If Matt Hughes is busy, as we all suspect him to be, patrolling the UFC’s ranks for violators of conduct policies and prowling for loose-lipped fools of the most sordid stripes, well, brother, business is booming this week. All in the span of a few days there was the Jessica Eye Lie, the Thiago Silva SWAT encounter and Tyler Manawaroa taking buffoonery into the stratosphere by posting racist, ignorant pictures on his Instagram.
What in tarnation? What happened to basic professionalism? (And was it ever there?)
Help us, Matt Hughes. We are in need of an avenger, somebody to restore a little decency -- somebody with an ounce of common sense to bat back the lunatics. Because, dude, I don’t know how things are out there rural Illinois, but right now in the UFC the inmates are running the asylum. Somebody said that Mercury was in retrograde, and that’s probably what it is, because even the UFC’s most recent signee Anthony Johnson is shouting for fighters to be paid like Major League Baseball players if we want to prevent the use of PEDs (?).
The mob has busted down the fourth wall, and the fifth estate is up in arms. Everything’s gone apesh-t.
Let’s start with Jessica Eye, who veiled herself in secrecy after having her first UFC victory overturned into a "no contest" in January. The fight in question happened at UFC 166 nearly four months ago against Sarah Kaufman in Houston, but Texas is as slow as it is surreptitious. It was only over the last couple of weeks that we began to know the extent of things, with no help from Eye, who just sort of denied everything (and actually sort of vehemently).
So, what happened? Turns out it was cannabinoids, that’s what. The cool, seductive hand of marijuana, of course -- the very thing she said it wasn’t. The same thing that Nick Diaz got hit for (those pesky metabolites!) and that Joe Rogan advocates. Not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. And even in Texas not a huge deal. She received a slap on the wrist (probation, rather than a suspension), and a small fine ($1,875), which is a little baffling on its own considering other fighters who’ve popped for pot had the book thrown at them.
Yet her handling of it went far beyond baffling and any of baffling’s distant cousins.
Eye, who is slated to fight at UFC 170 on Feb. 22 against Alexis Davis, not only deleted her Twitter feed after disputing the pot report with the reporter himself (Brent Brookhouse of Bloody Elbow), but she appeared on The MMA Hour on Monday and lied to Ariel Helwani about it all in broad daylight. A couple of hours later, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) released the findings. It was cannabinoids, alright. Talk about exacerbating the situation for no good reason. What was Eye thinking?
It makes you wonder if Nevada tests for fibs.
Then there’s Manawaroa, who is one of the participants on the currently airing TUF Nations as part of Team Australia. He posted a racist picture on his Instagram some time back that is so confoundingly stupid as to come as backwards as the neo-Nazi hillbillies of Appalachia. Surely anybody posting something like that knows it comes with consequences. Anybody with any smarts, anyway. Then again, maybe Manawaroa wanted out, and this was his way of doing it. Maybe it was his attempt at cunning -- but probably not. It was just idiotic. And the UFC rightly cut ties with him.
The granddaddy of them all, though, on this quiet UFC-less week?
That was Thiago Silva, who has dealt in his share of infamy long before allegedly sticking a gun in his wife’s mouth. There was allegedly booze or drugs involved, and Pablo Popovitch’s jiu-jitsu gym, some threats, then a barricade with SWAT surrounding his house…and finally a mug shot of Silva at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in south Florida, looking like he went a dozen hard rounds with the White Label Beam.
He was charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault with a firearm, aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest without violence.
The sad thing? As shocking as this wanted to be, there was a little bit of this too: Well, then again it was Thiago Silva. The guy who got caught pulling a fast one in the form of submitting a "non-human" urine sample ahead of UFC 125. That was the same fight, you might remember, when Silva slapped Brandon Vera with open palms in the crudest display of non-sportsmanship. Slaps aren’t meant to finish a fighter, but to humiliate him.
Silva was cut and will "never" fight in the UFC again, according to Dana White, and if convicted faces deportation. That’s what you call a bad night.
If this is how we fill the void of a non-Fiiiiiight Weeeeeeeeeek!!!! perhaps we need to page the Vice President of Athletic Development and Government Relations, Matt Hughes. And if not him, then somebody.
Because right now, some people could use some guidance.