A good referee knows when to intervene and when to let a fighter work.
So too, does a good commentator.
I’m not sure if it’s always been this way or the empty arenas have recently called it to my attention, but it feels like the broadcast booth won’t ever shut up. And that’s unfortunate because I happen to like everyone behind the table.
But man, it got really annoying after while.
Eventually I had to mute the volume but UFC was like “Nah” and started bombarding me with Twitter pop ups. My TV screen has now become a shitty mobile website. Look, no disrespect to Aaron Bronsteter, who is a great reporter, but I don’t care how he scored the fight through the first two rounds.
I can check social media in between rounds or when I don't want to pay for the fights.
My problem is that when I’m shelling out $65 for a pay-per-view (PPV), like I did for UFC 255 last night (Nov. 21) in Las Vegas, I want to immerse myself in the fights and enjoy the action. These days it feels more like Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Yes, I’m also the tightass who will shush you at the movies.
It took us three hours to get through the first four fights on the main card and even though we had three decisions, the total fight time was just under an hour. That has nothing to do with me being on the East Coast, the pacing is just terrible.
One thing that wasn’t terrible was the first-round submission finish from reigning flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo, assuming we overlook the fence grab, but It’s also frustrating to know that UFC got rid of Demetrious Johnson and was too cheap to take care of Henry Cejudo, so we lost a couple of amazing fights for “Daico.”
“This kid is so much different, this kid is mean, he comes in with bad intentions,” UFC President Dana White said when asked to compare Figueiredo with Johnson. “People gravitate toward those types of fighters more. Let’s see if he can go on a run that can make that kid a legend. He’s a scary little dude.”
Prior to that fight it became apparent that we somehow ruined Valentina Shevchenko. Are we really this spoiled? “Bullet” outstruck, outwrestled, and outgrappled the No. 3-ranked contender, then won a championship title fight 4-1 and all I could see on Twitter was how Shevchenko was exposed.
“The odds dropped like crazy when she lost that round,” White said after her fight. “Even though she lost the second round she looked completely dominant tonight. Maia is super tough. You can’t listen to the fucking fans and the media, you fight your own fight.”
I’m a fan of combat sports and a strong night of MMA fights can be hard to beat. I just wish there was a way we could trim some of the fat and put the focus back on the action instead of everything taking place around it.