Wrong to Call Jones' Arm Crank Dirty

I was wrong to call Jones' arm crank on Teixeira dirty. I don't know what Jones was thinking. I don't know if he thought of the consequences. I don't know that any other fighter wouldn't have done the same thing given the same opportunity.

There are some good GIFs of the crank and Frank Mir's similar crank in this MMA Fighting post. I won't post them directly here because I don't own them and I'm unsure of the rules for such things.

Regardless of what you call it, I still see a difference in what Jones did vs. most other submissions. Jones threw his body into the crank, full power all at once. I see other fighters apply submissions quickly, but usually with enough control and restraint that the opponent has at least a split second to tap before significant damage is done.

That last statement seems to draw a lot of ire. Maybe someone can set me straight. I think of a submission as a grappling move that threatens damage or unconsciousness in an attempt to get the opponent concede defeat. Other people seem to think it's any move or damage that could potentially stop the fight. Is that where we disagree?

Another argument is that full force is the only way he could do anything in that position. You may be correct; we probably just differ on whether a fighter should attempt that move in that position.

The argument that seems to resonate most is that this is prize fighting, and Jones did a great job of doing everything within the rules to win. I understand that argument and I can't really disagree.

The only argument that makes no sense to me is that there is no difference between what Jones did and most other submissions. If you think the differences are irrelevant, or that any other fighters would have done the same thing given the same position and circumstance then I'm willing to listen. You could even say that what Jones did is better and more effective. But do you really see no difference?

Joint damage seems the most likely injury to be career changing and have long-term consequences. Accidental joint damage is the reality of any sport, but I don't think it should be intentional. If an opponent won't tap you've got to keep going or no one will respect your submissions. People say knockouts are worse. If current or ongoing brain studies show that a few knockouts in a career consistently reduce long-term quality of life then I may have to reconsider how I feel about MMA.

All I'm left with is to say that I appreciate fighters that show a modicum of control when applying submissions. I think it shows they have respect for their opponent and faith in their ability. Fighting careers are short and most will never make the kind of money that enables them to retire comfortably. A good knockout is exciting and I like watching good strikers. But I've always thought of submissions as the most interesting, decisive way to win a fight where both fighters have the possibility of walking away uninjured. Maybe I'm just fooling myself.

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