MMA’s official punching bag for the month of December is Steve Cantwell for being all hyped over snapping Razak Al-Hassan’s arm last week at the UFC’s Fight for the Troops event. I think someone back at Cantwell HQ has realized that unlike in Japan, being a prick in American fightsports isn’t exactly good for your job security. So now we have this statement given to MMA on Tap:
After waiting for what seemed like an eternity – and making clear eye contact with Al-Hassan and referee Mario Yamasaki – Cantwell applied additional pressure that resulted in Razak’s arm breaking at the elbow – at which point Yamasaki immediately called an end to the fight.
Cantwell was thrilled with the victory, as Al-Hassan was a formidable opponent with a solid background in Tae-Kwon-Do and Jiu-Jitsu. However, some controversy has arisen over his remarks to UFC commentator Joe Rogan when he was interviewed after the fight. Cantwell explains; “You know that was a really weird outcome to the fight. I had the arm locked in tightly and expected Razak to tap right away – then we rolled twice and it got even tighter. I was thinking to myself ‘This guy is made of rubber – this is crazy’. The only thing I could to end the fight was force the arm until either it broke or he tapped, and that’s what I did. Fighting is always a series of calculated risks, and he had ample opportunity to tap. But none of us enter the ring trying to end each others career, and I do regret the comments I made and being so animated about it afterwards. It was the adrenalin taking over.”
Shortly after the fight, Cantwell called the UFC and requested Al- Hassan’s phone number to speak to him directly. He reached Al-Hassan at home and expressed a heart-felt apology for the comments he made regarding the injury. He also shared some techniques and healing methods to aid Razak in his recovery. “When Razak heals up I want him to come out to Vegas and train with me. He’s a great guy, a great fighter, and has a future in this sport for sure. There is absolutely no ill will between us,” said Cantwell.
So now you, dear MMA fan, get to decide what to think: did that glimpse into the inner asshole of Steve Cantwell turn you off him for good, or does the fact that he tried to make up for it afterwards affect your opinion?