By In Mixed Martial Arts

Owning the Narrative

he first time I watched the bout between Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes at UFC Fight Night 147 on Saturday in London, I heard it more than I saw it. The fights aired at a weird hour of the night where I live, so I dozed in and out of sleep while the fight unfolded. When I woke up, I was surprised to see that Reyes had won. Based on what I saw — the first round, basically — and what I heard from the commentators, it sounded like a hard-fought yet clear win for Oezdemir. I figured the judges must have blown it on some level; such is the influence of commentary. Re-watching the fight attentively, however, vindicated the final decision.

The first round clearly belonged to “No Time,” and commentators John Gooden, Dan Hardy and Paul Felder called it accordingly. In the second and third frames, the narrative in the cage started to change, but outside of the cage, it remained the same…

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