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In the wake of the Mayweather-Tenshin fight, a mindbogglingly stupid conspiracy theory is going around that the lopsided fight was somehow fixed. Never mind that the theory makes no sense from any perspective, it has been given credence by so-called analysts like Robin Black, and, more surprisingly, professional MMA fighters Rory Macdonald, Alan Jouban, and Zach Makovsky.
just watched the full fight between floyd and tenshin. from my perspective it looked very fake. so im a bit suprised seeing professional fighters reacting to it as if it were real— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) January 1, 2019
This claim just doesn’t square with reality. While fights in Japan have been fixed in the past, there is no motive for having Mayweather wreck Nasukawa that makes any kind of sense. It would have made sense for Mayweather to make Tenshin look good, but what could possibly be gained by Mayweather taking him apart so conclusively? It was embarrassing for one of RIZIN’s biggest stars, doing a lot of damage to his future reputation with a Western audience. Mayweather is retired, has fought at least 30 pounds heavier, and among the greatest boxers of his generation. He didn’t need Tenshin to take a dive. In an exhibition fight, there isn’t even any betting on the outcome, so that’s not a motivation either.
In conclusion, this makes no sense. Why, then, has it gotten so much steam? Robin Black’s initial, thoughtless breakdown appeared to sell a lot of people on the conspiracy, claiming that Mayweather’s punches didn’t really land. However, a close viewing shows that not only did his punch land, taking Tenshin’s equlibrium away, but the follow-up punch that Black claimed missed, connected as well. The modern iteration of Mayweather isn’t known for his power punches, but he is fighting a much smaller opponent, and clearly wasn’t too worried about return fire, letting him sit down on his blows. Tenshin’s attempts to recover his equlibrium seem to contribute to people’s incredulity as well, but that can be attributed much more simply to Tenshin not having his legs under him after Floyd rocked him.
Here's another angle Floyd catching Tenshin on the way down during the first knockdown. The way his head slams off the canvas definitely left him concussed and in survival mode the rest of the fight. pic.twitter.com/joAtCC00HN— Joshua Massey (@LiveasRx) January 1, 2019
Tenshin himself confirmed this was the case afterwards: he lost his balance after Floyd’s hook clipped him on the back of his head. Regular readers of Midnight Mania know that knockouts can look strange- when fighters get ‘put on skates’, they can look ridiculous. Remember Kevin Lee going full Bambi-legs against Edson Barboza?
Tenshin I thought I can fight. Money take serious after I throw straight. He hit me back of head and it lose my balance. I had good experience. That’s too rare experience for fighter.I didn’t experience any hard punch like that. I will participate RISE tournament at March. pic.twitter.com/mApVjBzlhw— shiroobi (@shiroobi) December 31, 2018
Tenshin also admitted afterwards that he had underestimated Mayweather in the lead-up.
View this post on Instagram
There goes my hero, watch him as he goes. #Repost @tenshin.nasukawa (@get_repost) ・・・ I have worked hard with a big dream in the combat world. Karate, Kickboxing, MMA and Boxing. When I first got the offer I took it in a flash. I thought this was an opportunity of a lifetime, and although there were significant differences in accomplishments and weight classes, I felt that I must not run and take on the challenge. The days since the fight was confirmed have been enjoyable but with concerns, and I spent the time thinking about many things. At the end of the day, I got finished, but I have no regrets. I am disappointed at myself since I thought I could have done better. But I will face the facts and will continue to take on any challenge. I learned that I didn’t work hard enough to earn this opportunity, and I will use this defeat to improve myself and move forward this year. Despite all the things that happened leading up to the fight, I came to realize how truly great Mayweather was. I was the one underestimating him. I promise to make it to that level! It may take some time for me to become the man to haul the industry on my shoulders, but please continue to support me! Everybody who work to make this fight happen, thank you very much. Mr. Mayweather, thank you very much. 僕は格闘界に大きな夢を見て頑張って来ました。空手、キックボクシング、MMAそしてボクシング。 この試合の話が来た時、メイウェザー選手と戦うチャンスはもう絶対巡ってこないから今しかないと思ったし、階級も違う、やって来たことも違うとは思いましたが、僕自身も逃げずにやらなくてはならないと思い試合を受けました。 試合が決まってからこの一戦に向けての日々は、とても楽しかったし、不安だったし色々なことを考えながらの時間でした。 結果は倒されてしまいましたが、後悔はないです。もっと出来ると思った自分が情けないし、悔しかったですが、現実を受け入れて、またチャンスがあれば何事にも逃げずに挑戦したいと思います。 チャンスを活かす為の努力がまだ自分には足りなかったことに気付きましたし、この敗戦を機に自分自身を改善して今年は突き進んでいこうと思います。色々ありましたがメイウェザー選手は本当に凄く強かったです。 舐めていたのは僕自身でした。 僕も必ずそこの域に行きます！ 本当に格闘界を背負って行ける男になるまでは、まだまだ先ですが、これからも応援よろしくお願いします！ この一戦に携わってくれた皆様、ありがとうございました。 戦ってくれたメイウェザー選手、ありがとうございました。 #Cygames #rizin14 #BOXING #teppengym #target #RISE
In case you missed it, here’s the real main event of RIZIN 14, Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell.
I knew a Wing Chun guy in NYC who said his sister knocked him out with this kick
He must've watched Pettis vs Henderson pic.twitter.com/MxasW5CMv3— ShayMyName (@ImShannonTho) January 2, 2019
Bears are incredibly powerful creatures
I like this meme because this is an amazing image of Dana... and also because its true.
Watch out for the Jon Jones 84.5 inch helicopter.
I warned those commissioners! https://t.co/Y6iR8UzkER— Brandon Gibson (@SixGunGibson) December 31, 2018
All those videos of Jones in his garage paid off.
Just finished watching the fight. It’s safe to say all that boxing in my garage this summer paid off. Sharper with the hands, better head movement, better foot work and understanding of range. Didn’t get knocked out in the 4th as my opponent predicted what did you guys see?— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) January 1, 2019
Kayla Harrison is congratulated by the original Judo girl, Ronda Rousey herself
Thanks Ron!!! Don’t act like I’m the only one with a nickname here!!!! Happy 2019!!!— Kayla Harrison (@Judo_Kayla) January 1, 2019
In case you missed her dominant performance:
McGregor and one of Mayweather’s promoters had a war of words.
I’m the one with the flamethrower, Leonard.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2019
Call me Elon.
Your guys got nothing but
And there they call him John.
Sláin ☘️ https://t.co/ocUhWikb0u
Spoke with Joe Rogan Podcast coming soon— ye (@kanyewest) January 1, 2019
This is funny on a couple levels
Conor McGregor is now the new striking coach at Team Alpha Male. pic.twitter.com/k4jpRPNIdG— MMA Roasted (@MMARoasted) January 2, 2019
Cops with a sense of humor
This rock doesn’t even look real.
Once again- Happy New Year!
It's New Year and a fresh new start pic.twitter.com/Busd0wCgwZ— William (Bill) Bryson (@InterestingFol1) January 1, 2019