Sometimes the dumbest stories have legs. On Monday, UFC veteran Josh Neer posted a video of himself wrecking some fool who taunted and challenged him online and then came down to the gym to try to beat Neer’s ass face to face. Despite being smaller and outweighed, the ultra-experienced pro fighter did his thing. And now… there’s uproar.
First, here’s TMZ reporting that the athletic commission in Iowa is looking into the incident:
TMZ Sports spoke with IAC Executive Director Joe Walsh (not THAT Joe Walsh) who tells us his team is actively looking into the incident.
“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.”
Walsh says the commission doesn’t usually have regulatory authority outside of the ring or octagon … telling us they generally oversee “events, not what occurs in gyms.”
Still, Walsh says, “We do have certain standards that our athletes must meet.”
Here’s MMAJunkie talking to the gym owner, Pete Peterson:
Peterson said the problems began shortly after Martin began posting threats on Facebook toward Neer, who explained that Martin had been disrespectful during his second class at the school. According to Neer, Martin had drunkenly harassed him in public over the weekend and had sent 10 threatening messages. (An attempt to reach Neer through his rep was unsuccessful, and Martin did not immediately respond to a request for comment via his Facebook page.)
Peterson said he consulted Neer about what course of action to take; Neer thought Martin was just looking for attention. But when Martin showed up to the school on Monday, Peterson thought the two should settle things, so he allowed them to spar.
“It’s better to be in the gym in a safe environment where it can be stopped than out in the street somewhere,” Peterson said. “I’ve been in martial arts for 25 years. Back in the old-school days, you hear about people walking into a martial arts school challenging the instructor and getting beat down. I’ve never, ever seen that happen in my life.
“I think this is the first time anybody’s actually challenged and been disrespectful to one of our coaches here, or even to myself or anybody. He just wouldn’t let it go. He has, my gosh, 70, 80 pounds on Josh, about nine inches on Josh – he’s a bigger guy. So I let it go.”
Finally, BloodyElbow reached out to the recipient of the beatdown and got his side of the story:
“My side is that we had a 3 minute sparring round that he couldn’t score or take me down! He threw wild punches I dodged and counter and with my 16oz gloves I did all the punching also mixed a couple kicks in! Everything you see is after the round bell sounded as I turned away from him picking up my mouth piece I dropped after the round!” Martin said.As to how he came to be fighting a professional mixed martial artist in a gym, Martin disputes Neer’s account and claims, “He’s adding all this talk, that I talk shit about MMA fighters when I talked shit to him after disrespecting me a bout a wrestling drill I was tired in! So I left it alone till I saw him out and I bought him a couple beers and then he walked of talking shit to his buddy about me! So I blew up on him on Facebook demanding a full contact spar! I said I’ll bring 16oz. So the beef is with him and a couple other of his gyms fighter who was talking shit on my page!”
Clearly, what we have here is an example of the perils of Internet media. A video of a gym beating – which is a very common occurrence – enraging a subset of viewers who don’t know the whole story, and some wannabe getting some attention out of it. The only good guy out of this is Josh Neer.
He’s a real American hero.