EXCLUSIVE | Nick Piedmont: Bellator’s A Better Fight Fit For Fighters | Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio
Nick Piedmont joined Fist-ta-Cuff Radio last night to talk about his upcoming return to Bellator on March 7 and gave insight to his training, his personal life and shared his thoughts on some hot topic issues in MMA today.
This was Piedmont’s first appearance on the show since his last fight back in October 2012, a fight that was called a draw- though “Nicky P” felt otherwise.
“Real good fight last time, you know, it ended up being a draw or whatever but I don’t know, everyone that was there and everyone that had seen it or knows anything about fighting will tell you that they’re pretty confident that I won that fight.”
This sparked a discussion on judging in mixed martial arts, a factor that was discussed as “the biggest flaw” in this sport. Judging has often been the focus of complaint from fighters, coaches and fans alike, and Nick had this to say:
“It’s funny… the more I get into paying attention to what is winning rounds… it seems what’s happening is, with the judges, it’s all opinions, you know, it’s somebody’s opinion. You could be on your back going for submissions, which is technically what they’re supposed to basing the scoring on, but in everybody’s eyes being on your back is losing… it becomes an opinion at that point of who’s actually doing more. That’s where a lot of the confusion is coming from.”
He then talked about ways of adjusting the sport to account for the inherent flaws in judging:
“What if they were to show fighters, or show fighters’ corners, the score cards at the end of the round, and I think that could play a difference. If you think you’re winning a fight, and you think you’re ahead, and you see the score card and it says you’re actually down, you’re thinking… you know what you’re doing might not be working in the judges’ eyes or you need to know that you need to switch up your game plan… Either that or just get rid of rounds and minutes, you know, and go back to where someone gets knocked out, submitted, or gives up [laughs]”
They discussed another issue that is often lamented as a curse to MMA: the “lay and pray” approach to fighting. At the same time any sport demands wins from its athletes, the fans demand excitement. So when fighters choose to play it safe and win, rather than finish, their opponents, many fans feel somewhat cheated out of their excitement. Nick had this to say about playing it safe in MMA:
“It’s gameplans, so I can’t knock the fact that some people are good at taking people down and laying on them, you know, it’s part of the sport, I mean you should learn takedown defense I guess, you know. But as far as personally, I don’t like to watch it, and I think it’s boring and I think it’s killed the sport in some way. Sometimes you see fights where it’s actually decent ground games, where it’s actually entertaining on the ground, but uneducated fans are booing the guys and asking for stand-ups and stuff. I can see where it hurts the sport, but it’s necessary. That’s why we do MMA, because if we wanted to just be doing knockouts and stuff we’d all be doing kickboxing or boxing, but it’s MMA so we incorporate all areas into and everyone has a different gameplan and strategy. And some people execute it very well and it’s very boring; and some people execute it well and it’s exciting. You know, it’s give and take, you get the good and the bad… Its’ like any sport… like I love baseball…. but I’m sure some people tune in and just because people aren’t hitting homeruns and stuff, they think it’s a boring game.”
As the discussion turned towards his upcoming fight with Bellator, Nick discussed his attraction for Bellator over larger promotions like the UFC.
“Yeah for sure! I’ve been a fan of [Bellator] before I was fighting with them. It kind of goes back to what we were talking about earlier: the whole, you know, “fighters who cruise to a win” kind of thing. That’s why I’ve always been a fan of Bellator. I felt like it almost suited my style of fighting and my kind of mentality more than, say, the UFC.
“I think that with the UFC, it’s crazy nowadays! You see guys like [Anthony] Pettis, he dropped a weight class and gets an automatic title shot, and they’re talking [about] the winner of that fight can automatically go to lightweight and fight Benson [Henderson]… and it’s crazy to hear that dudes, yeah they’re good fighters and big names, but it’s just because it’s what the fans want, and it’s because it’s popular, they’re favorites and stuff. Whereas in Bellator, you just go out and you fight. If you win, you keep going, you keep getting more fights and keep getting more exposure. To me, it’s about being more of a fighter than necessarily an athlete. It happens a lot in these other shows. They’re great athletes, you know, but they’re not great fighters. They’re beating good fighters because they’re good athletes, and they keep getting title shots, and they become fan favorites because they’re winning. Whereas in Bellator there’s a lot of incentive on the line. You get in those tournaments, and you can stand to make a lot of money, and you can stand to become a big name and you can really go far and accomplish things you want to accomplish.
“And you see with the big organizations, as soon as there’s a big name dropped somewhere it looks like Bellator is usually going to pick them up… I think Bellator has nothing to lose and everything to gain, and they’re making good moves.”
Nick Piedmont trains out of Alliance MMA in San Diego, CA. He’ll fight in Temecula this Thursday at Bellator 92. To hear his full interview on Fist-ta-Cuff Radio, click here or hit play below.