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Thursday Throwdown: Medical Suspensions, Jon Jones, Bad Drivers

By on August 9, 2012

When your website covers a sport where major events only happen a couple times per month, but you have to keep the front page freshly-stocked with content, you end up having to make news out of things that really shouldn’t be a big deal.

Hence: medical suspensions.

You may have read today that (gasp!) Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Brandon Vera are both medically suspended for at least 45 days! You may have thought to yourself, “Wow! ‘Medically suspended’! That sounds like a big deal!” You may have briefly thought, “What does that even mean?”

It means it was a slow news day, my friends.

As you’ll see when you read further into the story (not picking on Sherdog in particular, but it is one site that reported it and also featured it prominently on their Facebook page), 11 fighters from the card were medically suspended (in other words, 55% of the competitors from the card). In fact, Mike Swick was suspended for longer (60 days) merely for having a cut on his eyelid.

Why does this mean so little? For one, because it’s par for the course. Every event ends with about half of the competitors or more on “medical suspension”, it’s just that a big story is not always made of it, because sometimes there’s enough real news that it’s not necessary to focus on it.

For another, these guys now fight all of two to three times per year, with three-month training camps. A 45-day “medical suspension” is largely just the athletic commission covering their asses and has absolutely no effect on how often fighters actually compete, now that they compete so infrequently, anyway. Factor in that most suspensions (such as Wagner Prado’s for a right eye injury) can be ended when a physician clears the combatant, and it’s obvious that little attention needs to be paid to medical suspensions.

“Suspension” is a strong-sounding word, but don’t believe the hype. Medical suspensions are no big deal, and pretending otherwise is simply misleading.

Jon Jones Lands Coveted Nike Sponsorship

UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jon Jones has made no secret of the fact that he’s been chasing a Nike sponsorship; in fact, the reason that he was only sponsored by the UFC (I know, that’s weird) in his last title defense is that he thought that looking like a Nascar driver would hurt his chances of attracting mainstream sponsors.

Then, there was the whole drunk driving episode, and many of us thought that any chances of a Nike sponsorship were going to fade away, at least for the time being (no word on whether it’ll make him less or more likely to be included in Budweiser commercials). Not so, though: Jones has apparently signed a sponsorship deal with Nike, after all.

Now, Jones is not the first to sign a sponsorship deal with a major company like Nike. Others, like Anderson Silva and Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama, have appeared in Nike ads and so forth in their home countries. Silva has appeared in Burger King ads in Brazil. Georges St. Pierre has been a part of Gatorade’s promotions in Canada. However, this is clearly going to be the highest-profile sponsorship of its kind so far, with Jones even receiving his own line of products.

What can you say? If Jones continues to be as dominating as he has been so far in the cage and stays out of trouble, Nike won’t be the last major sponsor courting him. I’m actually interested to see what Nike’s MMA shorts for Jones will look like, too.

Non-MMA Rant of the Week

Those of you who are actually supposed to drive on the left side of the road, this won’t apply to you. To the rest of you, please, for the love of God, quit cutting across the other lane when you make a left turn. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Here’s a simple, amateurish illustration of what you should be doing:

I’m in the blue van and our perpetrator is in the red car, complete with unnecessary spoiler. As you can see, though, he’s done an okay job. He is taking his turn while allowing me to have space, since he knows that in this country we drive on the right side of the freaking road.

Now look at what happens far more commonly:

The driver of the red car has been playing Forza or Gran Turismo or something and believes that he has to shave a few seconds off of his lap time by cutting off the turn like a race car driver. Unfortunately, I am sitting in the right lane and am impeding his progress, as well as his chance of winning the time trial.

What usually happens here is that the driver realizes he/she is about to RUN INTO ME and decides that rather than give a sheepish look and mouth “my bad” or whatever the kids say these days, that they would be better off giving me a dirty, accusing look as if my stationary vehicle is the one that nearly caused an accident.

STOP DRIVING LIKE THIS. Please, oh please. If I get hit by one of these morons I’m going to…well, I want to say I’m going to sock them right in the grill, but what I’m really going to do is probably a) make really loud noises, b) go on a loud rant culminated with urinating on their vehicle, c) throw a shoe at them, or d) all of the above. Stay on YOUR side of the road, even when you make a turn, and for God’s sake, if you do something stupid while driving, don’t look at the other guy as if he’s the dumbass, because if there’s anything that makes me want to go Michael Douglas in “Falling Down” it’s that.

Quote of the Week

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

–A quote from Arianny Celeste’s Twitter. Okay, it was a retweet from someone called “thefrugalmodel”, but still, it was too good to pass up. Hey, people working shitty jobs to make ends meet: the girl who makes a living walking around in a bikini holding up cards with numbers on them every few minutes, then getting on her cell phone and playing around on Twitter wants you to quit your jobs and follow your dreams!

With Andrei Arlovski-Tim Sylvia 4 coming up (Thank God, right, guys?), I wanted to use Arlovski’s great quote about Sylvia dating his ex-girlfriend, but when I originally came across it on my phone I didn’t notice that he was doing the interview in front of an Affliction MMA banner. GAH! It was from 2008!

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