Posted 11/26/2013 by Derek Suboticki in Subo Says

Another Spastic MMA Media Cycle: UFC 167 Edition

By Derek Suboticki, November 26th, 2013

Occasionally – and this isn’t an excuse for laziness or torpor – it’s useful to abstain from instant reaction and, instead, let the collective fallout from other sources wash over and around you. This approach can’t be used constantly, but it does have its advantages even if you’re not one to solicit the wind’s opinion before charting your course. In fact, in the absence of concrete facts upon which to base suppositions, knocking down the unwarranted, reckless and offensive hyperbole of others can serve as a lovely substitute for cocksure hypotheses.

Uncertainty was the word of the day following UFC 167′s main event. Hell, it was – despite the widespread calls of “robbery” – even before the judge’s scorecards were read. Georges St Pierre, inheritor of the “Highlander” title of longest reigning UFC champion following the fall of Anderson Silva earlier this year, had just engaged with #1 contender Johny Hendricks in what was unquestionably the most brutal bout of both fighter’s careers. Hendricks came out fast, stunning the champion with his power and stifling GSP’s formerly unstoppable wrestling attack; St. Pierre rebounded later on as the challenger entered the championship frames for the first time in his career (cue Mike Fagan bitching about not giving #1 contenders 5 round fights before their title shot). Most observers, if not the actual judges, can be forgiven their categorical insistence that Hendricks was clearly victorious; one’s jaw striking the floor (as when Hendricks nearly won the fight outright in the second round) can be distracting.

Following the announcement of the split decision in the champion’s favor – his ninth defense and seventh consecutive decision – the confusion hit a crescendo. After beginning to deliver the standard post-fight fare, GSP suddenly looked unsure, then shook his head and pushed the microphone back towards Joe Rogan. Rogan, perplexed, asked “what were you going to say?” and encouraged the apprehensive and exhausted St Pierre to respond. Haltingly, he did, claiming he needed to “go a’way for a’li’ttel bit” (apostrophes added) and leaving the prospect of an immediate redux with Hendricks – the only logical outcome of such a close title bout (sorry, anti-rematch weirdos) – up in the air. GSP did nothing to clarify the length of or cause for his sabbatical in the press conference and hasn’t since.

Here’s a short list of things I didn’t know following that interview:

1. What the “things going on in [his] life” were that made Georges St Pierre want a break.

2. What Georges St Pierre’s MRI readings looked like at any time during his life.

After ten days and countless articles, here’s a short list of things I still don’t know:

1. What the “things going on in [his] life” were that made Georges St Pierre want a break.

2. What Georges St Pierre’s MRI readings looked like at any time during his life.

Among the slop and leavings generated by writers innumerable following November 16th, there was a cornucopia of shit to choose from, but one particular nugget stuck out and stunk more than most. Tomas Rios, erstwhile race-baiter and occasional (and that’s coming from ME) MMA writer, took to Sports on Earth and wrote this:

UFC President Dana White reacted to the news in the manner one would expect of a slavemaster.

I’m going to resist the urge to simply say “eat shit, Tomas Rios.” Let me tell a story. Martin Bashir of MSNBC was recently embroiled in controversy and compelled to apologize on air for remarks he made about Sarah Palin. Palin, former governor of Alaska and vice presidential nominee in 2008, had stated that “it’s going to be like slavery when [the federal debt] note is due,” preceding the remark with the oh-so-important and universally indemnifying “this isn’t racist, but…” qualifier. Bashir, with a sense of outrage that one can interpret as being either genuine or manufactured, went on to describe the actual treatment of actual slaves by actual slavemasters like Thomas Thistlewood.

Thistlewood, a British estate overseer (read: slavemaster), migrated to Jamaica and recounted his many brutalities, including odes dedicated to the slave he enjoyed raping so much that he eventually allowed her to own property, over 14,000 pages of diary entries. In one revolting (and yet, for the time and place, both common and legal) passage, Thistlewood, without an ounce of remorse, describes a punishment known as “Derby’s dose.” This practice built on the beating on a slave by then applying an acerbic concoction of salt, pepper and lime juice to his (or her) wounds. Another slave was then forced to defecate in the beaten and agonized’s mouth, which was then wired shut for four to five hours. Bashir suggested that Palin would be an “outstanding candidate” for the barbaric torture.

From anyone, this is a powerfully stupid sentiment. But from a grifter like Palin that publicly prides (hell, exalts) herself on being conscious of racial and gender issues? That elevates the crime from using a loaded, inaccurate term out of ignorance to using a loaded, inaccurate term in a calculated fashion – just as Rios did. Rios, to his credit, is smarter than Palin; he avoided the “this isn’t racist, but…” qualifier. But it remains to be seen if he is as contrite, be it sincerely or not, as Bashir. This was Bashir’s apology the Monday following his comments:

“I wanted to take this opportunity to say sorry to Mrs. Palin and to also offer an unreserved apology to her friends and family, her supporters, our viewers and anyone who may have heard what I said. My words were wholly unacceptable. They were neither accurate, nor fair. They were unworthy of anyone who would claim to have an interest in politics. And they have brought shame upon my friends and colleagues at this network, none of whom were responsible for the things that I said, and at a place where we try every day to elevate political discourse and to focus on issues that matter to all of us.”

Unless and until Tomas Rios wishes to issue a similar apology, replacing Mrs. Palin with Mr. White and political with MMA (and all necessary pronouns), let me, unabashedly and with no plans for an apology, tell him to eat shit.

Eat shit, Tomas Rios.

Or at least let it sit there for between four and five hours.


Derek Suboticki  is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also co-hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at, also available as a podcast via iTunes.




Derek Suboticki

Derek Suboticki is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also co-hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at, also available as a podcast via iTunes. Previous work includes being former editor at Head Kick Legend and Fightlinker and contributor for Watch Kalib Run and Cageside Seats.