Mixed Martial Arts has long battled accusations that it's a blood sport for savages who incite violence. In the past decade, UFC and others have worked diligently to get their sport acceptance among the masses, but then there are guys like Josh Neer who can undo all the work with a moment of stupidity.
Irritated by a Facebook critic's incessant trolling, Neer apparently invited him to his gym where the two brawled. Neer later posted a video in which he is seen beating the crap out of the troll – identified as aspiring fighter Patrick Martin.
In the raw video, just the sound of Neer's unanswered elbows and then punches to Martin's face are enough to make even the staunchest of MMA supporters cringe. Judging by the vocal reactions of those around him, it seems even their stomachs were churning but no one stepped up to save Martin from receiving a beat down from a 51-match MMA veteran.
When two onlookers finally decided they've seen enough, they stepped in, and Neer backed off but then he delivered a stinging kick to Martin's jaw. According to him, he did so because Martin wouldn't stop talking smack on the Internet.
Meanwhile, Martin has a different version of the story. In an interview with MMA Fan Poster Emmery Myers, he claimed that the two did take a Facebook dispute to the gym but it wasn't as one-sided as it looked. He claims it was a fairly even fight and he had Neer so frustrated with his nifty defense that the Bellator veteran resorted to illegal means.
When Martin kneeled to pick up his mouth piece, Neer allegedly took advantage and unleashed the series of unanswered blows, which can be seen in the video above.
Now, both the guys have different stories, but that's irrelevant. What's important is that the two guys used MMA's already maligned name to settle a petty argument. Neer, in particular, has done the biggest disservice to the sport. His barrage of totally needless punches in full MMA gear and then proudly sharing his moment of lunacy online has no justification whatsoever.
Iowa Athletic Commission Executive Director Joe Walsh told TMZ that they are examining the video, saying: “We are aware of the situation. I have our legal team taking a thorough look at our rules. We’re checking to see if we have anything on the books that covers this.”
Last year, heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder pulled a similar stunt by beating a pesky troll in a fight, for which he was criticized. Legal ramifications didn't follow in that case, so let's hope they do this time.