A few posts ago in the comments section I pointed out Gus Johnson’s idiotic statement during the whole post-fight scuffle at Strikeforce: Nashville last Saturday. This was noted throughout the MMA blogging community and Cage Potato writer Mike Russell even wrote an e-mail to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker in regards to his really woeful job announcing the event as a whole:
I hope this email finds you well. It was disappointing to see the otherwise great show marred by the incident Saturday night. I hope it doesn’t affect the CBS deal.
I was hoping you would comment on Gus Johnson’s comments Saturday night that “Strikeforce disrespected Shields” and “continually brought in guys to beat him” and that you “counted him out over and over.”
Also, what do you think of his off the cuff remark that brawling and scuffles break out all the time during MMA events?
Will he be working future Strikeforce events on CBS after badmouthing you and your company, or can we expect to see someone more familiar with MMA and who behaves more professionally?
He didn’t seem to know the difference between an armbar and a kimura.
Thanks in advance.
The fun has only begun my friends. This letter was forwarded to GuJo, and the phone call ensued. For brevity’s sake I’m going to give you an excerpt of the call….the angriest part, just to make sure it entices you to go read the entire post over at Cage Potato:
“I take a lot of criticism, but I try my best to try to help promote this f*cking sport, when nobody else, including television executives could give two sh*ts because they think it’s barbaric and it’s filled with a bunch of hoodlums, which is exactly how it looked to everyone watching the show Saturday night. I don’t really care about the ‘growing opinion’, because there’s another side that isn’t going to feel that way [about me],” Johnson explained. “There are certain messageboards and websites where people don’t feel that way at all. The problem with MMA is that these Internet guys ruin the sport because they’re negative 90 percent of the time. I’ve looked at them. if we give everyone a voice, we wouldn’t get anything accomplished. I try to say as many good things about these athletes in this sport on a network level — not on an underground level or a Spike TV cable level or a pay-per-view level. This is actual television and nobody knows if they’re going to pull the plug on this thing. If that happens, then everyone will lose money.”
Yowch. Tell us how you really feel there, buddy. The whole thing is here.
I actually agree with parts of what he said during that late night rant. However, he didn’t really address the whole “sometimes these things happen in MMA” quote that really struck a nerve amongst the hardcore fans. For a sport that is trying to replace boxing the top spectator and TV viewing choice, and still wanting acceptance throughout America due to its violent and barbaric nature, that’s just free ammunition to shoot down the credibility of the sport….more than what the Cesar Gracie Camp already did. It’s Gus’ responsibility to make smarter remarks than that and he should know it being a veteran broadcaster.
As far as the knowledge goes, I’d dump him for that. He’s botched the calling of types of submissions, I swear he said Jake Shields was “knocked out” multiple times by Dan Henderson (should be “knocked down”), and the fact that he has supposedly trained in various forms of combats makes it look like a total simpleton. What makes him look even more clueless is the whole Kimbo Slice vs. Seth Petruzelli “THIS IS THE GREATEST UPSET IN THE HISTORY OF MIXED MARTIAL ARTS!” line he pulled out about two years ago.
In fairness to Gus, CBS and Strikeforce need to scrap all three commentators. Mauro Ranallo is awful and is just there for cliches, puns, and statistics. Frank Shamrock’s blatant bias against Jake Shields — he even said “I’m not a Jake Shields fan — is shameful. This trio isn’t working and a revamp is needed.
I’ve written enough on this subject both here and at other websites so it’s best this case be put to rest for now. I’m sure Scott Coker will have a rebuttal and the crap will start again.
Stick to football and basketball, Gus. You’re out of your league covering MMA.