ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt found himself on the wrong side of MMA fans this past weekend due to the reaction he gave to Joaquin Buckley’s knockout of Impa Kasanganay at UFC Fight Island 5.
Van Pelt said the following on ESPN SportsCenter when the highlight of the knockout airs (via Simon Simano of MMA Junkie):
“I get that people love it. … I don’t. I don’t love that. The guy is out! Mashes his head on the ground! Yay!”
SVP would respond to some of those criticisms he got from MMA personalities and fans alike through various posts on Twitter:
Luke Thomas: Lots of folks in MMA bitter at @notthefakeSVP about his views on MMA without realizing at most media companies, this view is the norm. Media companies got into MMA because they wanted web traffic or to keep up with competitors. They don't 'believe' in MMA. It's all transactional
Scott Van Pelt: Luke, the sport has grown on me and the people in the sport are compelling as hell. I was talking only about the sight of a man out on his feet falling and hitting his head. Being called a bitch all morning is par for the course. It's a passionate fan base.
Thomas: No worries, SVP. A lot of people don't like it for that reason or others. It's fine by me. It's not for everyone and that's OK. But I appreciate the clarification and sorry about the harassment.
Van Pelt: it's twitter. You get what you get. It was a tremendous KO, no doubt. "What about football?" There is a reason segments like Jacked Up long ago went away. It's still violent, but the highlight of an unconscious player wouldn't be shown like it was something to be celebrated.
Ian Parker: Highlights of boxing KO’s are acceptable though?
Van Pelt: MMA Ko's are acceptable. I thought last nights fall was unusual. There is a reason everyone is freaking out about it. It was an incredible KO. You don't often see a man truly out like that. But, to your point, last weeks Baranachyk fall was bad/scary and he was in more distress.
Nick Davis: I present to you Scott Van Pelt… (a video of a boxing knockout was a part of the tweet)
Van Pelt: it's true. I said that. Now, show the 3 minute dance he did prior to that that lead to us laughing at the KO. But - You're right. I said it.
Davis: But how could you not be disturbed by that image and able to laugh at the situation? Also, I've always been and am still a huge fan. For years one of the few bright spots on ESPN.
Van Pelt: Because he danced and clowned like his opponent wasn't worthy of any respect and then he got KO-ed. Your point is a fair one. I laughed at one and not the other. But when you present them without showing the lead up to Uzzy, as if there were presented the same, it's not.
im a real mormon: Didn't scott van pelt recap a vicious boxing knockout and laugh at the guy? I just think it's hard for fans to accept anyone who is so blatantly two faced as that.
Van Pelt: We have covered that here. Yep. Uzzzy Ahmed danced around like a clown for three minutes inches ring into then got knocked out in seconds and I laughed. That happened.
Social distancing stablegenius: The unconsciousness of the football player is not celebrated, but you better believe the tackle to stop the drive that caused it is celebrated. Similarly, MMA fans celebrate the artistry of that technique that ends the fight. Not the unconsciousness of the fighter.
Van Pelt: This is well put.