5 YRS AGO – ASK MMATORCH: Jones dropping Machida on floor, UFC rape jokes, possibility of UFC return for Tim Sylvia

By Jason Amadi, MMATorch columnist

Lyoto Machida (artist Grant Gould © PWTorch)

Craig Asks: Am I the only person a little unimpressed with how Jon Jones dropped Lyoto Machida to the floor when the ref stopped the fight?  He said after that he knew he was out so what is wrong with carefully lowering him to the ground?

Amadi Answers: I understand that long term consumption of mixed martial arts can desensitize people to violence, but not until the rise of Jon Jones have I seen such compelling evidence of MMA’s ability to make people oversensitive.  Jones knocked Lyoto Machida around with punches, he split his face open with an elbow and when he saw fit, he strangled him unconscious with a choke. However, what fans seem to really take umbrage with was the fact that Jones abruptly released the choke at the behest of referee “Big” John McCarthy.

When a referee puts their hands on a fighter and calls an end to a bout, his or her immediate responsibility is to ensure that both competitors disengage. When John McCarthy called an end to the UFC 140 main event, he instructed Jones to release a guillotine choke, and Jones acquiesced.  Releasing the choke was Jones’ responsibility as a competitor, as was following the instructions of the referee; the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion did both.

Whether or not anyone wants to take that incident and draw conclusions about Jones’ personality is their prerogative and I won’t begrudge them for it in the slightest. But given the heinous beating that left Lyoto Machida lifeless in the arms of Jones in the first place, I think it’s a bit silly to focus on what Jones did after the fact.

Chris asks: Dana White just fired Miguel Torres for tweeting a joke about rape, so why is it okay for him to tweet a rape joke after his firing?

Amadi answers: First of all, anyone familiar with the timeline of UFC President Dana White knows that he regularly goes off on Twitter trolls in that fashion. Dana White being rude, abrasive, and/or vitriolic in a public forum isn’t news at this point. Second of all, it isn’t any more appropriate for Dana White to tweet rape jokes than Miguel Torres, but to act as though both “jokes” are equally offensive would be fairly disingenuous.

The “joke” that got Miguel Torres fired was essentially a thought on how to improve the effectiveness of “rape vans.” Without the context provided on the critically acclaimed television show that Torres lifted it from (and this is coming from a huge fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), the joke goes from well crafted dark comedy to something completely inappropriate for a public sports figure to tweet. In all likelihood, had Miguel Torres never been cut, Dana White’s lame prison rape joke probably would have gone largely unnoticed.

In fact, had Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans not gotten into hot water over rape jokes, Miguel Torres probably wouldn’t have been cut.

Brandon asks: Will we ever see Tim Sylvia in the UFC again?

Amadi answers: It’s unlikely that we’ll ever see Tim Sylvia back in the Octagon. From a competitive standpoint, Sylvia belongs in the UFC without question. The landscape of the UFC’s heavyweight division will change dramatically over the next few months with the addition of Strikeforce fighters, but the fact is Pat Barry is still prominently featured on UFC main cards; Lavar Johnson is coming off two back to back submission losses in Strikeforce and he’s still getting a fight against Joey Beltran. And Joey Beltran is in the UFC.

It’s obvious to anyone with eyes that Tim Sylvia could still get a lot done in the UFC’s heavyweight division. His last UFC bout was an Interim Heavyweight Championship fight in which he beat Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira from pillar to post before getting tapped. Had Sylvia avoided the submission and continued battering Nogueira, it’s possible that we could have seen Tim Sylvia vs. Brock Lesnar in the main event of UFC 100.

The reason Tim Sylvia isn’t in the UFC now is mostly political. Sylvia asked for his release from his UFC contract in 2008 so that he could pursue a fight with Fedor Emelianenko and more money outside the organization. Leaving the UFC in that fashion and then getting humiliated in 36 seconds is pretty much all it takes to become persona non grata at Zuffa headquarters.

Guys like B.J. Penn may have been able to ditch the UFC and come back strong, but it’s important to remember that B.J. Penn wasn’t the least popular champion in UFC history, he didn’t get knocked out by Ray Mercer, he didn’t get knocked out by Abe Wagner and he’s never defecated himself in the Octagon.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS ASK MMATORCH FLASHBACK: 5 YRS AGO – ASK THE TORCH: Amadi answers reader questions on Chael Sonnen vs. Jon Jones, bias vs. business in the UFC, and “Mayhem” Miller

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @JasonAmadi and you can direct your “Ask the Torch” questions to mmatorch@gmail.com

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