I've never really liked the long-time Boston Globe columnist.
He comes off as an ultra-homer and seems to get angry with just about everything.
I don't like him on The Sports Reporters and I don't like him on Around the Horn.
Now, I also don't like him because he's part of the moronic masses that can't understand that Mixed Martial Arts is far more than pure, unmitigated violence and far superior to boxing.
When asked yesterday at the close of Around the Horn if he had any prediction on tonight's UFC 98, Ryan went into his typical Ryan angry voice and said something along the lines of "I don't care about this. I hope no one watches. At least in boxing the competitors are considered artists."
Um, Bob, they are called Mixed Martial Artists... but hey, you're the famous sportswriter, not me.
What always baffles me in the "boxing is better than MMA" argument is that boxing is a key component of mixed martial arts. It's not like these guys are clubbing each other with sticks or immediately dropping to their backs to wrestle. Except for Thales Leites in Montreal last month and that was just sad. They stand and feel each other out with boxing's most basic component, the jab. Hundreds of fights get finished with devastating punches, just the same as in Bob's beloved boxing.
More frustrating is how the opponents of MMA claim it to be this horribly violent and dangerous sport when more fighters have died due to injuries inside the boxing ring than have from blows sustained inside a cage.
In boxing, all you do is smash the other guy in the head. Okay, you work the body too, but your options are pretty much limited to smashing the other guy with your fists in one of two places. MMA offers up so many more options than that. Shit, Royce Gracie won the first two tournaments in UFC history without throwing a meaningful punch.
And seriously, how can you not call a guy like Demian Maia an artist? Watch the guy force his will upon his opponent and work to find a submission and tell me that isn't equally or more artistic than Bernard Hopkins picking apart Kelly Pavlik or two meathead heavyweights throwing hay-makers.
It's like when the guy interviewing Dana White on E:60 last week asked if White thought it was okay for youngsters to be learning and training MMA, as if it was some kind of insane idea. You're okay with the kid taking karate, judo, boxing or wrestling, but combining all of them into one program? Never!
Bob Ryan and his backwards thinking brethren need to wake up and realize that MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world and not some backwoods brawl full of bloodshed and brutality.
Either that or just shut the hell up.