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What in the world is happening at MMA Weekly?

By Zach Arnold | April 19, 2009

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As I was reading the various MMA sites covering the UFC 97 show this morning, I caught this article from their main writer Tom Hamlin:

It’s been said that jazz is only enjoyed by the musicians who play it.

Anderson Silva shimmied, danced, and feinted his way through five rounds with Thales Leites, chipping Leites’ façade away with unorthodox striking.

Problem was, the 21,451 fans in attendance wanted heavy metal.

Let’s call this what it is — ass-kissing to the nth degree to UFC. Except, it’s stupid ass-kissing, because UFC is pissed off by Anderson Silva’s UFC 97 display and so are their fans. What a strangely sycophantic opener that was.

And another thing – who is Tom Hamlin and how did this guy end up getting to be their top writer? Nobody had ever heard of him on any of the MMA blogs until he started writing on MMA Weekly.

Topics: Canada, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 25 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

25 Responses to “What in the world is happening at MMA Weekly?”

  1. Rollo the Cat says:

    I am honestly totally confused. Where does the UFC ass kissing part come in? I think that is ONE perfectly legitimate interpretation of what happened last night. How does the UFC benefit from this writer’s opinion? I don’t see it as pro or anti UFC.

  2. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    The entire article seemed reasonable to me.

  3. DWA says:

    What’s with the irrational hate on for this guy? The article was good and certainly grounded in reason, without any undue hyperbole or ass – kissing in any way. He is entitled to his opinion as long as he backs it up. And he did.

    It seems to me that Zach is just taking an underserved cheap shot here.

  4. garth says:

    I have to agree with the rest of the comments. This really seems like an over the top reaction to one guy’s opinion. And if you want to know “who is Tom Hamlin and how did this guy end up getting to be their top writer?” why not ask him? I have no idea who he is…I probably read his stuff like you do, in RSS feeds.
    There’s nothin’ good in this post.

  5. Steve says:

    It was a great performance by Anderson. But could have he finished Leites, if he tried?

  6. Jose says:

    Wow, what did he do to you Zach? Nothing is wrong with his opinion, and it seems like a legitimate one that some fans are expressing on the different MMA forums. So he’s not completely blasting Silva and you think that’s ass kissing for the UFC? Come on man. It sounds like you’re trying to bully him into sounding off with your opinion instead of his own here. And because you have never heard of him, he’s somehow not worthy or his opinion is not legitimate? Please. If only people you have heard of were allowed to write, what would happen in a few years when you all die or move on? There would be no MMA coverage. Just like we constantly need new fighters in the fastest growing sport on the planet, we need new guys covering the growing sport. Otherwise, we would have the same old stale opinions all the time.

  7. David says:

    Let us be reasonable. Dana White knows that the two main event fighters, from Brazil, being friends and having mutual friends, did not duke it out as if they did not know each other.

    Clearly Silva did not try to hurt Leites except for some cute (accurate and powerful) Ground n Pound to the face in the latter rounds.

    Dana White knows the story and clearly is hiding it from everybody. What is he expected to say “yeah, it was a bad match up, they are friends…”

    Silva is the man, he does what he wants, and D-Dubya (Dana White) can’t do shit about it. Job well done, it entertained me!

    Glad Dana is finally getting some heat!

  8. Nepal says:

    Zach, your comments are baffling. The music analogy was actually quite fitting (actually I really like jazz) from a phraseology standpoint.

    He is simply implying that the audience didn’t like it. He also described the fight quite accurately. Where the ass kissing was in that article is unclear to me.

    Zach, it seems to me that you write stuff as a flow of consciousness. i.e. not thought out, simply your first impression. I’ll bet now that you’ve read these comments and likely re-read the article your opionion will be reversed. There simply was no ass kissing and it was a “normal” simple coverage of the fight.

  9. Dave says:

    I’m more ashamed of that BE piece than the MMA Weekly one. At least that dude was trying something different.

  10. Zack says:

    The good writers like Ivan are too busy critiquing ROH for Meltzer 🙂

    j/k Ivan, good writeup, but I don’t buy those PPVs.

  11. Juno says:

    That music analogy is dumb. The fans may have wanted heavy metal but they got john cage’s 4’33. Don’t try dress it up like it was an artform being performed out there, the fans got nothing. Believe me I love the technical game, I love seeing a chess match unfold in mma but that wasn’t it. That was a shameful display by both parties.

  12. Ivan Trembow says:

    In response to post #10— lol, those are just Letters to the Editor. I’ve been sending those occasionally to pro wrestling newsletters since like 1996, although I’m watching less pro wrestling now than I ever have.

  13. Jeremy says:

    Good God, every damn media outlet ripped into Silva. Why single this guy out? You deliver some excellent articles, but this is you looking for something to bitch about.

    Over the top and unnecessary.

    That does not explain why Silva put on the same type of performance against Cote.

  14. ANONYMOUS says:

    I think that’s what Zach was saying, every media outlet ripped into silva but MMA Weekly did not. They had a more positive spin on the situation than even had!!

  15. samscaff says:

    Comparitively, yes, this article kisses Anderson’s (and the UFC’s) ass. But objectively, the article is perfectly fine.

    It puts a moderately positive spin on the fight by not completely bashing Silva (or his opponent).

    I think what Zach is getting at is the fact that Anderson (though not really the UFC, IMO) deserves to be blasted for an unaggressive, uninspired, and uninteresting fight.

    Sure, Leites was probably more to blame, but when youre supposedly the best P4P fight, or at least the top middleweight, you have to fight like you want to impress, not like you want to slide by by not engaging.

    I blame Anderson alot for the fight, though not as much as Leites. Silva did not try to finish the fight at any point, and seemed completely satisfied with a VERY, VERY boring fight. To me, this is unacceptable for a well-paid, top fighter, especially considering how much people paid to see this event.

  16. Dave says:

    I’m not sure what people would have liked Anderson to do here, go to the ground with a guy that he knows, first hand, how dangerous his jiu-jitsu is? You’ll note he worked over his knee before attempting to actually go after him on the ground.

    I mean, seriously guys. Leites also knew Anderson’s stand up would murder him in mere seconds, so he did what he needed to do. While I think the tactics that Leites used were pretty shamerul, if he would have stood with Anderson and not Inoki-butt-scooted around he would have been just a highlight reel KO.

    It was poor matchmaking and Leites not trying to win.

  17. Dave says:

    shameful*, christ.

  18. Bryan says:

    I don’t have a problem with the premise of the excerpt. And I think most of the criticism being heaved Silva’s way is ridiculous.

    Imagine if people complained about the Lakers playoff game for being too boring? Kobe is the best player in the league, so why is he passing the ball to Ariza instead of going one on one and trying to posterize people?

    Sure, the lakers won, but when you’re the best, you have to play like you want to impress, right Samscaff?

    The fact that MMA is a sport (and not professional wrestling) seems to have been lost on a lot of critics.

    Anderson Silva pressing the action and walking into a counter punch or diving into Thales’ guard and getting submitted might have been entertaining to drunk idiots in Montreal but it wouldn’t have been especially smart for Anderson Silva.

    I’ve seen a number of articles in which under card guys talk about caring more about the fight of the night bonus (and thus giving the drunk UFC fans what they want: A crappy kick boxing match that degenerates into an even sloppier brawl) than winning the actual fight.

    To me, that’s more problematic than Anderson Silva cruising to an easy victory. Since caring about performance over victory, sends you down the road to pro wrestling.

  19. Vicarious Atonement says:

    Hey this is mixed martial arts. If Anderson (the so called p4p fighter) can’t fight on the ground maybe he should be in K-1. And if Leites can’t fight standing up he should stick to plain old jiu-jitsu.

  20. Lester Grimes says:

    I thought Anderson Silva fought a great tactical fight. Unfortunately, I’m an old school boxing fan that loves these types of fights.

    Joe Silva ended up booking a pair with hopes of an exciting match up, similar to the likes of Anderson vs Luter. Too bad it didn’t work out this way.

    UFC 97 has proven once again that a sizable portion of MMA fans (and critics) have a attention span of less than 20 seconds. This is what happens when you cater to a relatively young (18-34 year old) casual fan base that’s looking for a quick fix to get their MMA high. Not every Main Event can mimic a “Street Fighter” arcade game nor can we always expect an adrenaline filled barroom brawl.

    Isn’t this why it’s called MMA? Where different fighters meet up with different styles? Every fight will always have a different pacing and outcome. Like the old saying goes, “you can’t have your cake and eat it too!”.

  21. Vicarious Atonement says:

    “UFC 97 has proven once again that a sizable portion of MMA fans (and critics) have a attention span of less than 20 seconds. This is what happens when you cater to a relatively young (18-34 year old) casual fan base that’s looking for a quick fix to get their MMA high.”

    Ohh check you out! Let me guess you’re so much better than everyone else because you fooled yourself into liking this fight and think it was a technical battle for the ages. And everyone who didn’t like it is a casual fan noob who is out for blood and doesn’t know mma like you do. Get over yourself dude.

  22. Dave says:

    Lester Grimes is so absolutely on the money that I’m almost curious if I know him from somewhere else, as everybody else is just so off the wall on this.

    There is nothing shameful about fighting a tactical fight, there is nothing shameful about wanting to engage in your strong points and stay away from any potential weakness. There is nothing wrong with seeing that you are winning the fight and your opponent is doing absolutely nothing to try to win anymore, just trying to survive so he can say he went so many rounds with you.

    Yeah, it’d be awesome if Anderson did a backflip off the cage into a headkick and Leites didn’t get up, or if he did that matrix clowning he did on Franklin, but unlike Franklin, Leites didn’t come at Anderson with any strikes outside of the occasional jab.

    I really feel like I was watching an entirely different fight than everybody else at some points.

  23. Jeremy says:

    FightMetric has produced a very interesting breakdown that suggests that this fight had less actual action than any other recent bout.

    I have no problem with tactical bouts, I enjoy watching Machida, but this was the same type of performance we got when Silva faced Cote.

    Not only did we get a gun shy performance, but we also got dancing and game playing.

  24. Andrew Garvey says:

    A terribly ill-considered, petulant and childish little piece of writing by Zach Arnold.

    But then again, it gives him yet another opportunity to whinge and bitch about something connected to UFC so I’m sure he’s happy.

  25. Mark says:

    I think after so many writers have been ripped into so viciously by fans for saying they don’t like Machida’s style, people are afraid to bring things like this up.

    For quite some time it seems like someone dubbing ANY fight dull will get you shouted down in attempts to kill your “MMA Cred”. Maybe this writer just gave up?


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