What you may have missed from last night …

If you follow mixed martial arts (MMA) at all closely, it’s pretty easy to tell that cheating pays. How and in what degree vary, but it’s pretty clear that Jon Jones’ eyepokes, Yoel Romero’s corner stalling for him, Jose Aldo’s fence grabs, Bryan Caraway’s fish-hooking, and Anderson Silva’s shorts grabbing have all benefited them in material ways … and those are just scratching the surface. In fact, if you have a favorite fighter, chances are he’s used cheating in some way to win a fight. Conor McGregor is excellent at timing a strategic fence grab to gain positional control. Heck, I have one amateur win to my credit and the ref had to warn me three times about grabbing the fence. It was just instinctive- I was in “maximum effort” mode and didn’t even notice I was doing it.

The same can be said for boxing, apparently. While boxing does have a long history of fighters bending or subverting the rules for various purposes, including Evander Holyfield’s headbutts and Floyd Mayweather’s sneaky knockout of Victor Ortiz, Andre Ward’s finish of Sergey Kovalev was the most flagrant violation I have seen in a long time.

It’s hard to look at that finish and see anything but a nut shot. Yet, the referee doesn’t hesitate to stop the fight entirely, declaring a TKO win for Ward. He doesn’t even give Kovalev an eight-count.

To be clear, Ward had been doing good work, and rocked Kovalev with a right hand before the finish. That doesn’t change the fact that he landed three consecutive punches below the belt to finish it off. And, to add the proverbial insult to injury, on Father’s Day weekend, no less. Hopefully Kovalev is content with just one son, because Ward is intent on making sure he never has more.

A closer look at the right hand, and the three low blows that won Ward the stoppage. Not since Bobby Green kicked James Krause into agony have I seen three nut shots win a fighter a TKO.

The worst part is, up until that point it was a competitive and exciting fight, but this finish gives us no sense of who is better. Just like their first bout, it will remain controversial.

Kovalev, who was getting no love from anyone on that night, will appeal this, as he should.

My timeline was blowing up about the controversy, full of GIFs like this.

Others spent their time predicting Mayweather-McGregor based off this bout.


In Other Worlds

Meanwhile, plenty of other combat sports were happening, and a lot of it was awesome. Holly Holm’s knockout of Bethe Correia was a lonely high point of a boring main card on Fight Pass yesterday morning, and a K-1 Grand Prix tournament saw spectacular fights and finishes.

Takeru is scary. Don’t make Takeru angry.


Sunday Funday

Chase Sherman is doing social media right.

Justin Scoggins got his patented “I’m dominating the fight until I get flash submitted in the second round” result, but he seems to know at least partly what the issue is, or how to avoid it… we hope.

Here’s hoping Scoggins can get back on track, because he’s one of the most talented fighters at flyweight.

Uncanny

Factoid

What… never mind. No, wait. What??

This will never get old.

A post shared by Evan K (@jiujitsuev) on


Tim Hague

I haven’t watched this. I can’t bring myself to watch it. Hoping and praying for Tim Hague and his family. Tim, a former UFC fighter from Canada, has been declared brain dead after this boxing match.

One possible solution to preventing these kinds of tragedies in the future is having infrascanners available.


Random Land

I felt feelings looking at the old pictures this guy rescued.

Enjoy your Sunday, Maniacs!