Pulling Back the Veil of Stupidity on Corruption in Combat Sports
“Boxing has no more eyes left to blacken,” the legendary boxing writer Bert Sugar once explained. More than just words on paper, they are a solemn reminder of just how far the combat sports entertainment industry has corrupted professional boxing to meet it's own ends. The sport whored out to corporate interest groups in transforming the “Sweet Science” into a crooked financial racket where fights are fixed and strings are pulled in order to create narratives and stars in much the same way as their professional wrestling counterparts. With virtually every corner of the combat sports industry cornered and elbow deep in corruption, from the state athletic commissions taking the unusual step of withholding a fighters purse over concerns of the legitimacy of the contest to the worldwide leaders in combat sports whom are complicit in the conspiracy of silence; it’s a multi-million-dollar industry which you would be forgiven in mistaking for a vast criminal enterprise.
“What are we doing here? What are we doing here and why are we here?” asked ESPN MMA analyst Chael Sonnen in his November 17, 2020 YouTube video titled, “Rafael dos Anjos vs Paul Felder: Will judges ever be held accountable?” According to Sonnen in questioning the efficacy of the Nevada State Athletic Commissions recent instant replay review non-decision, “You had a boxing fight with a 26-minute review and came to the same conclusion that the referee had come too before the review ever took place. That should be embarrassing for you. Very. And if you had come to a different opinion, which would have involved that you actually watched the tape for 26-minutes… now you’ve got a problem with the referee who made a call that turned out not to be true. You have a problem either way,” explained Sonnen in breaking it down Barney style for the athletic commission officials whom he knows for a fact are in fact tuning into his YouTube broadcast transmissions in a clandestine effort to figure out how to do their jobs correctly.
“Meanwhile, three licensed judges,” Sonnen explained, “Two of them, one guy pitched a shutout and the other judge – the guy didn’t even win the fight. It’s a lot to think about, but it’s one of these stories that isn’t going to go away. And when you try to get some smart guy in the room, how about a smart guy about fighting? I mean do you see the problem to start with? Do you see the problem with that title? ‘I’m an expert on rules of fighting.’ You’re a what?” Sonnen asked rhetorically.
“And what college did you get that degree from?” asked Sonnen. “’Well, you know, I didn’t get it but I’m an expert on the rules.’ Why are you an expert on the rules of fighting? Do you sit around think about this stuff? You wrote a dissertation? You did a thesis? You presented this? You were approved? You were accredited? What do you mean, ‘I’m an expert in the rules of fighting?’” asked Sonnen again as he pondered exactly what size clown shoes these experts on the rules of fighting are wearing. With a deep pool of experienced and knowledgeable candidates in the combat sports industry to choose from, the fact these commissions largely consist of people with no business occupying the positions they currently do attests to exactly how deep the corruption runs in combat sports and how far the ineptitude actually goes in virtually every athletic commission of any significance.
It’s a topic worth sitting on, because while Sonnen’s charisma can often times overshadow his intellectual points, the fact is these athletic commission officials do in fact sit around and think about the rules, but not because they are acting in the best interests of the sport or with any other goody two-shoes, wishful intentions. More importantly than what the rule book says, is what the rule book doesn't say. The loopholes and different avenues of approach in which the fight game can be infiltrated and exploited masquarading as simply the weird, strange and out of the ordinary in combat sports as the obvious corruption is covered up, overlooked and tucked away by their corporate media sponsors.
“The experts can tell us all about the dinosaurs that became extinct 60-million years ago, (but) they can’t tell us who shot JFK 60-years ago and they have that on video,” explained Sonnen in continuing to make his point. “So, you start to wonder why do we want to keep on adding measures and making…now they’re talking about doing this open scoring. I don’t have a dog in that fight. I could give a damn if they do open scoring or not. I’m only bringing to you the point, that no matter how many things you do to be sophisticated, to make sure that you get to a better and more appropriate result, if you have the same people that are running it, if they’ve screwed up everything else why…you think you’re going to think of something that’s dummy proof?”
“In no other walk of life would this happen. That’s a big blunder. Who did it? Meanwhile over in the MMA world we’ve got a big discrepancy here,” explained Sonnen. “How did we get here? Any other walk of life. Nevada, you get up and go home. You’re a fighter? You have an infraction? You will come to a meeting. They will sit there; they will attempt to shame you. They will look down on you. They will talk down to you. They are the smallest dot on the political map. There is nothing smaller than a commission," explained Sonnen. "But they will come into that room with all the authority that ever made them sign up in that job for the first place."
“They get one wrong? Chael comes over and makes a video about it. Then I get an email from them later, ‘Hey, why did you say all of those things?’ Why did I say all those things? That’s, that’s what happened. I didn’t even pass judgement on it. Leaving that to the audience to do. I’m just taking a little bit of a tone; I haven’t said a damn thing here,” noted Sonnen.
“But you always get some guy,” as Sonnen went on to explain, “That wants to come in, ‘Here’s how you fix it. You do open scoring. You bring in more judges. We bring in an instant replay. We have an analysis.’ We’re going to do all these things at the fight, none of them we get right. ‘Well you know, I wish someone would have brought this to our attention,’ quipped Sonnen as he mocked the “experts on the rules of fighting” in the athletic commissions who don’t know anything about fighting at all. “We could do something called checks and balances," explained Sonnen with an idea of his own. "With the leadership that passes these rules. That has no integrity to enforce them. Any other walk of life, that problem would be solved quickly,” explained Sonnen in offering up viable solutions to the plague of impropriety in combat sports.
And by solved quickly, he means their asses would be out the door. They would be fired for their “incompetence” which I’m personally convinced is in fact corruption wearing the veil of stupidity. These “experts on the rules of fighting,” conspicuously resembling the mafia and gangsters of boxings infamous past, criminals who ran an illegal crime syndicate where every avenue of impropriety was mapped out and explored by a criminal enterprise who exploited the sport for their own personal gain.
“Did you guys see this fight?,” asked Sonnen in his November 12, 2020 YouTube video titled, “Fighters quit all the time,” concerning yet another irregularity to recently take place in the sport of professional boxing. According to the report, “So, a guy goes out, he’s in a boxing match in which he’s a 22:1 underdog. A mystery shot takes place, he goes down, he’s out, fights over. And this is like fast. 40-seconds into it,” explained Sonnen. “And that’s with the 1, 2, 3, 4 all the way to 10 and the guys out. California State Athletic Commission withheld his purse and the commission said, Andy Foster spoke on this, he said, ‘Just to be perfectly clear, we are not accusing him of anything. We are not saying at all he did anything wrong; we are asking that he come and talk with us and we give this a review and we ask a couple of questions,’” explained Sonnen in setting the scene.
“Okay, so very polite. Very polite by the Executive Director,” quipped Sonnen. “But if you take another bit of a look at this or you go watch the fight, there is no make-believe story where the guy was knocked out. It was a punch that was thrown, the glove, legal part of the punch in boxing, never touches him,” explained Sonnen.
“But his bicep, the guys bicep kind of comes around and touches his face, he goes down and never gets up. I’m not certain what it is he needs to explain,” noted Sonnen. “There is nothing within the rules that for it to be a knockout you, have to be knocked out. There’s not even anything in the rules that says you have to try. This is a case where he got very scared and looked for a way out. But that’s extremely common. Guys do this every Saturday night. Most of them sell it a little bit better. Most of them will wait until that punch lands and then go down and start arguing with the Ref and throw this whole fit, and get into the back, hit the shower and go, ‘Whoa. Got away with one,’” explained Sonnen on the actual truth to prize fighting from the perspective a cage fighter who's been in there with the very best there is.
“I just don’t know where the commission would come into it. What’s the commission going to say? Were you hurt? Were you really hurt? Why did you stay down? ‘Does it matter? I’m not a very tough guy, I didn’t belong in there. It was a mismatch, I got scared. He touched me, I was looking for a way out, I took it earlier than most guys would. I was planning to take it in the third round, I found it in the first 40-seconds.’ What do you say? That now becomes the athlete, between the athlete and his promoters,” explained Sonnen in how the CEO of Bad Guy Inc. sees it.
With virtually every corner of the combat sports industry infiltrated and susceptible to impropriety, from state athletic commissions taking the unusual step of withholding a fighters purse, likely because they weren't brought in on the backdoor deals themselves prior to the contest in acquiring their own piece of the pie on down to the fake experts in the combat sports media complicit in the conspiracy of silence; virtually every level of the industry is dirty and on the take as they find themselves elbow deep in the cookie jar of corruption. With the weird, strange and out of the ordinary incr;'/ mneasingly becoming common place in professional boxing and mixed martial arts, one would be forgiven in not mistaking the combat sports entertainment industry for anything else but a vast criminal enterprise. Which leads us back to the words of the great boxing writer and historian Bert Sugar who once noted that, “Boxing has no more eyes left to blacken.”