You know things are getting ridiculous when the usually mild-mannered Jon Anik begins to talk mad s— on a hot mic.
Anik, best known for squeezing dozens of sponsorship ads into every fight broadcast, also adds a good amount of flavor to the fight commentary team. At UFC Vegas 61, he got downright spicy after an egregious non-call from the referee during the Randy Brown vs. Francisco Trinaldo co-main event.
The key moment from the first round saw Trinaldo chase Brown back and press him up against the fence before initiating a takedown. Brown responded by blatantly grabbing the fence, saving himself from going down to the ground. The referee slapped Brown’s hand away but didn’t even bother to give a warning.
“It’s worth the grab if you’re Brown,” commentator Dominick Cruz said. “Well worth it. No points taken, nothing happened. Something has to happen there.”
“Yeah that’s where it’s tough,” Paul Felder, also in the boot, added. “Do you award him the takedown? But in which position?”
“Or do you pull out your testicles and take a point?” Anik suggested.
Honestly, this may be our favorite Anik moment, of which there have been many. But this one is the best, as it captures the frustration all fans feel as fence grabbing, eye poking, and low blows have become just accepted parts of the fight game. At this poiint they’re ‘illegal moves’ you can get away with multiple times, with punishment dealt out under an unofficial three strikes system if you’re lucky.
Of course, being the consummate professional he is, Anik addressed the comments following the event with a facepalm emoji.
“I have all the respect in the world for the referees,” he wrote on Twitter. “I even gave my man Keith Peterson a nickname. But you posed the right question. What is a referee to do with a foul like this? It changed the fight, in my humble opinion. Thus the (impassioned) reaction…”
Haha. ♂️ I have all the respect in the world for the referees. I even gave my man Keith Peterson a nickname. But you posed the right question. What is a referee to do with a foul like this? It changed the fight, in my humble opinion. Thus the (impassioned) reaction…
— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) October 2, 2022
Fans can disagree on the exact proper response, but we’d say award him the takedown in either half or side control (half seems fair as the fence grab was so blatant) and give him a verbal warning. Next grab: point deductions.
As Dominick Cruz said, the grab worked out for Brown. He ended up winning that first round on all three judges’ scorecards, edging Trinaldo 29-28. If Trinaldo had that full two minutes on top to end the first round, it could have changed the result of the round, and the fight.
We clearly need some people with testicles to start taking these moments seriously.