UFC coaching certain fighters in interviews?
April 16, 2012
Cageside Seats reports on an interesting part of the job for the UFC fighter that is somewhat glossed over: the post-fight interview. Dave Metzler suggested on his radio show that the UFC assists certain wrestlers with talking points for their interviews.
The discussion of the post-fight interview comes from Saturday’s UFC on Fuel TV 2 in which many of the fighters interviewed deferred on the question: “who they want to fight next?” Many stated in one way or another “whomever the UFC wants me to fight.” Rather than demand or offend anyone, the fighters went with the easy, non-controversial way out of the question.
Dave Metzler suggested that the UFC gives tips to those fighters it can trust to keep the training a secret. Thus, when the fighter uses the training in an interview, it would seem organic, articulate and compelling.
Cageside Seats made the parallel that the UFC is similar to the WWE if it does coach fighters into promoting themselves or an upcoming fight or “fued.”
When I read this my mind went to my favorite NBA interview session: Rasheed Wallace’s infamous “both team’s played hard” post game interview. A classic. Wallace’s post-game response to any question posed by a reporter was: “Both teams played hard.” It was hilarious considering it mocked the whole professional player-reporter interview process.
The fact that the UFC may or may not provide media training to certain fighters to generate compelling hype for future and/or upcoming fights is nothing earth shattering. Its media training. Certainly, it should provide that to all of its fighters but I don’t believe coaching an interview is nothing out of the ordinary. In defense of the fighters yesterday, most of them are fringe fighters. A loss or two and they may be out of the UFC. Thus, it makes sense that even when winning they’d want to be gracious and not offend anyone or call out a fighter. It’s not exciting, but at least they would not be labeled cocky.
From another perspective, the poor mic skills of some of the fighters may mean that the interviewer will have to do a little more to “put over” the fighter. No one is a miracle worker, so even Joe Rogan on his best night can’t help some guys. But, at least its better than watching a fighter pull out a list of sponsors it has to thank and advertise their after party.