Daily Archives: April 28, 2013

Rees Lloyd: Two Oregon MMA Fighters–Both Patriots–Featured at UFC 159. Oregon Media Ignores.

Team-Quest-Logo Two Oregonian Mixed Martial Arts athletes from renown Team Quest based in Gresham, OR — both patriots who have long supported troops and veterans — were featured on the Main Card of United Fighting Championships (UFC) 159 on Saturday, April 27, 2013.
            Although Chael Sonnen, of West Linn, did not prevail in his quest for the Light Heavyweight MMA SONNEN JONES 4-13Championship in the Main Event against Champion Johnny “Bones” Jones, who is rated No. 2 on the ratings for greatest “pound-for-pound fighter in MMA today, Pat Healy, a native of Salem fighting out of Team Quest, defeated highly-rated Lightweight contender Jim Miller in a spectacular performance which earned Healy bonuses for “Fight of the Night” and “Best Submission of the Night,” each worth $65,000.
            The main card match of UFC 159,  which is the undisputed “Big Leagues” of MMA, the fastest growing sport in the world, was seen by a sold-out crowd in Newark, NJ, and millions on pay-for-view nationally and internationally.
            However, it may as well have been held in a locked room under black-out conditions as far as Oregon media are concerned: The “Oregonian” newspaper, for instance, largest in the state, didn’t mention a word about the fact that two outstanding, world-class, Oregon athletes were competing on the biggest MMA stage in the world, the UFC, before the match on Saturday, or after it on Sunday.
            It raises the question again: Why isn’t MMA “newsworthy” to the otherwise sports conscious “Oregonian” and other Oregon news media — even when one Oregon MMA athlete, Sonnen, is fighting for a UFC MMA HEALY TEAM QUESTchampionship, the one that really matters,  and the other athlete, Pat “Bam Bam” Healy, takes out a Lightweight contender in a grueling fight to win not one but two of the sought-after bonuses, totaling $130,000 for Fight of the Night, and Submission of the Night?
            After all, this is Oregon news media that treats as newsworthy the “sporting” antics of Portland’s ultra-liberal super-narcissist “naked bike riders” racing nakedly through the city showing off what nobody else is really anxious to see.
            So, what is it about liberal progressive Portland media that makes its editors and reporters ever so fond of Ducks and Beavers (all sports), Timbers (soccer), Blazers (basketball), High School Sports, and naked liberal bike riders, but makes them recoil from  MMA like Dracula confronting a Cross?
            Is MMA  too violent, notwithstanding that it has produced no permanently disabling  injuries comparable, say,  to Boxing, Football, or, it must be said, the injuries and deaths caused by bike riding (the pedal kind) in Portland?
            What is it about MMA that offends the Oregon media? Why the progressive  media’s curled lip/wrinkled nose distain for MMA?
            Is it the sport? The fighters? The fans? Is it a cultural collision betwixt the mostly liberal progressive elitists of the media looking down upon the mostly college-educated but non-liberal mostly outspokenly patriotic MMA fighters, many of whom devote many days and hours donating time, talent, and energy training troops in hand-to-hand combat, putting on exhibitions to entertain and educate, and generally supporting active duty troops and veterans who have served — as do Team Quest’s Chael Sonnen, Pat Healy, and, among others Oregon’s Matt Lindland, Olympic Silver Medalist in Greco Roman Wrestling, MMA legend as fighter and coach, current Head Coach of the U.S. World Greco-Roman Wrestling Team, and co-founder of Team Quest MMA who has trained both Sonnen and Healy?
            Just how many hours and days have the reporters and editors of the progressive liberal media who look down their noses at MMA spent actively working with troops and vets as have MMA athletes, fighters and coaches?
            Whatever the reason for the media’s distain for MMA in Oregon, the fact is there is little or no reportage by the Oregonian in particular, and the Oregon media generally, no matter that MMA is the fastest growing sport in America, and the world, and that some of the top athletes in America are Oregonians competing in MMA.
            Wherefore, what the Oregonian media refuses to report on Oregon’s MMA fighters Chael Sonnen and Pat Healy in UFC 159 the Victoria Taft Blog does hereby as a public service:
Chael Sonnen fought in the main event of UFC 159 for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against reigning champion Johnny “Bones” Joes, the youngest fighter ever to hold the championship in the 205-lb division.
            Sonnen, who twice fought for the UFC championship as the top contender in the 185-pound Middleweight division, giving champion Anderson Silva of Brazil the toughest battle of his career, moved up to the Light Heavyweight division to challenge Jones.
            Sonnen and Jones were the competing team coaches in the just concluded popular television series on FX, “The Ultimate Fighter” (TUF), in which up-and-coming MMA fighters compete for a UFC contract and become “The Ultimate Fighter” of the year.
            Although the Sonnen team prevailed in The Ultimate Fighter series, Sonnen did not prevail in his championship match with Jones.
            Although most who have faced Jones have come out cautiously to avoid the long-limbed Jones long distance striking and kicking skills, Sonnen came out to fight in the First Round of the scheduled three round fight as he always does — aggressively, with a head-on, challenging take-down attempt, which generally succeeds as Chael is regarded as one of the best wrestlers in MMA.
            It did not succeed against Jones. While Sonnen fought with skill, courage and daring as he always does, the taller, lankier Jones, who appeared so much bigger than Sonnen that commentators described Sonnen as “undersized” in the Light Heavyweight division, was able to hold Sonnen down and inflict “ground and pound” strikes which caused the referee to stop the fight and declare a technical knock out.
            Sonnen, who did not “tap out,” initially criticized the referee’s decision as prematurely stopping the fight. However, he later praised Jones’ performance in victory and said Jones the better fighter on that night.
            Jones, in the post-fight press conference was asked for his views on the referee’s stoppage. Jones’ concurred with Sonnen’s first view, stating that he, Jones, thought that the referee had stopped the fight prematurely and perhaps should have given Sonnen more time to recover.
            Sonnen, in a post-fight interview, gave the impression that he may retire as a fighter after the loss, saying that it appeared he would not again have the chance to compete for a title, having lost twice to Middleweight Champion (185-lbs) Anderson Silva as the No. 1 Contender, and now to Jones for the Light Heavyweight Championship (205 lbs.).ChaelSonnen11_crop_650x440
            The retirement of the colorful Sonnen, often referred to as “the quotable Chael Sonnen,” would be a loss to the sport.  As noted, he is generally regarded as one of the best, if not the best wrestler in MMA; he is also generally provocative, and entertaining, MMA fighter or commentator, with his sharply stated opinions and quick wit.
            Sonnen has had the unfortunate luck to be the No. 1 contender and fight for the Middleweight Championship against the Champion, Anderson Silva, who is currently regarded as “the best fighter pound-for-pound in the world;” and to fight for the Light Heavyweight Championship against Jones, who is rated No. 2 after Silva as the “best fighter pound-for-pound in the world.”
            But even if he does cease to compete as a fighter, Sonnen, an All American wrestler at the University of Oregon before becoming a professional in MMA,  will be involved in MMA as a coach, and will remain very visible as an MMA presence in his role as commentator and analyst  on the weekly MMA news and commentary show on the Fuel channel on cable. He was also featured as one of two commentators on the “UFC On Fox” broadcast of the Lightweight championship last Saturday (April
  Pat “Bam Bam” Healy, another Team Quest fighter who has made a name for himself nationally and internationally, fought on the same UFC main card in a battle against Jim Miller, a top contender, whom Healy defeated in a battle royale.
            “Bam Bam” Healy has faced some of the toughest opponents in the 155-pound division in the UFC until 2006, and after that in the then-competing “Strikeforce MMA, regarded as the second major MMA venue after the UFC.  This was Healy’s first appearance since UFC bought out Strikeforce and merged some of its fighters into, or in Healy’s case, back into, UFC.
             “Bam Bam” Healy earned his MMA nickname by his exciting style, and showed why in his fight against Jim Miller, a contender for the 155-lb title.
            It was a grueling fight that would ultimately win “Fight of the Night” honors, rewarding both fighters with a $65,000 bonus.
            The first round was furiously fought, with both men scoring points, but Miller having the edge and generally believed by commentators to have won that round. Healy was battered, bruised, and bloody, but came out with ferocious determination in the second round, leading commentators to designate Healy the winner of round two.
            That made the third and last round the deciding round of the fight. Both fighters again fought furiously and with great heart. However, late in the round, Healy took  Miller down and managed managed to apply a rear-naked-choke hold and lock it in. Miller refused to tap out, and passed out. Healy was named the winner by knock out.
            Healy, in winning his seventh fight in a row, and his first on a main UFC card since 2006,  also enjoyed the rare second honor for “Best Submission of the Night,” resulting in a second $65,000 bonus.
            Healy, now with a record of 32-15, has been respected but generally underrated in his long MMA, 47-fight career. A kind of ironic indication of that is that when the two fighters stood on either side of the referee to have the winner’s hand raised in victory, the UFC’s longtime ring (octagon) announcer, Michael Buffer, made what was called the first mistake of his long career – Buffer announced “And the winner is Jim Miller…No. Excuse me: Pat ‘Bam Bam’ Healy.”MMA HEALY TEAM QUEST 2
            The crowd roared its appreciation for the battle put on by the battered warrior Healy as his hand was raised and he broke into a huge smile.
            When announcer/commentator Joe Rogan interviewed Healy inside the octagon,
Healy said first,  “I’ve waited six years to be interviewed by you, Joe Rogan.” Healy then spoke of “what I’ve gone through in my career,” and how, whatever the outcome of any fight he would “always fight with heart.” He praised the skill and heart of his opponent Jim Miller, then gave notice that he was back and ready to take on anybody in the 155-lb division.
            It was a great moment Pat “Bam Bam” Healy, 29, a native of Salem, a fighter from Team Quest in Gresham in the Portland area, a man of faith and patriotic love of country and gratitude to the veterans who have kept it free; a man who has risen from humble Oregon circumstances to become, by hard work, true grit, and a great warrior’s heart, one of Oregon’s finest athletes; a man having his hand raised in victory after a momentous battle on the biggest MMA stage in the world, on the main card of UFC 159.
            It’s too bad that the Oregonian and the other liberal progressive Oregon media didn’t notice.
            Millions of others did.
            To see Pat Healy’s post-fight interview, which the Oregon media has ignored, along with his victory, please go to: Healy post-fight interview.
Here’s anotheR interview after the bout in which the “jacked up” fighter told his interviewer, “I feel like a million bucks.”