People Criticizing Stephens/Zapata as a fight are like Dana White

Discussion in 'So You Wanna Be A Fighter Discussion' started by EndlessCritic, May 24, 2014.

  1. EndlessCritic

    EndlessCritic Gold Belt

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    Say what you will about the point deduction, I personally think it was dumb. Say what you will about the scorecards, I personally think they're indefensible.

    However, a lot of people seem to be criticizing the fighters. "Zapata sucks, he couldn't stop a takedown for 3 rounds!" "Stephens sucks, he couldn't do anything with Zapata's back for 3 rounds!" "These guys couldn't do anything, they suck!"

    These types of comments and this type of reasoning is an example of what I call the "results fallacy." This fallacy is the idea that you can judge the quality of someone's performance solely by measuring the results he obtains.

    The problem with this reasoning is that it fails to take into account that it's very difficult to look good against an equally skilled opponent. I posit that both Stephens and Zapata are very good fighters. I posit that Stephens is an excellent wrestler, with excellent ground skills. However, I believe that Zapata showcased excellent defense on the ground. The fight was a very evenly matched battle that could have gone either way.

    To criticize the performance of the fighters is to commit a famous Dana White-ism, where he commented on the sport of soccer:

    http://www.calgarysun.com/2012/03/21/q--a-with-ufc-prez-dana-white

    It is self evident to anyone who knows anything about soccer that Dana made a fool of himself with his comment. And why is the comment so foolish? Because Dana is committing the results fallacy: He's concluding that the soccer players suck because they are producing low output, while failing to account that they are playing against other great soccer players.

    That's what Zapata/Stephens was. It was two great fighters negating each other. Sometimes those fights turn out to be wars, and sometimes they turn out to be battles of inches like this one was. But to criticize either's performance because they weren't able to "do anything" is to commit the results fallacy.

    Lastly, I'd just like to point out that many great fighters have been unable to finish the RNC with extended periods of time on the back. Maia against Fitch. Couture against Sylvia. Dunham against Griffin. And perhaps most infamously in the history of MMA -- Marcelo Garcia against Dae Won Kim. Stephens is in very good company. If Marcelo Garcia couldn't finish a guy for a whole round, nobody should be criticized for not being able to finish the position.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  2. Irishwhiskey119

    Irishwhiskey119 Banned Banned

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    Plus it's a fight. These guys are busting their ass when most people who have an opinion would get koed, subbed or gas immediately. I can appreciate a guy like Stephens who is showing determination, strength, conditioning and technique to keep position in the grappling exchange.

    Boring or not it is fighting and a legitimate way to win. People that complain about boring don't love the sport or fighting. They just want to see highlights and a finish. They should stick to watching the fight a day later and just fast forward to the end.
     
  3. adjoub

    adjoub Orange Belt

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    Theres a difference between a good fight without a finish vs a fight where a guy holds position waiting for time to run out.

    Are you saying there are no boring fights? Youre trying to hard.
     
  4. Jesse James

    Jesse James Chastity Belt

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    Damn good points by both of you...I agree. Hell I read a post the other day & the guy wanted to ban wrestling from MMA, said it was too boring..wanted kicking/striking only..I told him to find a kickboxing forum..OR watch WWE where the winner is already decided, & they use tables, chairs, ladders & other foreign objects, all comments are scripted, but they always have a dramatic (fake) finish!!
     
  5. EndlessCritic

    EndlessCritic Gold Belt

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    I should start a list of fighters who suck at grappling because they couldn't finish the RNC.

    Randy Couture: sucks, couldnt' finish tim sylvia
    Evan Dunham: Sucks, couldn't finish tyson griffin
    Demian Maia: Sucks, couldn't finish Jon Fitch
    Marcelo Garcia: sucks, couldn't finish dae won kim
    Roger Gracie: sucks, couldn't finish keith jardine
    Jacare: Sucks, couldn't finish carmont
    Oliviera: Sucks, couldn't RNC ogle
    Caceres: sucks, couldn't finish figueroa
    Bibiano: sucks, couldn't finish his last 3 opponents

    Clearly the level of grappling in MMA is so low since these guys couldn't finish the RNC despite holding the back for extended periods of time.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  6. Ackrite

    Ackrite Banned Banned

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    Perfect example of the 'results fallacy' he is referring to. When did either fighter stop trying to win and just wait for the time to run out?

    GSP has been accused of this for years because of his decisions but if you watch the fights he's always active and trying to find opportunities to win. Separetely, I've also watched quite a few good fights that weren't particularly entertaining.
     
  7. Ackrite

    Ackrite Banned Banned

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    This almost always comes with fights that are predominantly grappling. You rarely hear someone say, "why doesn't he just stop trying to knock him out and just take him down instead?" Conversely, it's not that uncommon to hear someone say, "Look, you couldn't get the RNC in the first two rounds. Quit killing time and try something else already!"....
     
  8. EndlessCritic

    EndlessCritic Gold Belt

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    Does anybody honestly think Stephens enjoyed being in that fight? He wanted to submit Zapata as quickly as possible.
     
  9. Just Jared

    Just Jared Brown Belt

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    It really isn't that simple. Listen to Edgar and Almeida in Stephens' corner. He was making some pretty fundamental mistakes. He continuously crossed his ankles despite being told not to, and look at how slow and awkwardly he tried to lock up the RNC after his corner kept shouting 'palm to palm!' at him.

    That was all on Stephens and had nothing to do with Zapata's defenses. You can't have a defense that makes somebody cross their ankles. I agree that it's unnecessarily harsh to say Stephens sucks (he's young and only 2 fights in to his career after all) but I think the fight made it pretty clear that at the very least his BJJ needs work.
     
  10. Deneil

    Deneil White Belt

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    Dana Whites comment on soccer was spot on. What he said is the reason they introduced soccer for grade school PE classes. All kids can run around the field and have fun. We not saying anything about being good at soccer. Not so for baseball, football or basketball, because kids will get discouraged when they can not catch, hit the ball or never make a basket.
     
  11. Cyantist

    Cyantist Red Belt

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    "hit the ball" because aparantly luck swing is an incredibly technical game.

    Agreed. Stephens made absolute white belt errors and its because he's so young in his career. It's the same reason he's basically wrestling guys. He was brought on the show to be fodder and absolutely nothing more, they probably had a wet dream when they saw Lyman Good who is known for not having the best wrestling and then a huge wrestler who was only 2-0 and quickly matched them up.

    Despicable and he'll likely be blackballed like the other guy they brought on last season who could only wrestle.
     
  12. orangecuse

    orangecuse Gold Belt

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    So how sad is it exactly when: Acting, thinking and viewing the sport the same way the most influential & known person in the sport is an ignorant horrible thing to do? Yikes.

    How come no one ever addresses that? Shame..shame on you paying fans for acting the same way the president and part owner of the biggest company acts towards MMA....WTF?
     
  13. EndlessCritic

    EndlessCritic Gold Belt

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    You're an idiot. Lots of elite bjj players cross their ankles from back mount. Bj penn being one of them

    [​IMG]

    Full disclosure: bj penn only crosses his ankles when he has his opponent's arm trapped, which is not what stephens was doing. Further, penn generally crosses his ankles practically above his opponent's waist due to his absurd flexibility.

    It's not easy to lock up the palm to palm grip in mma. Almeida kept shouting at stephens to "pull his arm out" when zapata was holding on, as if there was an easy way for stephens to do this.

    The only reason the corner was telling stephens not to cross his ankles was so that he wouldn't get leglocked, which zapata was never even threatening.
     
  14. Just Jared

    Just Jared Brown Belt

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    A bit unnecessary to lead straight in to firing off insults, don't you think?

    Yes, some people do cross their ankles. Those people are often very flexible and so they can get away with it. BJ's legs are also a lot higher than Stephen's were, as you pointed out. Not a very good example.

    Do you think Edgar and Almeida were just shouting it out for fun? It's something you're told not to do continuously as a white belt because you leave yourself open to ankle locks with your feet like that. Obviously there are always going to be exceptions to the rule, but it is a rookie mistake.

    For the RNC, I'm not talking about when he didn't go palm to palm at all. I'm talking about the moment where he actually attempted to do it. It was very slow and awkward as if he wasn't quite sure exactly where to place himself. I can go back and find the exact time if you like.

    I don't see why you're taking it so personally that an inexperienced TUF fighter has holes in his game. His cardio was also an issue as was his striking. I don't think he sucks and I don't think he deserves to be bashed, everybody is going to have things that they need to work on, especially when they're only two fights in to the sport. Why pretend that doesn't apply here? It's not an insult.
     
  15. Cyantist

    Cyantist Red Belt

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    It doesn't matter if Zapata wasn't threatening the leg lock, they're drilling good habits into him early since he's very young in his career.
     
  16. EndlessCritic

    EndlessCritic Gold Belt

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    Honestly, the criticism here shouldn't have even been towards stephens -- it should be towards almeida and edgar.

    instead of trying to fix his back mount which would have done fuck all, they should have been telling stephens to throw more punches.

    You can not teach technique in the middle of the fight. Coaching during the fight is for strategy.

    There's areason why you drill techniques when you learn them -- because you don't pick them up right away. Why you would expect someone to execute a new technique that they've never drilled before is absurd. They're likely to flub it.
     
  17. Just Jared

    Just Jared Brown Belt

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    Ultimately, yes, fixing his ankles wouldn't have achieved a lot since Zapata did nothing about it anyway, but they were trying to make sure he didn't take an embarrassing loss from a dominant position. 'Uncross your ankles' isn't a new technique, it's pretty straight forward.

    I wouldn't really consider 'palm to palm' to be a new technique either, they were trying to help him get a tighter grip on the choke with pretty clear advice. It's not the sort of thing that was going to open him up for reversal either so it was a pretty safe instruction. They weren't giving him a big step-by-step on how to execute a sweep from Butterfly Guard or anything like that.

    And who is to say he hadn't been taught these things in the gym before or that they hadn't spent any time drilling RNCs? We don't have anywhere near enough information to make that call. And like I said, as far as BJJ goes it was pretty fundamental advice that you wouldn't need to tell a guy who was more experienced at all.

    I think the coaches did well and that Stephens made the best he could out of his current skillset. Koscheck and Evans were in similar positions once upon a time so I'd say he still has an upside and I hope he gets a chance in the UFC despite Dana's whining about LnP (which I don't even think was a problem here).
     
  18. EndlessCritic

    EndlessCritic Gold Belt

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    we agree about a lot more than we disagree.
     
  19. Roaming Gnome

    Roaming Gnome Brown Belt

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    After the Cormier v Hendo fight I think the argument of if you can't get back up you have no wrestling skills should be put to rest. Zapata was more active during the entire fight. I am surprised Frankie didn't tell Stephens to forget about the choke and do literally anything else.
     
  20. EndlessCritic

    EndlessCritic Gold Belt

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    The difference is cormier didn't play the jiujitsu game -- he played the cain game. he stayed on top and gnp'ed without putting in the hooks for the vast majority of the fight. without putting the hooks in, he could maintain control, while still landing some decent gnp.

    still makes me laugh to hear joe rogan commentate early cain fights and talk about how cain has a hole in his game because he doesn't put the hooks in.
     

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