I am a sucker for bad TV apparantly. I admit I get sucked into a Jerry Springer episode every once in awhile. I admit I was sucked into the first game of the XFL and I got sucked into the MMA "event" that was shown on CBS last night. From the numbers in St. Louis apparantly a good number of other people were too.
I understand the popularity of the sport. Admittedly I am a novice fan but I know who some of the big names are and I have watched a few events here and there. So I would say I am in all meaning of the word a casual fan.
I wasn't upset about a "bloodsport" being shown on network TV. What I was upset about was the Kimbo Slice match. I am convinced the match was fixed and here is why. Kimbo Slice was getting beaten fair and square in the first two rounds, but because they have decided that he is going to be the star there was no way that Slice was going to lose that match. The first chance there was to KO James Thompson it was going to happen. Luckily for the folks at MMA Thompson's ear burst open and he was dazed for a second and that gave the win to Slice.
My first tip that something didn't smell right was when both of the analysts were not giving the fight to Thompson in the first two rounds. It seemed pretty obvious to me who was winning. The crowd in Newark seemed to agree because they were booing lustfully when the fight was stopped. It didn't appear as if the fight should have been called when it did. It all seems rather fishy to me.
If the folks at Elite XC wanted to do wrestling that is fine by me. But if you want to call your sport legitimate you have to have the opportunity for the outcome to maybe not be best for your sport as a whole. The fact was Kimbo Slice was getting beaten by a middle-range fighter and the league couldn't handle it because they had decided that Slice was going to be the star and the star can't lose on network TV in the biggest night of that sport's history.
So shame on Elite XC for their performance but shame on CBS too. The broadcast was so over the top last night that it was ludicrous. It reminded me of the first XFL broadcast where every hit and pass was the greatest thing that had ever happened in a football game in the history of the sport. Of course it wasn't and for the most part the fights last night were very pedestrian. So please don't insult me with Gus Johnson screaming over every punch and kick. That was a very poor effort by the broadcast team at CBS.
There will be two more events on CBS. Count me out as a casual fan on watching those.