UFC 100: Even post fight interviews live up to the hype

An advantage of having a DVR is that you can set an event, such as a UFC pay per view, to record, wait about an hour, then watch all the fighting goodness while fast forwarding though mind numbing filler like fighters breaking down the Mickey’s Replay. In general, post fight interviews follow a common pattern:

Joe Rogan: What a fight, you said you were going to come in here and show everyone you could beat this guy and you did.

Fighter: Yeah, you know, WHOOOOO! I just, we had a great camp, we knew he had a weakness, I took advantage of it.

Joe Rogan: Take us though the replay here and tell us what you did.

ON SCREEN: Fighter kicks opponent

Fighter: Well I kicked him there…. Oooo look like that hurt him

ON SCREEN: Fighter takes down opponent

Fighter: Yeah, then I took him down

ON SCREEN: Fighter gets opponents back, puts opponent in rear naked choke

Fighter: Got his back there… and chocked him out. WHOOO!

Also at this time about 10 different people have distracted the winning fighter from giving any kind of decent answers by grabbing him, hugging him, or making sure he has his sponsors shirt, hat, drink, etc.. on and facing the right direction. The fighter will then thank his trainers, sponsors, and tell Dana White that he’s ready to move up to fight better opponents.

About 90% of the time missing the post fight interview will spare you from shaking your head while you ask “really is this necessary?” The other 10% of the time however, someone will actually have a “did he just say that” moment. During UFC 100 we got two of them. The first one came after Dan Henderson threw a right hand that might as well have started 300 miles back down I-15 at his gym in Temecula, CA before colliding with Bisping’s chin in Las Vegas. Bisping might have actually been knocked out by the sonic boom Henderson’s fist was able to create before he even made contact, but that is up for debate. After Bisping fell like, a sack of bricks, a stiff board, [enter other favorite knock out term here], Henderson was able to get in one last punch/forearm to Bisping’s chin before Mario Yamasaki was able to jump in to stop the fight. That last hit appeared to only add insult to injury, but as any fighter will tell you, anything can happen and you fight until the ref tells you to stop. Personally I’ve seen more than one occasion where a fighter has been out on their feet to only be jolted awake when they hit the mat. Sometimes the ref notices, sometimes the fight goes on. In almost all cases the victor usually has some words of sympathy, stating “I go until the fight is stopped, I hope he turns out okay.” Henderson though had some other choice words:

“I know when a fighter’s out. I knew he was out when I hit him. That one was just to shut him up a bit.”

Coming from usually soft spoken level headed Henderson this was a bit shocking. Even after some of the most intense pre-fight lead-ins, such as the recent Guida vs. Sanchez fight, the fighters show a higher level of respect when the fight is over. Henderson however had enough of Bisping’s antics from season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter. At one point Henderson compared Bisping to a pre-adolescent child. Bisping claimed his antics are done on purpose to get inside the other fighters head, but to most who watched the show he just came off as a annoying loud mouth. Henderson obviously took it the same way:
“I’ve had fans come up to me, from both the U.S. and the U.K., and say to me ‘I used to like him [Bisping] before the show,’ I don’t think he did himself any favors.”

After the event Henderson did begin to retract on his post-fight comments… kinda:
“It wasn’t my intention to hit him after he was out and I don’t think I did, it’s my job to keep going until the ref stops us”
Oh Dan, you hit him when he was out and fans all over the U.S. appreciated it.

Now if the incredible knockout and post fight interview of the Henderson fight wasn’t enough for you, you were in luck. After GSP man-handled Thiago Alves for 5 rounds fans were in for yet another treat. Unlike Henderson, Brock Lesnar was coming into the fight as what they would call in the WWE world, the “Heel”. Both Mir and Lesnar had plenty to say about one another coming into UFC 100 and Lesner refused to touch gloves before the fight. At UFC 81 Mir caught Lesnar in a knee bar and Lesnar had been looking for redemption ever since. Late in the second round redemption was had when Lesnar had Mir on the ground in a corner where he proceeded to land right after right after right. The overpowered Mir was saved by Herb Dean, who stepped in before Mir had to book a hospital bed next to Bisping. What followed could only be described as a class ‘A’ WWE heel act. Brock had to be restrained from continuing to get in Mir’s face then proceeded to give the bird to all in attendance for booing his victory. During the post-fight interview Lesnar encouraged the boos to continue, stating “I love it, keep it coming.” He then told everyone why he felt the way he did:
“Frand Mir had a horse shoe up his ass. I told him that a year ago. I pull that son-of-a-bitch out and I beat him over the head with it”

At this point even Joe Rogan knows he needs to reign it in. In an effort to steer Lesnar in a more humble direction, Rogan talks about Brock’s work ethic and no nonsense fighting style. One problem, Lesnar doesn’t bite:

“I’m going to go home tonight, I’m going to drink a Coors Light. That’s a Coors Light, because Bud Light won’t pay me nothing. I’m going to sit down with my friends and family and hell I might even get on top of my wife tonight.”

Bravo! Bravo! In just a few sentences Lesnar was able to keep the fans booing, criticize a UFC sponsor and let us all know where we can stick it while he is sticking it to Rena "Sable" Mero. Somewhere Vince McMahon has a huge smile on his face saying “I taught him that.”

Of course the fallout from both of these incidents has led Dana White to denounce both Henderson’s and Lesnar’s comments. Both Henderson and Lesnar have now come forward with their own retractions and have apologized in their own way. In the end I think UFC got something it needed, a ‘face’ to stand behind in Henderson and a ‘heel’ to get riled up at in Lesnar. Having personalities people can love and hate make fans convictions deep and willingness to watch an event strong. Now everyone will be pulling for someone to shut Lesnar up. Who will it be? We’ll all just have to sit back and watch.

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