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ESPN Sports Center reporter Scott Van Pelt responds to backlash from MMA fans after reaction to Joaquin Buckley's KO

Joaquin Buckley
Joaquin Buckley's knockout of Impa Kasangnanay (Credits: MMA Fighting)
Modified 13 Oct 2020, 14:27 IST

Joaquin Buckley pulled off, for many, one of the best knockouts to be seen in UFC history. The Middleweight contender who KO'd Impa Kasanganay in the second round went viral after UFC made an exception to their policy of not sharing videos of their fight ending sequences. 

Buckley who threw a roundhouse head kick from the southpaw stance, had his kick caught by Kasanganay, only for him to spin and connect with a wheel kick. Twitter, understandably, went crazy after the knockout, but Sports Center reporter Scott Van Pelt was found the knockout difficult to watch. 

"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"

The reporter faced a lot of backlash from journalists and fans alike in the sport, questioning his reaction to the knockout. Van Pelt, to his credit, answered questions from a lot of his critics on Twitter. 

Scott Van Pelt takes to Twitter to explain the negative reaction to Joaquin Buckley's KO

MMA journalist Luke Thomas came to Van Pelt's rescue, criticizing the way the Sport is viewed among mainstream media. The UFC and MMA in general, has had a baptism by fire over the last two decades to be accepted as a mainstream sport. 

Joaquin Buckley punches Impa Kasanganay in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night 
Joaquin Buckley punches Impa Kasanganay in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night 
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. 

To which van Pelt replied: 

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.

Here are some other responses on Twitter by the ESPN reporter: 

MMA, as a sport, is violent. So it is likely to appeal to some and not everyone. Commissions and Promoters need to think about fighter safety at every step so that the questions raised about the sport in the early 2000s don't return.  

Published 13 Oct 2020, 14:27 IST
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