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US sports media weighs in on Elite XC scandal

By Zach Arnold | October 11, 2008

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You can always count on Greg Cote of The Miami Herald to be a blithering idiot:

Kimbo Slice’s loss in 14 seconds during that EliteXC mixed martial arts card in Sunrise has spawned allegations the outcome may have been predetermined. Gee, there’s a shock. That’s like shouting ”Fix!” at Wrestlemania? (Kimbo should please go away now. His 15 minutes and 14 seconds of fame are up).

Tom Seals of The Wichita Eagle in Kansas lumps in the Elite XC scandal with MMA in general:

If you’re a fast-growing, relatively new sport wondering how you can gain even wider mainstream acceptance, here’s a tip: Don’t go all professional wrestling on us.

Don’t use a script for your matches. Don’t allow your matches to be fixed. And while you’re at it, don’t even give the appearance that your matches might be fixed.

Yes, we mean you, mixed martial arts.

John Whistler of The San Antonio Express-News proclaims the ‘stand-up’ scandal to be MMA’s first big scandal (uh… guess he missed out on various drug test failures and a mafia scandal):

For the first time, ultimate fighting is facing allegations of fight fixing. And while there’s no reason to believe it won’t survive even if the claims prove to be true, MMA will suffer a severe blow to its credibility.

The sport always has prided itself on its legitimacy and always pointed to this when people compared it to boxing.

Make no mistake: Shenanigans much worse than this have occurred in boxing over the years, and nothing has been able to kill off that sport.

But this is the last thing MMA or its legions of young, energetic fans needed right now.

If you are a member of the general American sports media reading this post, check out what Mike Fagan and Steve Cofield has to say first before you try to discuss this scandal.

It’s clear that UFC has every reason to be angry with the way this scandal is playing out in public. Most fight fans are smart enough to figure out what the deal is here, but UFC is going to have to protect its image with the average American who knows nothing about MMA. Because UFC has done such a good job of marketing the “UFC = MMA” equation, any sort of negative scandal will be used against them whether they are involved or not.

I realize UFC has two big shows coming up and they need to focus promoting those events. However, if the sports media continues to push this story further and further in the wrong direction, then UFC would be probably be well-advised to hold an official news conference to smarten up the media about what this ‘stand-up’ scandal is really all about.

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Topics: Media, MMA, Pro Elite, UFC, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

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