UFC 71 article by ESPN´s Tim Keown

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6/2/07 9:10:42AM
I'm not one to hate on every ignorant reporter that writes about MMA but since this one is on ESPN I think it's definately worth a look.

"Wait, that's all there is?

By Tim Keown
Page 2

Everyone had it wrong all along. The big moment for Ultimate Fighting, the moment the sport found itself ushered from the smoky basement to the big ballroom, wasn't Saturday night's bout between Chuck Liddell and Rampage Jackson.

Like every big-time American sport, the big moment came in the week or two leading up to the bout. That's when UFC 71 -- it only sounds like a spy plane -- got its sport all the validation it needed.

Liddell on the cover of ESPN The Magazine and another fighter on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Extended and serious coverage of the bout on every outlet, not just ESPN. For fans of leg whips, kicks and punching a dude when he's down, it was the equivalent of Joe Namath's hanging poolside with a bunch of reporters before Super Bowl III. It was money in the bank.

So who cares if the main event was short, dull and puzzling? Jackson hit Liddell and he went down, so Jackson hopped on him and pounded him a few more times before the ref called it. And ... that was it?

I'm probably predisposed to disliking this kind of fabricated sport, but I watched for the first time, and I watched with an open mind. In my case, the pre-hype won. The reality, though -- just like every other overhyped event -- didn't measure up.

(For one thing, throughout the preliminary bouts there was way more nuzzling and cuddling -- lengthy cheek-to-chest action -- than I ever anticipated. Barefoot guys in swim trunks listening for a heartbeat -- this is the sport of the future?)

Even the aftermath was more interesting. Speculation in Vegas, starting with a local newspaper column, focused on Liddell's training. Apparently he was seen at the trendiest clubs doing the trendiest things in the week leading up to the bout, raising skepticism about how seriously he was taking his work.

And that, fans of UFC, is a compliment. It's the kind of second-guessing your sport receives when it has finally hit the big-time."

I just found the article pretty interesting and it was pretty easy to comment on it so I sent him a pretty critizicing mail and hopefully he'll get back to me.
6/2/07 9:31:18AM
What a douche.
6/3/07 1:30:30AM
I hope he gets keOWND
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