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411 Fact or Fiction MMA: Is Conor McGregor’s NSAC Fine Excessive?

October 19, 2016 | Posted by Lorenzo Vasquez

Welcome back to another edition of 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! I’m your host, Lorenzo Vasquez III, and it is my pleasure, and I am glad, to bring you another round of the fact and the fiction in the MMA biosphere. Thank you, for your comments and votes last week. It is appreciated. And now, a quick recap. Alex Rella showed up and was game from start to finish. I challenged Alex on short notice on subjects like Michael Bisping’s ability to defend his title against the top four middleweights, the UFC mistakenly making BJ Penn the star attraction for UFC Fight Night 97, and a potential fight between Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva in addition to more. As I said, Alex showed up ready for a fight. We quickly tied up and the contest remained neck to neck for a good duration. Fortunate for myself, I was able to take the lead late in the game, and pick up the victory. Thank you, Alex, for your effort and contribution. We appreciate your work.

This week, Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris steps up to the plate to challenge and assert his dominance over, Scott “Kuch” Kuczkowski. Scott will try to avenge his last loss to Jeffrey as they discuss Conor McGregor’s fine for his water bottle throwing escapade with Nate Diaz, Julianna Pena making a big stink over Ronda Rousey getting the next women’s bantamweight title shot, the UFC potentially signing NFL defensive end Grey Hardy, and much more! Get ready, this should be a good one. Both competitors showed up in tip-top shape. Grab some grub and get comfortable because it’s time for another round of, 411 Fact or Fiction MMA! Let’s get the show on the road…

TALE OF THE TAPE
RED CORNER
Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris
Contributor, Various 411 Zones
0-1-2

VS

BLUE CORNER
Scott “Kuch” Kuczkowski
Contributor, 411 MMA Zone
0-2-1


Whether it’s a $150,000 or $75,000 fine for Conor McGregor’s participation in the UFC 202 pre-fight water bottle incident, the Nevada State Athletic Commission is choosing to take a path of excessiveness.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION It’s one thing to talk trash or curse at a press conference or puff up your chest and act like you need to be separated from your opponent. It’s another thing to get physical. The bottle throwing was stupid on both sides. Both sides needed to get fined and punished. Rules are rules. The NSAC also threatened to take away Anderson Silva’s license when he shoulder-checked him at the weigh-ins. It might sound excessive, but it’s also unprofessional on Silva’s part. The fighting is supposed to be done in the cage. They are grown men, they should no better. They are lucky that no one else got hit and didn’t hit them with some sort of civil lawsuit or complaint. I have no problem with the NSAC fining them. McGregor’s threat of never fighting in Las Vegas again means about as much as an apology from Anthony Weiner.

Scott Kuczkowski: FACT Here’s some perspective for this topic: Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier were involved in an actual physical confrontation during the lead-up to UFC 182. For their part in that brawl, Jones was fined $50K and Cormier was fined $9K. And those two actually threw punches (and a shoe) at each other. While Conor McGregor throwing water bottles could be seen as immature and foolish, no one was injured (reportedly) and the set for the press conference wasn’t destroyed in the process. Fining McGregor to this degree is just ridiculous and appears to be a money-grab by the athletic commission. And it’s really irresponsible for the commission because they need big name fighters to want to fight in their state, or there’s no reason for the commission to exist. If this incident causes McGregor to want to fight anywhere but Nevada for the foreseeable future, the commission will only have themselves to blame when the state loses revenue to New York.


With regards to a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor explaining during a recent O & A session that he hopes Nate’s people stop him from doing it again is the Irishman drumming up interest in a trilogy because he’d rather it happen sooner than later for financial reasons. You have to score will the iron is hot.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION I don’t think it is. I get the sense McGregor has moved on from that fight emotionally. He got his moral victory, and now he’s back to trying to win two belts in two different weight classes. Who knows what’s even next for McGregor after the Alvarez fight? I doubt he’s too concerned with worrying about Nate Diaz. The fact of the matter is this. Any fight McGregor has next is a big money fight. It doesn’t really matter who. He probably stands to make more in a headlining bout at UFC’s first New York card in a title bout than a third fight with Nate Diaz. Him fighting again at welterweight was pretty foolish anyway. McGregor is one of the top draws in the sport, so he doesn’t need a fight with Diaz for financial reasons. He can pretty much show up to fight anyone and it will make just as much. Diaz drew strong ratings before the fight, but he was never a big draw in terms of PPV buys. From Diaz’s standpoint, it makes sense because that is the bout which he stands to make the most money in, and he owns the first and only loss for McGregor in the UFC. I doubt McGregor’s too worried about it, though.

Scott Kuczkowski: FICTION I don’t really see what the big deal is with this. While McGregor and Diaz arguably made good money with both of their fights, it’s not like McGregor has any trouble drawing with other opponents. I understand he may think he needs to strike while the iron is hot, but I actually think that both need to address other fighters in their respective divisions before trying to fight each other again. If they decide to fight again later down the road, then fine, but I’m less excited about a trilogy than I am about new matchups. As far as Conor’s comments go, who knows why he says what he says? Maybe he was just trying to get under Nate’s skin or maybe he just felt he needed to get one more verbal jab in. Either way, I think most people are looking forward to his fight with Eddie and don’t really care about some trilogy.


Julianna Pena is right to consider leaving the UFC after Ronda Rousey was awarded an undeserving title shot against Amanda Nunes.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION The fact that Pena has a job in the UFC is pretty much owed to Ronda Rousey and her work in women’s MMA. The reason she’s able to fight in and work in her chosen profession for a living is because of Ronda Rousey. If Pena quits from MMA tomorrow, the casual MMA fans wouldn’t notice. She’s won four fights in a row, but her MMA record is 8-2. If she’s angry, she should fight, win her next fight and continue banging on the drum for a title shot. The UFC made it clear Rousey was going to get the next title shot if and when she ever returned.

Non-champions can complain but there’s precedence for this happening. It happened with Randy Couture. It happened with Anderson Silva. At least, like with Silva, Rousey was a dominant champion and pretty much ran her division for years. She was undefeated and defended her belt six times. She beat a number of other undefeated fighters as well, including an Olympic silver medalist. Rousey pretty much built women’s MMA into a viable outlet for female fighters after Gina Carano left for Hollywood, and Cyborg was forced to step aside for cheating and juicing herself to the gills on steroids. Instead of threatening to quit, Pena should be thanking Rousey for making it possible for women like her to have a career in the sport she loves and wants to perform in. If she’s angry, she should use that anger to propel her for the title. Nothing is given to you in MMA. You have to take it for yourself.

Scott Kuczkowski: FICTION Pena has a higher opinion of herself than apparently the UFC or most MMA fans do. To consider Ronda’s title shot undeserving is pretty incredible. Rousey dominated the division for a long time and easily dispatched everyone right up until she lost to Holly Holm. While ideally she would have returned and rematched Holm, that fight didn’t happen. As it stands, Nunez is the champ and actually a fresh matchup for the judoka. If Pena wants to go fight somewhere else for less money and exposure over that situation, then I think she should do just that – she won’t be missed. The odds are strong that this is just an attempt to keep her name in the headlines, which is fine until the UFC calls her bluff.


SWITCH!

Charles Oliveira is a much better fight for Ricardo Lamas in comparison to BJ Penn, who was nothing significant and a waste of time for Lamas.

Scott Kuczkowski: FICTION I have mixed feelings about this one. Charles Oliveira is a quality opponent and should serve as a good test for Lamas, who has gone 3-2 in his last 5 fights. Lamas is in a strange position; he’s been near the top of the division for a while and even challenged for the title, but struggles against the elite in the Top 3. A fight with Oliveira would seemingly give him the chance to rebound and get back on the winning track. The problem is that neither fighter has a name that will draw particularly heavy. This is why the fight with BJ Penn, although not overly meaningful to the division, would have been a good opportunity for Lamas. Penn’s return would have probably drawn pretty well, and while I didn’t expect the fight to be close, it would have given Lamas the chance to defeat a veteran on a big stage. So while a fight with Oliveira will be good for the division, a fight with Penn might have been better for Lamas’ career.

Jeffrey Harris: FACT Considering that Charles Oliveira is a legitimately ranked top 10 opponent, yes absolutely. BJ Penn might have offered Lamas some significant name value in terms of an opponent, but it wouldn’t have done much for him overall. Lamas is coming off a loss, so Charles Oliveira is a good match-up for him to come back and earn a win over a top 10 opponent. Both guys are legitimately tough featherweights who are also well rounded. It’s a solid fight. BJ Penn really should never fight again.


After, hosting child MMA fights and likely having something to do with the assault of Fedor Emelianenko’s daughter, Ramzan Kadyrov’s World Fighting Championships of Akhmat should be avoided by all professional mixed martial artist.

Scott Kuczkowski: FACT When a fight between 12 year olds ends in a TKO, we have a problem. When the only MMA fighter to defend this event is Jeff Monson, then we definitely have a problem. Look, I have no problem with kids training in MMA and even competing in it if the proper safety protocols are met, but when a kids health is in danger due to the carelessness of those adults sponsoring an event, then I have a big issue. Fedor was correct to condemn this event and I imagine he’ll probably want to dish out his own brand of punishment on whoever was foolish enough to assault his daughter. If a promotion is this careless in regard to children, what other corners are they cutting in regards to fighter safety? World Fighting Championships of Akhmat is definitely something that all fighters need to avoid.

Jeffrey Harris: FACT I really have nothing else to add.


Despite, having a troubled and hazy history of assault (particularly against his ex-girlfriend) and drug use, the UFC may actually partake in a great effort to sign Grey Hardy, as despicable as it may be.

Scott Kuczkowski: FICTION Dana White was asked about this on UFC Tonight, and he seemed pretty lukewarm about it. Don’t get me wrong, the UFC is about the ratings and could potentially sign anyone they think will move the PPV needle (hello CM Punk), but I don’t know that Hardy will do that. I suspect that the CM Punk experiment failed somewhat badly for the UFC and I don’t know if they want to travel down that same road with a guy who has no martial arts experience, a domestic violence conviction, a history of drug use, and a negative persona in the media. Stranger things have happened, and I guess there is the outside chance that Greg Hardy could turn out to be a naturally gifted fighter in the cage, but I’d be kind of surprised to see him fight in the UFC right out of the chute.

Jeffrey Harris: FICTION I don’t see it happening right now. I know while Dana White didn’t completely shut the door on the possibility, it doesn’t seem like the interest is there right now. Hardy is going to have to fight at regional shows first. It doesn’t seem like UFC isn’t in any rush to sign him to fight otherwise. People can compare it to the CM Punk situation all they want, but CM Punk at least was more than likely brought in for his PPV drawing status. Hardy doesn’t have that. Just because he’s an NFL player doesn’t mean he has value to the UFC as a potential MMA fighter.


So who won? Was Kuch able to avenge his loss to “The vile One.” Or, does Jeffrey have Kuch’s number? You’ve got until midnight eastern on Saturday to vote, so make sure you make your voice heard!


And that’s it for today but, as always, we’ll be back next week with another contest! And please, be sure to vote!

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