On February 21st, 2009, fans of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) invested a good quarter-hour to watch Ultimate Fighting Championship 95 (UFC 95) Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez vs. Joe “Daddy” Stevenson.
Sorry for the spoiler, but Diego Sanchez won by unanimous decision. Stevenson, a skilled ground man, put up a very strong, albeit simple boxing match, and traded almost blow-to-blow with the equally-skilled wrestler Sanchez. Stevenson got the crowd amped and performed a few silly theatrics, but ultimately contributed to and worked a pretty exciting, albeit losing, fight.
However it was clear that something wasn’t quite right from the moment Diego Sanchez entered the ring and started drawing crosses on himself, until the end of the match where he audaciously proclaimed that he was infused with a substance called “Jesus Christ” which he described as his “personal Lord and Savior.” At face value, it seemed to me that Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez might not have played fairly, but I don’t know if his advantage would otherwise ever be contested in this sport, except that I’m bringing it up here.
I’m not trying to start any controversies, but the entire show was acted out in front of us, brazenly, and nobody questioned it! During the recent Michael Phelps Bong Disappointment I mentioned the dubious political manipulation that forced MMA fighter Nick Diaz to forfeit his loss to Takanori Gomi after receiving an A+ on a marijuana test. As I said in the Phelps article, pot has never been considered a performance-enhancing drug unless you’re an artist, funk musician or a comedian, but still Diaz was forced to take a loss. I’m sure that nobody would dare claim that marijuana is more powerful than Jesus, so why is it acceptable that Diego Sanchez should retain his win after flaunting the use of a supernatural, omniscient, omnipresent, spiritual performance enhancement in his win over Joe Stevenson? Sanchez, in fact, probably had foreknowledge of every jab and take down attempt going through Joe Daddy’s mind! Every stick and every move was likely fed to Sanchez with enough time for him to parry and counter with the skill and speed of a Christian soldier. Having the Lord on your side is a well-established upper-hand and we must question whether it is legitimate, ethical or sportsmanlike to invoke Him in the world of sports.
And so it’s a no-brainer: The commission overseeing MMA needs to investigate The Nightmare’s actions and demand that he forfeit his win over Joe Stevenson on the basis that Sanchez had a supremely unfair advantage. This type of questionable behavior shouldn’t be limited to MMA. Any individual or whole team using Jesus to win competitions should be investigated by the official governing body of their sport. It’s wrong, just like praying to win the lottery. “Toe-To-Toe” and “One-On-One” are the creeds of fighting, and the Sanchez/Stevenson bout boils down to Father, Son, Holy Ghost and Man-To-One. That’s four against one! Not fair by any stretch and I am appalled that the judges didn’t take this into consideration when they decided the fight, although maybe they too had the (wink wink) “$pirit of the Lord” in their wallets when they made the decision. I’m not trying to outright imply pay-to-win corruption, but things aren’t looking good when a scandal of this magnitude is simply glossed over, you know?
I am asking for a swift, thorough and immediate review of this contemptible win by Diego Sanchez, and I assure my readers that I am not raising this stink just because I lost five hundred bucks on Stevenson.
[c] 2009 Russ of America
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