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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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The Texans are moving in the wrong direction. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

1. This team started incredibly slow and outside of a couple of drives in the second half disappointed. The defense got worked by the Chargers' star players, and the offense sputtered too often. It was really a summary of the season up to this point which is to say inconsistency.

2. Davis Mills was shaky early. The first drive interception was tough to stomach. The pocket got messy as he tried to drive the ball and he floated one up there. It gave the Chargers an easy drive for seven points.

3. One of the early offensive mistakes erased a scoring opportunity. Kenyon Green got nailed for a holding call that erased one of the best passes and catches between Brandin Cooks and Davis Mills all season. The rookie’s mistake was compounded the very next play when the offense allowed Mills to be sacked. It was a 40-yard swing that led to a punt.

4. Another third down penalty led to a mishap for the Texans. Laremy Tunsil gets a false start on third down to make it third and 10. The shovel pass to Rex Burkhead goes for six yards and then the Texans botch the field goal. Back-to-back drives and third-down penalties affected the offense and ended with no points. That was all just in the first quarter!

5. The Texans were abysmal with short yardage in key spots yet again. In the second quarter, Pep Hamilton opted for a pass on fourth and one. Davis Mills never got the play off and was sacked. After the game, Mills said the team wanted to catch the Chargers off guard running when most expected a pass, but Rex Burkhead was the running back. It was again a situation, a key and critical moment, that the team trusted Burkhead over the more dynamic Dameon Pierce.

6. The Chargers were very chunky on offense against the Texans. There were 16 plays that went for at least ten yards for the Chargers of their 67 plays. Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler were fantastic for Los Angeles.

7. The pass rush was non-existent for the Texans. This was one of the more disappointing aspects of the day to consider the Chargers were playing a rookie right guard, their center is injured but playing, and the left tackle was a backup left tackle. Nothing seemed to get home on an injured Justin Herbert. The Texans recorded just two quarterback hits in the game.

8. The linebackers got worked again. This is the absolute weakest unit on the team right now. They look like they’re easily exploited by most opposing offenses.

9. It was a rough day for the rookie class of the Texans. Derek Stingley was handled by Mike Williams on multiple occasions in key spots. Kenyon Green allowed a big sack and had a holding penalty erase a huge play. Jalen Pitre was the target of some offensive success in the Chargers' passing game.

10. Not all the rookies had a bad day. Dameon Pierce is so much fun to watch. He has the chance to be a truly impactful player for this team. His 75-yard touchdown scamper gave the team some juice, and he constantly fights and gets extra yards when the ball is headed his way. He finished with 14 carries and six catches for 20 total touches.

11. The Texans need teams to help them stay in games, and even then, it is a challenge. The tough part about where the Texans are through four games is there are some positives to look at and point to, but not enough to say the team is surely headed in the right direction. There surely has to be some adjustment by the team when the season is where it is after nearly a quarter of the year. The current direction isn’t going to lead anywhere positive soon.

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