ESPN Anchor Wrecked by UFC Fans [LOOK]

ESPN Anchor Scott Van Pelt

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A popular ESPN anchor threw shade at the sport after showing the dramatic clip of what some termed the “most unbelievable KO in UFC history” on Saturday night, then reaped the ire of UFC fans everywhere.

Scott Van Pelt, who hosts ESPN’s flagship program, expressed displeasure over the knockout blow after showing it during Saturday night’s edition of SportsCenter. Van Pelt’s reaction was almost immediately pointed out by The Athletic’s Greg Rosenstein, so Van Pelt spent the next day or so of his life having to defend his viewpoint from an angry UFC mob on social media.

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Rosenstein posted, “Not sure the ESPN/UFC execs are going to love what was just said on SportsCenter. Scott Van Pelt after showing crazy Joaquin Buckley KO: ‘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! (sarcasm)’.”


Van Pelt’s Explanations

When questioned over something one user termed “disrespect to the sport”, Van Pelt did his best to explain his reasoning.

Van Pelt posted, “The sight of the image. Baranchyk last week was similar. I know people love seeing the incredible knockouts on both sports. It’s jarring when someone is out like that. (To me).”

Van Pelt was referring to last weekend’s dramatic knockout in boxing when junior welterweight Jose Zepeda defeated Ivan Baranchyk in a ridiculous action fight that produced eight total knockdowns in less than five full rounds.

Then, a Twitter user pointed out Van Pelt’s very different reaction to a knockout from the boxing world in the past in which the anchor laughed hysterically at a fighter after he got floored.

Van Pelt tried to explain himself there as well. Van Pelt posted, “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.”

So Van Pelt said the difference between his negative reaction to the dramatic UFC knockout vs. the one in which he laughed was purely due to the specific circumstance of the fighter having showboated right before getting handled.

Van Pelt posted, “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.”

Van Pelt defended it more by posting, “I think of instances where I have seen a fighter down and clearly incapacitated and the other fighter pounces and continues delivering blows, right? Doesn’t that happen? I’m not saying boxing is better. I laughed at Uzzy because he invited it with his antics.”

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Van Pelt vs. Luke Thomas

Van Pelt caught some flak from Showtime’s Luke Thomas. The MMA journalist shared his opinion on the matter by posting, “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.”

Van Pelt responded, “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 b**** all morning is par for the course. It’s a passionate fan base.”

Thomas said, “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 said, “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.”


‘We Ride at Dawn’

Perhaps Unknown MMA’s Alex Scaffidi put it best (and she did it hours before Van Pelt even knew what was about to happen to his social media experience).

Van Pelt, of course, is entitled to his opinion about any and all things related to sports.

But he should probably also be aware of how much flack MMA as a sport has taken since it’s inception and how passionately the fans will rush to defend it when prompted.

READ NEXT: Holly Holm: ‘I Did Something Everybody Saw’

Twitter: @Kelsey_McCarson

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