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Sapp and Tyson is making MMA look bad....
Mainstream Ignorance of MMA Reaches All-New Levels
Transcript and Analysis by Ivan Trembow - MMAWeekly.com
The pending fight between Bob Sapp and Mike Tyson was featured prominently on Tuesday as the lead segment on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, which is hosted by Washington Post columnists Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon. PTI is the highest-rated sports talk show on cable television, and consistently beats ESPN's flagship show (the 6:00 PM SportsCenter) in the ratings. Both hosts of the show spoke as if a Sapp vs. Tyson pay-per-view would be an automatic purchase for them without any question, but that's where the good news ends for K-1/MMA fans.
While they are usually hilarious and well-informed about just about everything, Wilbon and Kornheiser have never shown any knowledge whatsoever of MMA, or any desire to learn anything about it. No distinction was made on Tuesday's show between K-1 and MMA, with Bob Sapp referred to as the "K-1 fighting martial arts beast" and MMA acknowledged only as "this other fighting martial arts thing that Bob Sapp does." The sport of MMA is normally mentioned briefly on Pardon the Interruption once every few months, and it's always done in a negative way which suggests that Kornheiser and Wilbon don't know the difference between UFC 1 and UFC 40 in terms of rules and regulations.
Tuesday's show was the first time the hosts have ever talked about an MMA-related topic for an extended period of time, and it is now apparent that they don't even have a passing knowledge of the rules from the early day UFC's, as they said on Tuesday's show that low blows, headbutting, and biting are all legal in K-1/MMA rules. These statements represent more than just the usual mainsteam media misconceptions about MMA; this is actually spreading false statements about MMA to millions of people simply because no one on the PTI staff wants to do five minutes of research and learn anything at all about MMA.
Mixed martial arts fans should not tolerate this and should feel free to e-mail Pardon the Interruption using the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. You can voice your displeasure that Wilbon and Kornheiser know nothing about MMA and have no desire to learn about it, or you can try to offer a basic explanation of what MMA is, or you can say anything else you want... but please keep it polite or it will only reinforce the stereotype about MMA fighters and fans being a bunch of savage brutes.
What follows below is a full transcript of the Tyson-Sapp conversation on ESPN from beginning to end by Ivan Trembow of MMAWeekly.com
Tony Kornheiser: You know, with today's show we could have started with a football story, we could have started with a baseball story, and we could have started with Pete Sampras' retirement... all worthy topics. But given the opportunity to go low, we do it! So we start with a report in the New York Times that Mike Tyson is giving serious consideration to fighting 6-foot-5 and 390 pounds' worth of Bob Sapp, the K-1 fighting martial arts beast. Wilbon, your thoughts on this potential red meat feeding frenzy?
(Wilbon laughs while footage airs of the Sapp-Tyson confrontation that took place after the Sapp-Kimo fight)
Michael Wilbon: Isn't he getting closer to fighting the lions, as you once said you would watch on pay-per-view?
Kornheiser: That's next. Absolutely.
Wilbon: You know, he has to do this...
Kornheiser: Because he has no money?
Wilbon: We know that Mike Tyson, at least 13 million dollars in debt and maybe more, has to continue to fight his way out of debt. And a lot of people would watch this. It would not... you know, I think this other fighting martial arts thing that Bob Sapp does, some of it looks like WWE, but this guy's huge.
Kornheiser: Let me tell you something. Everybody will watch this, but it depends on the rules. If you fight strict boxing rules...
Wilbon: Tyson is one round. One round and he knocks him out.
Kornheiser: Tyson would kill him, but if you have the other stuff going on...
Wilbon: You mean kneeing people in the groin? You mean that? Headbutting?
Kornheiser: What would happen is, Tyson would have to bite him. He'd have to bite him... but that would be legal.
Wilbon: Yeah, that would be legal.
Kornheiser: Now let me ask you this. What if Tyson said, "I'll fight your way, but you gotta give me a chainsaw"? What about that?
Wilbon: (laughs) That's not going to happen, but I'm thinking of Tyson possibly biting his ears off. An eye for an eye, a groin for a groin. This is... it's a circus, but this is what we've come to. This is what reality TV, and more and more bizarre sporting events, have led us to.
Kornheiser: Look at Tyson's head. Are you saying that Tyson doesn't even have enough money to put the other side of his head that way with the tattoo?
Wilbon: How much does it cost to do that?
Kornheiser: I don't know.
Wilbon: But we're going to watch this, and we're gonna like it.
Kornheiser: Oh, I'm going to watch it, but will this fight come off?
Wilbon: Yes, because Tyson has to fight. He needs the money. And Sapp wants to come and do something in this country that gets him some attention, and not just in Asia.
I think all of us MMA fans should do what he suggested.....
"Mixed martial arts fans should not tolerate this and should feel free to e-mail Pardon the Interruption using the e-mail address email@example.com. You can voice your displeasure that Wilbon and Kornheiser know nothing about MMA and have no desire to learn about it, or you can try to offer a basic explanation of what MMA is, or you can say anything else you want... but please keep it polite or it will only reinforce the stereotype about MMA fighters and fans being a bunch of savage brutes."
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: the Altered state of Druggachusetts
Rep Power: 12
Total Points: 13,674.00
i say we hunt them down and chop off their balls with a rusty hedgeclipper but i think that may be illegal.
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: North Carolina
Rep Power: 20
Total Points: 37,520.00
PTI is one of my favorite shows on tv, as I'm a fan of almost every sport. That being said, I was really pissed when I was watching yesterday with the lack of knowledge they showed for MMA/K-1. I do think everyone should e-mail them voicing our concerns. They have a segment on the show where they read e-mails from viewers and discuss them. I hope they are flooded with e-mails so that they will feel obliged to correct their false statements about MMA/K-1.