my credit and the ref had to warn me three times about grabbing the fence. It was just instinctive- I was in “maximum effort” mode and didn’t even notice I was doing it.
The same can be said for boxing, apparently. While boxing does have a long history of fighters bending or subverting the rules for various purposes, including Evander Holyfield’s headbutts and Floyd Mayweather’s sneaky knockout of Victor Ortiz, Andre Ward’s finish of Sergey Kovalev was the most flagrant violation I have seen in a long time.
June 18, 2017
It’s hard to look at that finish and see anything but a nut shot. Yet, the referee doesn’t hesitate to stop the fight entirely, declaring a TKO win for Ward. He doesn’t even give Kovalev an eight-count.
To be clear, Ward had been doing good work, and rocked Kovalev with a right hand before the finish. That doesn’t change the fact that he landed three consecutive punches below the belt to finish it off. And, to add the proverbial insult to injury, on Father’s Day weekend, no less. Hopefully Kovalev is content with just one son, because Ward is intent on making sure he never has more.
Welp that settles it. #WardKovalev pic.twitter.com/HKtZi72Eco— Asha ⁶ (@PlanetAsha) June 18, 2017
A closer look at the right hand, and the three low blows that won Ward the stoppage. Not since Bobby Green kicked James Krause into agony have I seen three nut shots win a fighter a TKO.
The worst part is, up until that point it was a competitive and exciting fight, but this finish gives us no sense of who is better. Just like their first bout, it will remain controversial.
Kovalev, who was getting no love from anyone on that night, will appeal this, as he should.
Main Events plans to file a protest, citing the repeated low blows.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) June 18, 2017
My timeline was blowing up about the controversy, full of GIFs like this.
#WardKovalev2 pic.twitter.com/B6kJtD3NvT— Erl (@EarlMontclair) June 18, 2017
Others spent their time predicting Mayweather-McGregor based off this bout.
My timeline right now pic.twitter.com/IKj8YLUy35— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) June 18, 2017
In Other Worlds
Meanwhile, plenty of other combat sports were happening, and a lot of it was awesome. Holly Holm’s knockout of Bethe Correia was a lonely high point of a boring main card on Fight Pass yesterday morning, and a K-1 Grand Prix tournament saw spectacular fights and finishes.
Shin Sandwich. #UFCSingaporepic.twitter.com/OYDhUaZ7qc— Chase Sherman (@ChaseShermanUFC) June 17, 2017
K-1 (-70 kg) GP Semifinal— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) June 18, 2017
Chingiz Allazov KOs Jordan Pikeur in 1R pic.twitter.com/dq5SDc7GgB
Takeru is scary. Don’t make Takeru angry.
Takeru pic.twitter.com/4PNcspdSrL— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) June 18, 2017
第11試合 フェザー級(-57.5kg)ワンマッチ— 新生K-1bot (@New_K1_bot) June 18, 2017
武尊 vs ブバイサ・パスハエフ
3R KO pic.twitter.com/2B5PnuEhiG
Dmitry Bivol vs Cedric Agnew #KovalevWard2 #WardKovakev2 pic.twitter.com/62UOCIFn0T— Fancy Combat (@FancyCombat) June 18, 2017
Chingiz dropped Kido in 1R, Kido dropped Chingiz in 2R, Chingiz dropped Kido in 3R – twice - HL— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) June 18, 2017
Chingiz Allazov won K-1 (-70 kg) GP pic.twitter.com/5PKRHUJ5sp
But moving on, it's time for K-1 WGP pic.twitter.com/iivC7Uqs0j— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 18, 2017
June 17, 2017
Chase Sherman is doing social media right.
Coach Edmund just had a flashback and started screaming "NOOOOO" at the TV.— Chase Sherman (@ChaseShermanUFC) June 17, 2017
Justin Scoggins got his patented “I’m dominating the fight until I get flash submitted in the second round” result, but he seems to know at least partly what the issue is, or how to avoid it... we hope.
One of the biggest lessons I learned tonight is to listen to my coaches during the fight. Totally dominating the fight standing, when I hit the ground I was instructed to get BACK up to my feet, where I was having the most success. I heard the instruction, and didn't listen. I love these guys like brothers and I'm blessed to have them. You live and learn, ALL Glory to God. I'll be back better than ever! #ufcfightnight111 #ufcsingapore #karate #martialarts #ufc #mma
Here’s hoping Scoggins can get back on track, because he’s one of the most talented fighters at flyweight.
I know ur game! How bout we fight? I'm bout to board a plane...think about it and maybe when I land we'll have a fight @BabyfaceBenoit #ufc— Justin Scoggins (@ScogginsFlow) June 17, 2017
Holm's agent, Lenny Fresquez, who famously bet a large sum on her to beat Rousey, sent me this prediction a week ago. Not bad, sir. pic.twitter.com/UTfu9fSK8J— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 17, 2017
.@HollyHolm is the first female fighter in UFC history to earn two head-kick knockout victories #UFCSingapore— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) June 17, 2017
What... never mind. No, wait. What??
It's always red panty night for Dong pic.twitter.com/N4OX2owpiD— MEGATON (@BasedDongeezus) June 17, 2017
This will never get old.
I haven’t watched this. I can’t bring myself to watch it. Hoping and praying for Tim Hague and his family. Tim, a former UFC fighter from Canada, has been declared brain dead after this boxing match.
Here is footage of the fight from last night that caused Tim Hague to pass away at the age of 34. h/t @joshperry206 https://t.co/IIU2HInOJA— FrontRowBrian (@FrontRowBrian) June 17, 2017
One possible solution to preventing these kinds of tragedies in the future is having infrascanners available.
They could start by purchasing infrascanners to diagnose brain bleeds ASAP. Minutes can mean life/death with these types of injuries. https://t.co/3e54CjGLcD— Tim B. (@timothybissell) June 17, 2017
I felt feelings looking at the old pictures this guy rescued.
Enjoy your Sunday, Maniacs!