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Seth Baczynski's TUF Blog From Last Night

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Seth blogs for Junkie after every episode this season, it's worth reading as he talks a bit about his fight with Brad last night, which he lost by DQ:

As I said in my initial blog, I am a guy who always seems to find his way to bad luck – or I guess I am my own worst enemy.

On last night's episode, you saw the event that has haunted me since it happened. It is not like an eye poke, accidental headbutt or anything like that. I fouled with an illegal move; I soccer kicked Tavares and ended what looked to be a great war. I felt so bad after it happened and still to this day I feel remorseful.

Tavares is a great guy and a very tough competitor. He did not come on the show to win like that, and I surely did not want to lose like that either. As he attacked me, I just resorted back to a place that I thought I had buried with fighting. As soon as the kick connected, I snapped out of the moment and realized I might have really hurt him, not to mention cost myself an opportunity to reach the finals.

I am really not even sure how to blog about this. I knew that this would air and I would have to discuss what happened. I basically really can't think of anything other than to say I am truly sorry to Tavares, his coaches and training partners that helped him make the show, and to his team and coaches on the show.

To Tavares, I took a great moment from us with one stupid action. I embarrassed myself, my coaches and my team, and I really am sorry for taking that fight away from you in that manner. We both knew losing was part of stepping into the cage, but you and I both would have rather lost like warriors than win on a disqualification.

I know Coach Tito Ortiz felt like they were stealing the victory from us, but I knew that kick landed on Tavares' jaw, and he was in a lot of trouble.

For me, this was the end, and I had no one to blame but myself. I was stuck in a house full of great guys and surrounded by great coaches, so all I could really do is suck it up and try to move on and make the most of my time left on the show. On the other hand, we already had a banged-up crew of fighters, and I was still injury-free. I think UFC president Dana White and the powers who be understood that it was an accident, so all I could do is hope for another shot and learn what I could from whom I could.

Speaking of learning, Kris McCray once again showed us that his hard work in practice was paying dividends. I think Kris had elevated his game and was underestimated a bit by Team Liddell. We were just a few wins away from having teammates fight, and I know everyone started to look at Kris as a real contender after this fight.

When Dana was talking about how he has no problem throwing teammates against each other, I had to laugh out loud. When Chris Camozzi and I were selected, our manager told us, "Whatever you do, do not act like you know each other, or you will fight your friend to get in the house." I had not thought much of that advice until I saw last night's episode, but it was sound advice.

I won't lie – I felt like I was back on the show because of my friendship with Camozzi, and I am sure he put in a good word for me. I felt like I was fighting for the both of us.

The episode ended with Chuck Liddell being told Tito is out of their season-ending fight. It was pretty evident in practice that Tito was not going to be fighting anyone. He was definitely willing to tough it out, but you could see a rapid decline in his mobility. He was in a lot of pain and likely only driven by his competitive drive.

I will close this blog out with one last apology to Brad Tavares and his people. I was honored to fight you and really disappointed with myself that I fouled you and potentially injured you the way I did. There is no room in this sport for dirty fights, and like I said, you deserve better from me.


Having watched the episode earlier today, I agree with what Seth said here. To me, the illegal strike was a typical heat-of-the-moment reaction and he knew right away he had screwed up, even though Brad didn't. I don't hold anything against Seth here, this kind of stuff happens sometimes.

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Post #1   5/27/10 9:45:57AM   

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I just don't understand where Tito and his coaches thought the kick hit the arm pit?? I don't get it...it was so blatantly obvious...yeah, Seth was totally in the heat of the moment...unfortunate ending to a very important fight for Seth.

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Post #2   5/27/10 11:24:25AM   

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Posted by Chael_Sonnen

I just don't understand where Tito and his coaches thought the kick hit the arm pit?? I don't get it...it was so blatantly obvious...yeah, Seth was totally in the heat of the moment...unfortunate ending to a very important fight for Seth.



In their defense, they don't have the benefit of instant reply like you and I.

And he actually *did* kick him in the armpit...during the follow-thru after connecting with his face/chin.

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Post #3   5/27/10 11:36:04AM   

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This blew my mind. I was a wee bit inebriated while watching it, and the kick came from literally nowhere, and then Tavares was out. He stood up and Seth said "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." The crazy part was Brad's reply "For what? (with a shrug and almost a headshake)"

As for Tito and friends, i've been impressed with tito as a coach this season. He's shown me a part of him I didn't know existed, which is a dedication to his team and actually making them better, instead of just wanting winners. He's really put forth a positive image. With that being said, it's insane that they would still be arguing about the kick when clearly Tavares was out, and had no idea where he was. I've never seen that happen by getting kicked in the arm pit....

Post #4   5/27/10 12:10:19PM   

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Too bad. Disqualified for a sweet looking soccer kick. Rules are rules, but some of them suck. If a fighter is down on all fours like that while the other is standing and doesn't scramble back to his feet, he SHOULD be open to soccer kicks. Get up if you don't want to get punted. I am tired of seeing fights end and outcomes being influenced by a cheap defense of hiding behind the rules by having your hands on the ground. No soccer kicks creates a hole in the game where certain positions... positions which should be the most vulnerable, are safety zones from certain techniques but not others. If a fighter is on all fours and can't scramble to his feet fast before his opponent recognizes the advantage and whips off a kick, he deserves to lose not gain a hollow win.

It is crap, it is silly, and it needs to stop. End the prohibition on strikes with the legs to the head of a downed opponent.

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Post #5   5/27/10 12:15:33PM   

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Brad's also been blogging for Junkie and he just posted his post-episode blog from last night, including his take on what happened (this isn't the whole thing):

Seth really took me by surprise. I had no clue that Seth would shoot in on me. He didn't throw one punch. I think he threw one kick in the beginning to answer back for the kick I threw at him, but then he immediately shot in. I caught him with a couple of punches coming in, but then I backed up to the cage. Somehow I let him get double underhooks on me, and as long as he is, he took me down.

I just made too many mistakes in the beginning. I should have never let him get double underhooks on me. Then, when I went to kick off and get up, I turned my back to him. When you turn your back, your back gets taken. He took my back, and being as good and long as Seth is, he locked on a body triangle. I'm pretty good about staying calm and composed, so the whole time he had my back and that body triangle, I was just waiting it out and trying to get him off of me.

Seth attacked with some submissions. He was going for the rear-naked choke, but I defended and remained calm while keeping my composure. I finally got him off of me, and when I came out, I started going to work and landing some punches that were scoring really well. When you hit somebody, and you kind of see their eyes roll a little bit, you know you're hitting them well.

Seth tried to slap a triangle choke on me, so I picked him up and slammed him. He still didn't let go, so I did it again. He finally let go, and I passed and started to work some more ground and pound. I hit him with some good shots, and I think I could have finished him if I had a little more time, but I heard the 10-second clapper, and I just figured that I needed to do everything in my ability to finish. I gave it everything and started ground-and-pounding with everything I could. He's a veteran fighter, and he scrambled up. On the way up, I tried to hit him with some punches, and I threw that knee, but he was backing up into the cage, and I slipped. He bounced off the cage, and I don't think he really knew what he was thinking, and he threw that kick.

I watched it for the first time a few weeks ago, and I just laughed. He planked me. I went straight onto my face. It was pretty crazy watching it. I know he didn't mean to do it, and I actually spoke to him about it afterward. He said he didn't know what he was thinking. He was kind of shaken from my ground and pound, and he was just acting off of instinct.

At that point, I got up, and Seth tells me, "I'm sorry." I asked him, "For what?" Immediately, as I turned around to walk, there was a drunken wobble. I told myself, "This is not right. You get tired after exploding like that at the end of the round, but you don't get dizzy and shaken."

I walked back to my corner as if I was drunk, and I hear my cornermen yelling, "Sit down. Sit down." I saw the doctor come in, so I just sat down and thought, "Oh, man. What's going on now?"

They got in there and started putting ice on me, and I still didn't know what was going on. I had no clue that I had been kicked at all. I didn't feel any pain. I thought I was getting up from slipping from that knee. I didn't even know he kicked me. Everyone kept asking me if I was OK, and so I started to get worried. I was like, "Oh, no. Did I get knocked out?"

A lot of stuff was going on, and I was kind of overwhelmed with everything. My coaches were talking to me, the doctor was talking to me, and then I had Tito's coaches behind the cage talking to me. You couldn't see them on the episode, but you see me kind of looking off that way. They were saying, "Get up. Fight." I was like, "Yeah, I want to fight. But what's going on? I don't even know what I got hit with." That's when the doctor started asking me questions.

I still didn't know what happened, but the doctor asked me, "Are you OK?" I told him I was fine, but I asked the doctor what Seth hit me with. When the doctor realized I didn't know I had been hit, that's when they called the fight.

The aftermath

I had to trust that my coaches and the doctor knew what was best for me. I didn't even know I had been knocked out. They saw it, and they know what's best. At the same time, my pride as a fighter was telling me that I could keep going. The fighter in me wanted to continue, but thankfully the doctors and the coaches were looking out for me.

After being awarded the win, it was a strange feeling. It wasn't so much that I didn't think I earned it because I know I work hard. I know that I can beat Seth – but that's not the way I wanted to win at all. I wanted my hand to be raised at the end because I submitted him or knocked him out – because we went to war, and I was the better man that day, not because he threw an illegal kick.

I was really bummed about the result, but McCray and Yager, they really got behind me and said, "You know, it could be worse. You could have lost the fight." They were right, so I just thanked God that I won.

My biggest concern after the fight was that I had to go to the hospital. I had to go get an MRI, and now I have to worry about the results of the test. When you get knocked out, you usually get a 30- or 60-day suspension. Technically, I got knocked out, so at that point my only concern is whether I'm going to get to continue in the tournament.

Of course, after my fight is when things started going crazy. I saw it all happening. Tito's coaches kept telling me that I got kicked in the chest. I guess they were trying to get a rise out of me. I told them, "If I did get kicked in the chest, that's cool, but I don't even know that I got kicked at all. What does that say? That must have been the hardest kick I took to the chest ever to knock me out cold and me not even know it."

The whole situation escalated when Tito got aggressive toward Joe Henle. What they didn't show was that Jake Shields was the first person over there. He saw Tito, and he said, "If you want to fight somebody, fight with me." It looked like Tito really wanted to fight Henle. He was so upset, and his body language looked aggressive. Jake felt like he had to defend Joe, and he ran over there to help. Chuck saw that, and he just wants an excuse to punch Tito in the face. He didn't care what it was.

I'm just glad that Dana told Chuck after the whole riot that Tito pulled out of the fight. Had he told him before, nobody would have stopped Chuck from punching him. Nobody.

It was basically the fighters that kept everything from escalating too far, and after the initial rush of adrenaline, people realize this is going to be broadcast on national television, and they need to come to their senses. You see fights in football, soccer and hockey all the time, but for us, people already think fighters are barbaric and whatnot, so we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We can't get into these fights. I'm glad it didn't escalate into anything more than just heated words.

After the whole thing settled down, Seth told his coaches that he kicked me in the face, even though they were still going off. I had no clue that a doctor told them I got kicked in the chest. I actually saw that doctor the other night at a local show in Las Vegas, and I wanted to tell him something, but I figured there was no sense in that.

But Seth is a really good guy. He was really concerned that I was OK. He actually wrote my mom a letter and apologized. He didn't have to do that, but he did. He took the time and wrote the letter.

Seth was born in Hawaii, and he lived there until he was like 7 or 8 years old, so he understands the culture that we have there. He said, "I don't want your family mad at me if they see me. I have a grandmother, and she would be hurt if she saw you kick me in the face," so he took the time and wrote my mom a letter. After I got out of the house, I gave it to her.

Obviously with the way this episode ended, the drama is going to continue into next week, so make sure and tune in.

Post #6   5/27/10 12:48:46PM   

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Posted by ncordless

Too bad. Disqualified for a sweet looking soccer kick. Rules are rules, but some of them suck. If a fighter is down on all fours like that while the other is standing and doesn't scramble back to his feet, he SHOULD be open to soccer kicks. Get up if you don't want to get punted. I am tired of seeing fights end and outcomes being influenced by a cheap defense of hiding behind the rules by having your hands on the ground. No soccer kicks creates a hole in the game where certain positions... positions which should be the most vulnerable, are safety zones from certain techniques but not others. If a fighter is on all fours and can't scramble to his feet fast before his opponent recognizes the advantage and whips off a kick, he deserves to lose not gain a hollow win.

It is crap, it is silly, and it needs to stop. End the prohibition on strikes with the legs to the head of a downed opponent.



I don't think Tavares was hiding behind any rules. He missed with a knee and went down. He *was* attempting to get up when the kick was thrown. It all happened in a matter of 2-3 seconds. He wasn't skirting any rules.

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Post #7   5/27/10 1:33:51PM   

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Posted by emfleek


Posted by Chael_Sonnen

I just don't understand where Tito and his coaches thought the kick hit the arm pit?? I don't get it...it was so blatantly obvious...yeah, Seth was totally in the heat of the moment...unfortunate ending to a very important fight for Seth.



In their defense, they don't have the benefit of instant reply like you and I.

And he actually *did* kick him in the armpit...during the follow-thru after connecting with his face/chin.



If you rewatch the show you can hear tito say his assistant coach re watched the kick on replay and felt the kick was to the armpit, so they must have some form of ringside replay. Either way he looked like a tool.


Soccer kicks to the head dont belong in a sport period. Acting like they should be a legal move and downplaying the danger of using a technique other fighters assume wont be used is not cool.

I dont think there was intent to cheat but thats still not a excuse, hopefully Dana will give him another shot.

He deserved the DQ.

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Post #8   5/27/10 1:41:56PM   

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Can someone hook me up with an episode link? I missed the show last night..

Post #9   5/27/10 2:09:12PM   

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Posted by slapshot

Soccer kicks to the head dont belong in a sport period.



Even though it's an ages old argument, I must say I agree.

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Post #10   5/27/10 2:12:19PM   

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Posted by emfleek


Posted by ncordless

Too bad. Disqualified for a sweet looking soccer kick. Rules are rules, but some of them suck. If a fighter is down on all fours like that while the other is standing and doesn't scramble back to his feet, he SHOULD be open to soccer kicks. Get up if you don't want to get punted. I am tired of seeing fights end and outcomes being influenced by a cheap defense of hiding behind the rules by having your hands on the ground. No soccer kicks creates a hole in the game where certain positions... positions which should be the most vulnerable, are safety zones from certain techniques but not others. If a fighter is on all fours and can't scramble to his feet fast before his opponent recognizes the advantage and whips off a kick, he deserves to lose not gain a hollow win.

It is crap, it is silly, and it needs to stop. End the prohibition on strikes with the legs to the head of a downed opponent.



I don't think Tavares was hiding behind any rules. He missed with a knee and went down. He *was* attempting to get up when the kick was thrown. It all happened in a matter of 2-3 seconds. He wasn't skirting any rules.




He wasn't skirting any rules... my problem with the whole thing is that Tavares put himself in that position and wasn't able to get up fast enough to avoid getting punted. It isn't that Tavares tried to be there, it is that he was there and and Seth kicked him but because Tavares put himself on the ground, that kick is illegal. Tavares won because the rules protect him from getting kicked. That protection should not be there.

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Post #11   5/27/10 2:19:16PM   

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Posted by ncordless

He wasn't skirting any rules... my problem with the whole thing is that Tavares put himself in that position and wasn't able to get up fast enough to avoid getting punted. It isn't that Tavares tried to be there, it is that he was there and and Seth kicked him but because Tavares put himself on the ground, that kick is illegal. Tavares won because the rules protect him from getting kicked. That protection should not be there.



I guess I've just never understood the argument that people try to make in favor of allowing kicks to the head of a downed opponent.

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Post #12   5/27/10 2:31:05PM   

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Soccer kicks to the head of a downed opponent have a greater potential to do permanent damage than just about any other strike.

He was not "protected" by the rule, there are a number of legal strikes available to use, it was not as if there was nothing else he could have done.

Some people love the sport and some just love violence, I dont care to see anyone get permanently injured and thats also why some things are illegal, hell lobby to bring back head butts, gee's and strikes to the nuts if you want but it wont happen nor can a argument be made for it.

Ill give you that some of the moves on the ban list are made illegal out of extreme caution and some should not be there at all but soccer kicks to the head? I would have to be obtuse not to see the potential issues it could cause.

This is no longer a anything goes sideshow type industry, in all sports the rules are there to "protect" the athletes from permanent damage as well they should be.

P.S. He didn't win because the rule protected him, he won because the other fighter used a illegal strike, the strike should have never been thrown.

He basically won because the other fighter cheated regardless of intent.

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Post #13   5/27/10 3:08:54PM   

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Posted by Hendo67

Can someone hook me up with an episode link? I missed the show last night..


UltimateFighter.com. Bookmark it, every episode and every fight is there.

Post #14   5/27/10 4:27:08PM   

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Everyone claims that soccer kicks are more dangerous, yet I have never seen one iota of evidence to back that up. There is a long history of their use in mma, and to my knowledge they never resulted in an injury any greater than other strikes in mma. The real danger they pose is that a fighter who is already out might get tagged with repeated shots. But that is the same with every strike and it is the job of the ref to make sure that it doesn't happen.

But that is only half the story. If what is illegal and legal in mma was based completely on safety, mma would be illegal because it is not safe. One punch from any angle can kill a person or permanently damage their brain. Every joint lock could spell a lifetime of pain. But the reason they are ok is because people accept that risk, both the fighters and the fans. mma is a violent and dangerous sport. It is a sport where people fight each other, and the fightsport that is the most like a real fight fought with the barest of "gentleman's rules" like no groin shots or eye gouging. To protect the integrity of the sport, as few unnatural rules as possible should be instituted. Instead of doing random things like deciding that kicks are ok unless a person has a knee or hands touching the floor, the real need for safety is best addressed outside the cage. Injuries will best be reduced by injury prevention and mitigation in the form of comprehensive medical exams pre- and post-fight. Not random rules with no scientific basis that people instituted because they think something looks brutal.

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Post #15   5/27/10 6:33:46PM   
 
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