Don't it always seem to go
- Apr 18, 2015
Bro, come on, not to be a certain type of way, but you know who you're talking to so let's not pretend we don't know what words mean.You seemed to have latched on to this word 'revisionism' but I'm not entirely sure you know what it means. I'm not the first to raise these issues about BJM. Revisionism would be more akin to pretending this behavior never happened. You bring up that nobody had seen tapes until 96 or 97 - but I just said that he was even worse in late '97 than he was in 94. And I just arbitrarily picked UFC 15 - he was still unnecessarily manhandling fighters well into the 2000s. Let's not pretend he hadn't seen any other refs by then.
You're making a claim about Big John having watched other refs and thought to himself "wow, that's how I should be stopping fights" based on no evidence whatsoever. You're also talking about a time in the sport where there was little to no quality control over anything whether it was UFC 4, 15, 25 or even 30. If you want to say, "I thought Jon was too rough in his stoppages and here's the evidence, look what he did to Bryan Johnston" then we can say "ok, yeah that was messed up. I wonder why he did that." Then we can look at what standards SEG had governing referees, what guidance they gave fighters about how a fight would be stopped and what they should do, and then comparing them to other orgs at the time and seeing how each responded.
Pancrase, WVC, and even Extreme Fighting operated in relative silos. In fact, Pancrase had no real ground striking to speak of except some face slaps and body punches so the comparison isn't even relevant. Neither did shooto or RINGS. In Brazil, a few shows turned into full scale riots and after the one at Pentagon Combat the sport was effectively banned in some parts of Brazil. WCC had a ref who had to literally pry Renzo off of his opponent because he refused to let go of a choke. Perretti's Extreme Fighting was maybe the most professionally run, but they also were making it up as the awful John Lewis/Carlson Jr. match early on proved.
There simply wasn't any kind of information sharing around best practices, nor was there any substantive promotional guidance around the issue. Big John had a ton of screw ups and maybe not the best temperament, but in those days it was the job of the people promoting the event to police that. Looking backward at it through the lens of a post athletic commission regulated era is textbook revisionism.