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Writer: MMA fans are cave dwellers

By Zach Arnold | June 4, 2007

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From the hometown of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the state of Michigan (home to Art Dore and Toughman), troll writer Brian VanOchten of The Grand Rapids Press doesn’t like MMA or the people that support it. Hint: He’s an angry boxing fan.

Mixed martial arts is a cultural plague.

I promise this is the last time I’ll ever write about UFC or the knuckleheads that participate in this savage bloodlust for the purpose of TV ratings.

I’ve made a list of so-called sports cluttering the cable TV landscape that I’d much rather watch than sit through UFC’s skull-bashing sessions.

His e-mail is if you want to politely state your case to him. Other people to contact if interested: (letter to the editor) and (Mary Ullmer – sports editor). The paper claims to have a daily circulation of around 310,000 readers.

You have to love a sports writer trashing a sport that attracts a ton of people in the 18-34 year old demographic — the kind of people that newspapers practically should be begging to attract due to bleeding circulation numbers. MMA coverage is good to have right now. The Houston Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, and The Orange County Register newspapers understand this. Steve Sievert and I talked about this issue on the latest edition of Fight Opinion Radio.

Topics: Boxing, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 17 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

17 Responses to “Writer: MMA fans are cave dwellers”

  1. Haha. I blogged about this moron earlier today also. I hope he gets burned!

  2. Michaelthebox says:

    I emailed calling him a troll. I expect to be one of the first among many.

  3. Grape Knee High says:

    Holy sh*t. I don’t think arguing with a guy with that bad of a comb-over is going to accomplish much. That’s not even considering the fact that a large portion of mainstream MMA fans are, in fact, cave dwellers (just look at Sherdog).

    Anyway, getting back to the point, if he’s delusional enough to think that his ridiculous comb-over is acceptable, there’s no telling how crazy the man is. No way any number of cogent, well-written letters will make him change his mind. The only hope is that Sherdog hasn’t gotten a hold of his email address since their “rebuttals” will only prove him right.

  4. Zach Arnold says:

    Too late – his article is on the Sherdog forums now. Apparently I was late to the party in finding the article on my own.

    I do wish people would focus on what the guy wrote (as bad as it is) and not his personal appearance.

  5. I’ll give him a what for.

  6. Chuck says:

    Funny, the only anti-MMA pro-boxing writer that has it right is William Dettlof of Ring Magazine and their website. He is pretty much right about some of the negative aspects of MMA (frankly, that the “violence” in MMA is actually benign compared to boxing, MMA supporters are retroactive in how they put MMA in a positive light by talking about no deaths in MMA and less concussions, etc.)

    Check out his column “Mixed Martial Art’s Dirty Little Secret”. Sorry, all of this year’s columns of his are on the same page. He is a damn good writer. And he’s one of the few boxing writers that is actually against a federal boxing commission. Sorry if I sound like a nut hugger, but the guy’s good.

  7. says:

    By far one of the worst articles about the UFC I’ve ever seen. Je said the UFC weigh-ins were on ESPN 2 among all of his opinionated BS and incorrect facts such as the goal of MMA is to “murder” or something along those lines.

    I agree Zach. The merits of the article (or lack of them) are what need to be addressed, not what he looks like.

  8. Adam Morgan says:

    This article, and many others like it over the past two weeks, is written by someone who is clearly uneducated when it comes to MMA. I am absolutely sick of these “experts” running their mouths about a subject they clearly know nothing about. I encourage these media outlets to bring on REAL writers and REAL experts to talk about MMA and not some standby general sports writer.

  9. Jonathan says:


    Clearly un-educated does not begin to describe that guy. Besides that haircut (shudder), comparing MMA fans to Neanderthal cave dwellers is pretty dang low and really really dumb. I thought that Geico figured that out.

    Also, isn’t Terry Martin, a UFC Fighter, working on his PhD dissertation? Thought so.

  10. 1000 Cent says:

    Well, IMO, it’s pretty much turned into boxing fans thinking “the sky is falling”, and are looking for any excuse to say why their sport is dying. They could go with the obvious answer and say it’s the promoters and high PPV prices, but that would be taking a direct shot at the business, and no writer wants to do that. So they take shots at products like Mixed Martial Arts, and in particular, UFC because it makes it to the fans and readers sound like it’s everyone else’s fault that boxing is in a hole right now.

    So what’s the argument, well IMO, even a “UFC is stealing are top prospects, so boxing can’t find the next big star” sounds selfish, so ironically writers attack UFC for being more of a fight then boxing.

    IMO, it’s almost as ridiculous as the average American complaining about how pro wrestling is “too fake”, but get angry at Mixed Martial Arts because it’s barbaric for being “too real”. And everyone wonders why you can’t take the pro-boxing writers seriously.

  11. Grape Knee High says:

    “I agree Zach. The merits of the article (or lack of them) are what need to be addressed, not what he looks like.”

    Personally, I don’t think anything needs to be addressed. It’s futile.

    The guy is a moron, not just for his MMA comments. Any sportswriter who thinks a pick and roll or a bump draft is anything more complicated than adding 1 + 1 is not worth responding to.

    On top of that, I agree with him…kind of. He’s wrong about MMA, but he’s right that many of the fans are morons and knuckle-draggers.

  12. 1000 Cent says:

    “C. They still think the ‘Flintstones’ is a documentary.”

    I guess someone is plagurizing Lewis Black’s stand up routine.

    And not for nothing, but Brian Vanochten looks like he has been living in his parents basement for the past 40 years. And for all of those sports analogies this guy mentioned, I bump draft the CPU all of the time in Forza Motorsport 2, not to mention the Pick and Roll is a must play for me in the NBA 2K series (and I do understand the infield fly rule, and I think it’s weak that someone can drop the ball and still be called out), and anyone who has played Madden long enough knows about how you need perfect blockers. But if I write a letter explaining all of this to Vanochten, he will write back saying how video games ruined a generation.

    Well, I guess when society passes you, the only thing you can be is bitter :).

  13. I’d like to bring Mr. VanOcten to my father’s class at SVSU to show him how positive a “neanderthal sport” can be for martial arts. I think that’s one challenge he can never disprove.

  14. Mike says:

    Sorry guys, I know the general idea is the present MMA fans as intelligent when replying to mainstream writers, but this Brian VanDoublechin deserves to be completely ripped. Let the sherdoggers attack.

  15. The Gaijin says:

    I love that completely moronic people like this can write completely inaccurate, spiteful and outright slanderous and insulting dredge and then when they are responded to anywhere near as vehemently as they themselves have spoken, they try to use this as evidence to back up those claims.

    If you constantly prod, challenge and incite your subject matter what response do you expect? Especially when you take their intelligent responses and skewer, dismiss and belittle them anyways….hackery at its finest.

  16. ToeLock says:

    This guy is obviously depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

  17. […] June 4th, we highlighted a June 4th article by Brian VanOchten in the Grand Rapids Press that was a baseless attack on MMA and the industry’s supporters. It drew so much heat online […]


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