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Flopping may now be a thing
Flopping. Could there be a need going forward to have regulations in place for it in mixed martial arts?
Soccer, riddled with it, does. Players can be shown the yellow card, or sent off. Soccer almost encourages dives. Kids learn to become adept at it early in their sporting careers. It is almost an art form.
Basketball has brought it in. The NBA penalizes "floppers", handing out fines to players for repeated violations. The decision, of course, has to be made on video evidence. In the NBA, players get a warning the first time, and then are fined in rising increments for more flops. It’s $5,000 for a second violation. The fines increase to $10,000 for a third offense, $15,000 for a fourth and $30,000 the fifth time. Six or more could lead to a suspension.
But can a fight sport be considered under the same slide rule? It has come into focus after Fight For The Troops. Grey area this one, and still painful for some, so bear with me.
Here’s the baseline on this. At Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the question was being asked whether James Krause delved into the dark practice of flopping against Bobby Green? Whatever the conjecture may be from some observers in the fight’s aftermath, we have to accept Krause’s explanation.
Krause is a seasoned, 7-year vet in the sport, and looked spectacularly good against Sam Stout on his UFC debut in Winnipeg in June, winning Sub Of The Night, and fight of the night simultaneously.
For all you guys saying I was faking and it was on the "belt line". I'm a lot of things but a liar isn't one. pic.twitter.com/Q25pHkIu97— James Krause (@TheJamesKrause) November 7, 2013
He was categoric that “I’m a lot of things but a liar isn’t one”; nor indeed, am I suggesting that he was trying to fool anybody. Who can question Krause’s words that he is “a man if [sic] integrity; I would never fake an injury to win.”
But did John McCarthy misread the body language? Or the height of the body kick. According to referee McCarthy, no. He thought the fight was over, as he perceived Krause as hurt.
Some have accused Krause of "flopping", though.
Given Krause’s reaction, and given what had come before, the immediate feeling was that McCarthy was about to DQ Green. But what happened next, left those watching — and the fighters themselves — deeply dissatisfied.
It was a case of three men in a boat going horribly wrong.
Let’s just establish the facts. In the opening round of a three-round fight, Krause was kicked twice in the crown jewels. Green was deducted a point for the second kick which landed.
Green was probably winning the round. The third kick, which hit Krause on belt level, may have grazed the cup, which, given what had gone before, would still have caused Krause anxiety — and clearly — pain.
But this is where is blurs.
Far be it from any of us to say whether Krause’s crown jewels were affected the third time. They are his, and his business. One colleague suggested that the third time, there may have been "flopping" because he might have been considering at the time that he does actually want to have children at some point in the future.
UFC President Dana White insisted it was “right on the border”. Fine, if the tackle of Mr. Krause hadn’t been re-arranged twice earlier in round one.
But it does open the debate as to whether Commissions, and the UFC, need to consider sanctions for "flopping".
Flopping under the Unified Rules, would come under “faking an injury”.
Josh Koscheck was accused of faking a phantom knee in the infamous fight against Paul Daley, which saw the British fighter banned for life from the UFC for a sucker punch.
At UFC On FX 7, bantamweight Pedro Nobre was involved in a fight declared a "No Contest". The bout ended prematurely with referee Dan Miragliotta deciding that Alcantara's series of first-round blows were illegal.
It appeared that Nobre, flattened out on his stomach, took most, if not all shots legally, to the side of the head.
Miragliotta ruled they were illegal and to the back of the head.
Yet there were reports of Nobre in a neck brace the next day.
On his Twitter profile, Krause describes himself as “Pro MMA fighter in the UFC lightweight division. I like cartwheels, kicking people in the face, and the occasional walk on the beach.”
But he didn't sign up to be lambasted in the nether regions. Krause got his penalty send-off by being ruled out of the fight by TKO to the body. Doesn’t seem right, somehow. For the winner, the loser, or the referee.