The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

I Do Not Understand These People

It amazes me to no end that there’s a population out there complaining about Herschel Walker’s level of opposition. For fuck’s sake. On the sporting level, it’s his pro debut. 99% of fighters fight a bad opponent on their pro debut. On the promotional level, Walker was scheduled as a stunt freak show fight to draw interest to the show and the promotion; why on earth would you match him up hard in his FIRST FIGHT after 12 weeks of training? Do you hate money? Third, on the athletic level, people are complaining that Nagy looked smaller, so Herschel had an unfair advantage. HE’S A 47 YEAR OLD ROOKIE, you think maybe that was a help for Nagy? And on, and on. These are legitimate complaints about, say, Bobby Lashley, who has 5 pro fights and much more training time and a stronger fighting background and has faced various degrees of jabroni so far; they are both illegitimate and completely beside the point in regards to Walker. What, are people afraid he’ll be pushed into title contention too quickly? It’s HERSCHEL WALKER. I have no idea how this becomes an issue to people in the first place.

And furthermore, there is one thing which needs to be banned from MMA fan usage permanently because it’s as much of a douchbag flag-flown-high as “that’s how I roll” at this point: “can.” No one says can anymore, no one in boxing has used that term regularly since fedoras went out of style, and it’s starting to get applied to everyone who isn’t currently a champion. It’s a witless short-circuit to conversation because it sweeps vastly different types of fighter into the same class even if they have little practically to do with each other, and when it’s important to make distinctions between them to understand the sport. Example: Jimmy Ambriz and Wes Sims, Bobby Lashley’s suggested and actual opponents, both got called cans a lot this week; but one would have been an acceptable choice for an opponent while the other was a blunder.

Both were prohibitive underdogs to Lashley, as they should have been and as a good matchmaker would want them to be if the goal was for Lashley to squash someone on TV to build himself as a star. Whether that’s the best goal at this point is another discussion. But the intent in that case is to have people walking away from the fight going “wow, Lashley killed some guy!” Ambriz, largely an unknown but with a few names on his record, is perfect for this in some ways- just experienced and big enough to look impressive going down, but not enough so to draw particular attention to himself; overmatched, but not famous for being so. A useful blank canvas for Lashley to paint his progress on. Sims is anything but that: he isn’t good, but he’s FAMOUSLY not good given his recent TUF exposure; if Lashley crushes him he’s just doing what’s expected, and if he doesn’t he’s failing. Worse than that, Sims is a character, a weird-looking too-tall pro wrestler who makes a spectacle of himself everywhere he goes and ensures that the attention is on him, which he predictably did tonight by trying to do pro wrestling spots with Lashley early. He distracts from the story you’re trying to tell, which is “Lashley killed a dude”, and instead makes it into “Wes Sims from TUF lost to Bobby Lashley.” Now, this is not the end of the world or a massive mistake by any means; but it’s an important distinction to be made, and one which you’ll never pick up on if you just call both guys “cans” and go back to scratching your ass.

And there’s your dose of grumpy for the weekend.

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January 31, 2010 - Posted by | MMA

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