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Barry Laminack: MMA is a sport, and sports shouldn't be scripted

Brock Lesnar has not been seen in a real fight for a long time, which is why his spectacle seemed fake. Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

This past weekend at UFC 226 a lot of strange, interesting, and weird things went down inside the octagon, but none more so than after the final fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.

Cormier, a heavy underdog, got the surprise knockout victory in the first round over “the baddest man on the planet,” solidifying himself as one of the better fighters in the history of the UFC; so it's a shame that such an occasion would be followed by making a complete mockery of the UFC and MMA.

Before we get to what happened you need to know that prior to the fight they (the UFC) felt it important enough to take the time to point out that Brock Lesnar, former UFC fighter and current WWE "fighter" had  walked to the cage to sit and watch the fights.

Right away I thought it was odd that they were pointing this out, especially since Lesnar was really making a show of it and making sure that everyone in the arena could see him, as well as the TV cameras could find him.

Fast forward to the end of the main event Daniel Cormier is in the cage and during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Cormier grabs the mic from Rogan and proceeds to call out Brock Lesnar by saying he wants him next.

OK, first things first, it’s pretty odd for a guy who just beat the champ to call out another fighter. Usually it’s the other way around - challengers are usually the ones who call out the champs.

Secondly, why is he calling out somebody that’s not even active in the UFC? Lesnar hasn't fought in the UFC since 2016 partially because he's not good at MMA anymore and partially because he was suspended for steroid use so he went back to pretend fights (aka pro wrasslin’).

But for some strange reason, rather than calling out the No. 1 contender or anyone else that’s been active in the sport over the last 18 months, Daniel Cormier decides to call out Brock Lesnar.

So Brock Lesnar enters the cage immediately after Cormier calls him out and, in true WWE fashion, grabs the mic, shoves Cormier and drops a very WWE style rant. The whole spectacle had a very rehearsed feel to it. None of it seemed genuine (at least not to me).

It was fake, it was set up, and it was garbage. It's not needed.

MMA is a sport.

What happend was the equivalent of Nick Foles standing on the stage after the Super Bowl, trophy in hand, and calling out Tony Romo - only to have Romo rush to the stage, shove Foles and tell him he’d see him next season.

Now look, I understand the dynamics of the fight game. I get that “bad blood” and other forms of conflict help to promote fights. And even if the antics of guys like Conor McGregor are calculated and not 100% genuine, at least it doesn’t SEEM fake (at least not as fake as the post UFC 226 main event stuff did).

And stop with that talk of mutual hatred between the two. This isn’t a case of bad blood. In fact, DC went on record saying how he and Brock have had a great relationship and that Lesnar was even nice to his kids.

If all that is true, then why are they acting like they hate each other all of a sudden?

Maybe I’m getting all worked up over nothing. After all, if you believe Dominick Cruz this fight is probably a no-go anyways.

“If he makes it to the fight I’d be shocked,” Cruz told the Scott & BR Show on 1090 AM in San Diego. “And I just mean that because USADA is the toughest anti-doping system there is on planet Earth, and that guy is absolutely doping. Period. No ifs, ands or buts about it. And he’s not been in mixed martial arts, so of course he’s been doing that stuff. How they’re going to get him to be clean on fight night is beyond me.” - (source: mmamania.com)

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

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