Ask Ant: The Bobby Knuckles Edition

By Anthony Walker Oct 4, 2019
The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 243 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed below are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Sherdog.com, its affiliates and sponsors or its parent company, Evolve Media.

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nousernamehere -- Is Robert Whittaker a likeable fighter? I can’t think of any reason why people dislike him.

People don’t like Whittaker? Is that really a thing? That’s news to me. Like you, I can’t think of any good reason to dislike the current middleweight champion. While I haven’t personally interacted with him, he just doesn’t strike me as somebody who you can easily dislike. From all outward appearances, he’s a clean-cut, respectful and professional family man. The closest thing I can say that might provide a reason why someone may not be fond of him is that he’s a clean cut, respectful and professional family man. In an era of Twitter feuds and press conference showdowns, Whittaker is the antithesis to the chaos. He’s a throwback to Georges St. Pierre in his heyday, a supremely skilled champion with the perfect balance of confidence and humility. That may not be sufficient enough to make a reasonable person actively resent “Bobby Knuckles,” but maybe it’s enough to form apathy. When everyone in a crowded room is yelling and screaming in an attempt to draw attention, the guy who’s standing quietly in the middle of the room can easily go completely unnoticed. Additionally, the lack of activity might contribute to any negative sentiments directed at Whittaker. He’s had two big main events scheduled in Australia and two late withdrawals that forced substitutions on disappointed fans. Sure, that could foster some ill will. However, it falls short of disliking a fighter because of any of the many misdeeds we’ve seen over the years. There have been no PED scandals, no rumors of cocaine and hookers, no regrettable street videos leaked or even insults directed at family and religion. I will fully acknowledge that my words are based in a particular amount of logic and reason that some of the vocal members of our MMA bubble lack. That is simply a standard that we can’t quantify or begin to understand. The crazies will think and say crazy things. Being apathetic is one thing, but disliking Whittaker is one of those crazy things.

Deadwing88 -- B.J. Penn is officially released from his UFC contract. Is he Bare Knuckle bound? accolyte1022 -- One Championship or Bellator MMA?

Speaking of regrettable street fight videos, our favorite Pub Crawl Fighting Championships titleholder -- it’s probably safe to call him former champion after he was dropped by the Lucky Clam’s “Customer of the Month” -- was finally served his walking papers by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Sounds like the perfect time for the shameless David Feldman to step in with a deal from Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships. Recently, the BKFC head confirmed plans to put the depleted chins of Antonio Silva and Gabriel Gonzaga on display. An appearance from the hepatitis-infected convicted rapist Aleksander Emelianenko is supposedly in the works, too. We also had the news of Wanderlei Silva inking a deal. It would be completely on brand for Penn to square off against another MMA fighter past his expiration date without gloves. To put things in perspective, “The Axe Murderer” can’t get a fight with Bellator after admitting to having CTE symptoms in February. Remember, Bellator MMA happily promoted the ultimate elderly showdown between Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie as a main event, with a woefully out of shape Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris opposite of Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson in the co-headliner. Slice was also booked in his own main event after a failed drug test, only to tragically die of heart failure just a month before that rematch with James Thompson. With all of the red flags that come up for the company, it passed on promoting a well-known name who wants to fight and is habitually exciting. Whether it was out of genuine concern for Silva’s health and ability to get a fight license or more of a public relations decision for Bellator, Feldman has decided to shrug his shoulders to all of it and welcome the legendary former champion with open arms. So why not bring Penn aboard? He checks all of the boxes. A recognized name that might still pique the interest of fans? Check. A grossly diminished ability to take a punch like the men in their next main event? Check. The alleged sexual assault reminiscent of BKFC’s targeted prospect? Check. I’m sure Feldman didn’t finish reading the headline before reaching for his phone. The real question is whether or not BKFC can afford Penn. His last six disclosed payouts have been a $150,000 flat rate. Maybe Feldman can reach that, but it’s very likely Bellator and One Championship will be able to outbid him for Penn’s services. Both promotions have deep pockets and have already snatched up some notable names for top dollar. Bellator is also gearing up for an appearance in Hawaii. That is something that not even the UFC could provide for Penn. If I had to guess, Bellator President Scott Coker will be the one to win “The Prodigy” sweepstakes if he’s interested.

Tex24 -- Milk before or after the cereal?

You are truly disturbed if you pour the milk first. This isn’t up for debate. Advertisement

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