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« | Home | »

UFC 12/10 North Carolina event results

By Zach Arnold | December 10, 2008

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Results here.

Update: I assumed that Spike was airing this on a delay on the West Coast per usual, but much to my surprise they aired this live on the West Coast with no delay.

Speaking of the main event… where did Yoshida go after the KO? Did he get stretchered out? The cameras didn’t show…

Addendum: After the Koscheck interview, Spike TV went to a commercial. Coming back from the commercial, Mike Goldberg is doing a wrap-up and a set-up for showing a dark match. While panning the cage, on camera you can clearly see several doctors and attendants over Yoshida on the cage mat. I can’t tell if they were stretchering him out or what kind of medical assistance they were giving to him. I’m not down with UFC and Spike TV not updating their fans on what happened to Yoshida.

With 5 minutes left to go on the Spike TV telecast, Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan are talking about Fightforthetroops.com. They talked about Mike Swick’s dominating win over Jonathan Goulet and they even showed the knockout of Yoshida a few times. Koscheck was shown signing autographs. You guessed it — there was no update on the medical condition of Yoshida. Nope. Nothing about the health and safety of the ‘random Japanese guy’ who main-evented the show. Goldberg went on-and-on about how what UFC presented tonight was ’sports, it’s not real life.’

Ivan Trembow wrote two articles in 2007 (here and here) about UFC’s handling of fighters knocked out on television/PPV.

There was a horrible irony about the way UFC handled the Yoshida situation on television. They dedicated the entire show to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes fund, which is a charity to help out soldiers who have suffered from brain trauma. Yet, Yoshida suffers what was no doubt a concussion (he was on the ground for at least seven minutes after the KO happened — Koscheck’s knockout was a traumatic blow to the head), and UFC acted as if he didn’t exist — no updates on his medical condition, no cameras to check on his situation, nothing. UFC wants to be treated like a real sport by the sports media, and yet they have shown over the course of several years that when a fighter gets brutally knocked out to not show what happened to the fighter afterwards or give updates on the fighter’s health status (unlike all pro-leagues like the NFL, NBA, etc.). When the Yoshida knockout happened on the Spike TV telecast, there was over 20+ minutes left of TV time to fill. UFC chose to air a dark match (Steve Bruno vs. Johnny Rees). When Goldberg and Rogan did their final wrap-up, they had over five minutes of TV time left. There was no mention of Yoshida whatsoever, other than the brutal knockout by Koscheck being shown over and over again.

I would be interested in seeing other MMA writers comment on this situation (either in favor or against UFC’s policy of the way they cover fighters brutally knocked out on TV/PPV).

There will be critics who will whine about me bringing up this issue, claiming that I’m manufacturing a ‘controversy.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. My thoughts here in this post was real-time commentary on a show that I was watching. If the best ‘defense’ someone online can come up to this situation is ‘you’re just looking to criticize UFC while they’re doing a charity show,’ then that’s a pretty weak defense.

Update: This UFC.com story says that Yoshida was stretchered out, and later added that he was released from the hospital. CBS Sports is reporting that Corey Hill is out for 12-18 months with a broken tibia. His fight is the first fight available for viewing at ufc.com.

For those of you claiming that I am ‘whining’ here, read this response.

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 75 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

75 Responses to “UFC 12/10 North Carolina event results”

  1. Grape Knee High says:

    You didn’t even bother to address what has become an unfortunate UFC situation where a fighter got viciously knocked out and end up getting stretchered out of the arena, only for fans to not see this take place and not get any further updates on the health of the fighter from the commentators

    We saw a lingering camera and stretchering with Johnny Morton in K-1. No thank you, it is unnecessary to see that.

    I agree it might have been nice to get a “He’s okay” message at the end of the night, but the lack of it certainly is nothing over which to get one’s panties all in a bunch.

    Steve Cantwell acting like a douche after his victory is more worthy of discussion than the Yoshida non-issue.

  2. Chief says:

    While it may not have been necessary to cover the aftermath of the knockout in its entirety, by not addressing the fighter’s condition of showing any images of Yoshida the UFC certainly opens itself to accusations of obfuscating the violent nature of their product. A shot of doctors examining him and admission by th announcers of the ongoing situation would have been very appropriate.

    The problem is that the company is acting like they have something to hide, and this only fuels the fires of the sport’s opposition. As has been stated MMA is very safe in comparison to other full contact sports and to ignore serious situations as they occur damages the UFC’s credibility.

  3. IceMuncher says:

    Outside of this website, I’ve never seen the lack of health updates brought up as an issue before. To the vast majority of the fans, as well as the mainstream media, this issue is not seen as a concern.

    Comments like “this only fuels the fires of the sport’s opposition” or the general belief that this is hurting the UFC’s image are exaggerating the situation. You can argue the issue from a theoretical business ethics standpoint, but the actual PR implications of this issue is mostly negligible at this point.

  4. Ivan Trembow says:

    I am disappointed, but not particularly surprised, to see how easily so many people can justify to themselves the classless way that the UFC handles it when a fighter is brutally knocked out and unconscious for an extended period of time. The way they handle those situations is unlike any other sport in the United States, and yet here Zach is getting criticized as if he’s the one who is being unreasonable or suggesting something out of the ordinary.

  5. Ivan Trembow says:

    Many of the arguments were addressed in my editorial two years ago about it supposedly shining a light on the negative aspects of the sport unless you ignore the unconscious fighter’s existence:

    “Again, even if there was literally no new information to give before they went off the air, they could read two sentences about how fighter safety is the most important thing in the UFC, and that there is a great team of doctors helping Salmon right now, and that there will be updates on the UFC web site later tonight as they learn more about his condition. (Yes, that would have been a plug for their web site, but when it’s a legitimate news story, it’s no different than ABC News saying, “We’ll have more on this developing story throughout the night on our web site.”)

    That would have been the decent thing to do. It wouldn’t be “shining a light on the negative aspects of the sport,” because the fact is that viewers could see with their own eyes, whether the UFC acknowledged it or not, that there was a team of doctors in the background trying to help a fighter who was still not moving. All the lack of acknowledgment did was make the UFC look bad for not acknowledging it.

    A brutal knockout, in and of itself, does not make the sport of mixed martial arts “look bad.” Brutal knockouts are going to happen in any combat sport, though MMA has a far better safety record than boxing. Serious injuries like those that could have been suffered by Salmon are going to happen in any contact sport, though MMA has a far better safety record than football.

    What makes the sport of MMA look bad is when a fighter has been knocked unconscious for several minutes and the promotion in three separate cases doesn’t even acknowledge the unconscious fighters’ condition.”

  6. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Chief,

    It could go the other way too though. If the UFC starts insisting that anyone that gets knocked out IS OK FOLKS, NOTHING TO SEE HERE! Then they end up being Pollyannas at best or they get the nasty surprise of someone being genuinely fucked up even though they’re walking wounded at worst.

    Reporting that someone is ok when they aren’t is worse than not saying anything in my book, but apparently my callous North Eastern ways are rejected by some of the other loud voices here.

  7. Ivan Trembow says:

    Jeremy— I don’t think anyone is suggesting that they happy-face it say, “Nothing to see here, folks, everything is okay.” What’s being suggested is that they treat it just like every other sport in the United States treats similar situations, instead of continuing their classless policy of simply pretending that the unconscious fighter no longer exists. The whole argument of, “What do you want them to say?” is a paper-thin argument that is quickly contradicted by every other sport in America.

  8. Zack says:

    45…you’re either a troll or just an idiot. We could do a rundown of all the US based guys who lost this year too. Doesn’t prove anything except that people win and lose fights. That’s what happens in MMA. Big deal.

    “It feels like the highest level of competition is no longer coming out of Japan.”

    Ah, so the highest level of competition at one time was coming out of Japan? Good to see you admit that.

    By the way,I’m sure you don’t want many fights outside of the UFC and are just a fight finder nerd, but Gomi got robbed in his loss last month. Don’t worry, I didn’t expect you to actually watch it or anything though.

  9. Rhett Moir says:

    I saw the Gomi fight and thought he lost. It was hardly a robbery and I think 45 has a point, Japan is way down the pecking order for top level MMA talent.

  10. ilostmydog says:

    Agree with 45 to an extent. It definitely seems like the Japanese dominance of many of the lighter weight classes is ending. The emergence of the WEC and the consolidation of North American (as well as foreign) talent in the lower weights has much to do with that.

    Disagree with some of your examples. I think your ‘examples’ are more or less meaningless though, and not really indicative of anything other than how individual fighters perform, not how the country as a whole performs.

    I also find England overtaking Japan as a fighter-producing country pretty laughable. Japan currently has a dozen or so top ten quality fighters with more on the way. England only has two fringe top tenners (Bisping and Hardy), with no real sign of any up-and-comers. Cage Rage or Ultimate Fight UK (forget what they renamed themselves) is a shell of its former self, Cage Warriors barely runs any shows, and FX3 only has a few shows a year. The talent hasn’t really been there, nor have the shows, so I don’t think your prediction will be very accurate.

    Finally, people need to quit calling 45 names and insulting him. You may not like the guy or his opiinions, but I can’t recall the last time he called anyone a ‘douchebag’ or an ‘idiot’ for saying their piece.

  11. dave2 says:

    #1 Heavyweight: Russian
    #1 Light Heavyweight: American
    #1 Middleweight: Brazilian
    #1 Welterweight: Canadian
    #1 Lightweight: American
    #1 Featherweight: American
    #1 Bantamweight: American
    #1 Flyweight: Japanese

    Telling from that, you can say that the Japanese aren’t doing as well as they used to since they don’t hold the crown at lightweight, featherweight and bantamweight anymore.

    The Japanese only hold the flyweight spot, which is a very rare weight class in America. Palace Fighting Championships is one of the rare few North American promotions that holds flyweight fights.

    It really shocks me that the WEC is winning the head-to-head war with Shooto right now. If this were a year ago, I would have laughed at anyone who suggested WEC > Shooto. But now it seems like 135 and 145 are really coming together at WEC. It’s unfortunate that Japanese MMA is losing its lustre. FEG and DSE have their corruption and freak shows so in a sense they deserve bad karma but Shooto always presented a more classy, sporting competitive style in Japan. So it’s sad to see that they aren’t what they used to be.

  12. MickDawg says:

    The UFC should not treat injuries like every other sport.

    Before MMA and it’s popularity, people were saying the NFL was too violent, because they see guys getting carted off the field.
    Because they see guys lay motionless for 10 minutes.

    Instead of focusing on that, the UFC is doing the right thing and going about its business.
    The guys are being taken care of…does the viewer need to know?

    Ivan (and I think he’s a good writer) is straight up assuming, when he says that the “What makes the sport of MMA look bad is when a fighter has been knocked unconscious for several minutes and the promotion in three separate cases doesn’t even acknowledge the unconscious fighters’ condition.”

    Nah, what makes MMA look bad IS the knockouts, IS the blood, IS the injuries that occur in nearly every fight. But that’s a part of the sport. That’s why critics hate on it in the first place.

    Fans understand that. So lets move on to the next fight.

    Yeah, it’s all fine and good if the fighter is okay…but what if it’s serious? There could be a serious injury in every show.
    How does that look to viewers and critics if the UFC discusses it later in the show?

    The thing is…MMA has that bloodsport stigma. Other sports don’t.
    That’s the main issue here

    There’s no sugarcoating injuries.

  13. Ivan Trembow says:

    “Nah, what makes MMA look bad IS the knockouts, IS the blood, IS the injuries that occur in nearly every fight. But that’s a part of the sport. That’s why critics hate on it in the first place.”

    Using that to justify the UFC not updating viewers on Yoshida’s condition (or Telligman’s condition, or Martin’s condition, or Salmon’s condition, or Reiner’s condition, or Radev’s condition) makes absolutely no sense, given that they replayed those knockouts dozens and dozens of times between them. If the argument was that the knockouts themselves make the sport look bad, then why would they endlessly replay the knockouts?

    What looks bad is not even acknowledging the unconscious fighter or updating their condition for the rest of the broadcast, all the while replaying the knockout endlessly and going on and on about what an amazing knockout it was.

    It would be like a huge hit by a linebacker in the NFL resulting in somebody being unconscious on the ground for over seven minutes, and they never acknowledge the unconscious athlete’s condition at any time, but they do endlessly replay the hit itself and marvel at what a great hit it was.

    You will not see this in any other sport in the United States.

  14. skwirrl says:

    Ivan and Zack are right. Zero update on Yoshida after him getting completely starched was classless. If he’s sitting up and talking and can’t make it to the decision so be it, but if the guy just mysteriously dissappears from the decision all you have to say is: Yoshida is still unconscious and being treated by the best doctors in the business folks – we’ll give an update as it becomes available – check UFC.com later for a more in detail report. You don’t have to put the camera in his face and show his REM sleep or dwell on it but acknowledge the guy exists and don’t pretend that he has just walked out of the cage before the decision happened like they did their best to do.

  15. ilostmydog says:

    dave2: I think one reason that the WEC is getting one up on Shooto promoters is that they are, more or less, the first org to really consolidate the talent in the BW & FW divisions in North America. GC and KOTC had champs in those divisions, but they never really built up a strong level of talent. Now you’ve arguably got most of that talent under one tent in the WEC and can bring in foreign talent as well.

    And of course there is also the money issue. WEC may not pay astronomically high salaries, but the guys fighting in Shooto aren’t exactly making mad cash either.

    Shooto’s divisions also suffer from fighters moving on to bigger orgs (like half the top ten LWs in the world, many FWs too). Their BW division took a big hit when Matsune decided to be perpetually injured and Hokazono decided to retire.

  16. Grape Knee High says:

    Ivan,

    What is bad is Steve Cantwell bragging that he’s been waiting for a long time to get the chance to break someone’s arm.

    Compared to this, the Yoshida thing is a non-issue.

    But, of course, since Cantwell is not the evil robber baron Zuffa, Ivan lets it slide, even though in terms of PR it was 10 times worse.

  17. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Ivan, I only watch one other sport in the United States on anything like a regular basis, and add baseball on an even more occasional basis to that, so I’ll have to take your repeated word that the way that UFC does it isn’t the normal way that things are done.

    Thanks for letting us all know just how important it is to you that UFC conform to the norm though.

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    dave2 is correct. and it’s just not the top guys in each division. Japan has very few Top 10 fighters in Heavyweight through Lightweight…. And they are losing ground fast in Feather & Bantam.

    As for the UK coming close to Japan in a few years… I was mostly talking about the type of events being run in the country.

  19. Ivan Trembow says:

    What Cantwell said was completely classless as well, but that’s not something that is a company policy and that has happened a half-dozen times now. Also, lol at Jeremy attempting to make it an issue of conformity or non-conformity.

  20. Ivan Trembow says:

    (because the term “conformity” generally has a negative connotation, hence the notion that the UFC’s policy on unconscious fighters is, in part, because of them being “non-conformist”)

  21. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    No, I just like saying things that rhyme.

  22. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Is that a crime?

  23. [...] As far as I could tell (based on what I watched of the TUF Finale), there was no update on Yoshiyuki Yoshida at all. I bring this up because Mike Goldberg thanked the fans at the beginning of the telecast for the Fight for the Troops special, mentioned about the charity that money raised went to (brain trauma victims), and left it at that. I first thought about Yoshida when Goldberg did this intro, and was quickly reminded of it when Anthony Johnson managed to knock out Kevin Burns with a left high-kick. Thankfully for Burns, he was able to recover and stand back up for the winner’s announcement by Bruce Buffer. If Burns would have had to been stretchered out of the cage, would UFC have shown it? Not that I guess it matters, since practically no other MMA web sites even touched upon the way UFC/Spike TV covered the aftermath of Yoshida’s knockout at the hands of Josh Koscheck. [...]

  24. [...] Sports or sports entertainment?: The way the UFC handled the situation after the “Fight for the Troops” main event between Koscheck and Yoshida brought a lot of critics to the scene. Koscheck knocked out Yoshida with two crushing blows that left the 34-year-old Japanese veteran motionless on the canvas for minutes. During the remainder of the broadcast, the announcing team did not provide any updates on the condition of the fallen judoka. [...]

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