A violation of sportsmanship is not worthy of a competition ban

Some thoughts on sportsmanship in MMA.

By: Brent Brookhouse | 14 years ago
A violation of sportsmanship is not worthy of a competition ban
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Steve Cofield at Cagewriter recently got himself all worked up over a show of bad sportsmanship in a video that has been getting floated around several sites which shows amateur fighter Chris Sheridan knocking out his opponent by throwing a punch immediately after touching gloves.

While there clearly are things wrong with Sheridan’s actions from a sporting perspective Cofield crosses into dangerous territory with the following:

Nevada shouldn’t license this kid anytime soon unless he comes in front of the commission to explain his actions. Frankly, it should be treated more harshly than a positive drug test.

The problem here is that Sheridan didn’t break any rules.  In fact, everything he did in the fight was perfectly legal.  There is no rule saying you must wait two seconds after a glove touch for action.  …there is no rule saying you must touch gloves at all.  For someone in Cofield’s position, writing for a blog on Yahoo!, to say that you should ban a kid from competition and treat him like a drug user is irresponsible.

Say you won’t ever pay to watch him fight or that fans should contact the promotion and express that you don’t want to see him get fight bookings anymore.  But to call for athletic commission intervention for a legal maneuver is just wrong.  This kind of thing happens sometimes in boxing and MMA; usually when one fighter extends for a glove touch and the other just levels him with a punch.  Hell, even Kim Couture got blasted trying to touch gloves.

The “ban him” epidemic in MMA has to settle down.  Some actions can simply be reprehensible and we should let the fighters know that we won’t accept this type of behavior as fans, but this is simply not a place for intervention by an athletic commission.

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Brent Brookhouse
Brent Brookhouse

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