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MMA full of petty backstabbers? Whoda thunk it?

Fightsport 24/7 is reporting that the “Shut Up and Fight Card” scheduled for this weekend in Canada was shut down because of complaints lodged by rival promoter Mark Pavelich from TKO.

Coincidentally, I decided to tune into the Ryan Bennet’s Internet radio show, and he dedicated nearly the entire hour to discussing the cancellation. Ryan was shocked that a promoter would try to shut down a rival. He could not understand why that would happen in such a small and growing sport.

Well, Ryan has been around the sport long enough that he should have learned that there may not be another sport filled with more petty, short sighted people than mixed martial arts.

Both Ryan and I do color commentary for the IFC. The IFC has told me stories for years about two promoters who have gone to great lengths to have their shows shut down.

The IFC once threatened to never use fighters who signed with a certain promoter who the IFC claimed owed it money. (Although, to my knowledge, it never followed through on this threat – it was a stupid threat none the less.)

The UFC is also known for its pettiness. One example (of many) was when it offered Murillo Bustamante a contract extension and Murillo said he would like to test the market to see what his value was. The UFC responded by totally withdrawing its offer and basically kicking one of its few bright stars out of promotion.

King of the Cage and Gladiator’s Challenge might be the worst of the bunch. The stories about their pettiness and attempts to hurt other promoters are legendary. And believe me, Pride is no better than any of the others.

The funny thing is that Ryan himself had a famously public and petty fued with the man who replaced him as the UFC post-fight interviewer, Eddie Bravo. After Ryan lost his job to Bravo, Rayn wrote to the UFC to complain that Bravo was hurting the UFC’s image because he publicly admitted that he smokes pot. When Ryan’s message was forwarded to Bravo, all hell broke loose.

Lets be honest about the sport. It is not filled with nice guys who have brilliant visions for the future. I, for one, will not act surprised when a promoter behaves according to form.

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