This story is a small part of a large effort by MixedMartialArts.com to understand what works in martial arts. The process is to study what happens on the street, or in the case a bar bathroom, rather than focus on what happens in the arena. If you enjoyed it, check out the library on:
•Martial Arts on The Street
If you read comic books in the 20th century, you know this ad well. The marketing for Charles Atlas's isometric method follows a classic superhero origin tale. It begins not with a radioactive spider bite or a young boy's parents being shot in Gotham City, but by a skinny guy getting sand kicked in his face, and losing his girl.
It even inspired the Gracie family in Brazil to put together this video.
That primal urge, to stand up to a bully using hard-acquired fighting skills and knowledge, it lurks in a lot of combat sports enthusiasts. Thus there was little surprise when in 2021 a video went viral of Oklahoma Sooners football player Spencer Jones appearing to be picking a fight with a smaller guy, and ending up a loser.
The incident reportedly took place late in the evening of February 13, maybe after midnight, in the men's room of Logies on The Corner, a bar near the Sooners’ football stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Both sides claimed not to be the instigator.
The video shows the larger football player yelling, “get the f*** out of here ... what you got,” to a smaller man. Simultaneously, a figure standing next to Jones in a jean jacket pushes a second smaller man. A voice can be heard saying, "Hey, look at me b****!"
One of the two smaller men, identified by his cowboy boots, appears to be already bleeding from the nose. It was then Jones and his companion discovered very painfully that the two brothers have a wrestling and MMA background.
Props to Spontaneous Joe Rogan for his commentary.
It's all funny until someone nearly loses an eye. Actually, it's still funny - here's Robin Black's breakdown.
Jones' family retained the services of local attorney Woodrow “Woody” Glass, of Ward and Glass, L.L.P. Woody said Jones waited until swelling subsided before undergoing left orbital socket surgery for four hours on Tuesday, February 16, performed by facial reconstruction specialist Dr. Perry Brooks.
“Dr. Brooks came out of that surgery saying he’s extraordinarily lucky at this point, that he’s lucky he didn’t lose the eye altogether,” Glass said to OU Daily. “And so he was able to do some things surgically to rebuild that orbital socket and thinks everything is eventually going to come back to normal, but it’s going to take a while for him to fully recover.”
“[Jones] was trying to de-escalate that situation. But unfortunately, it wasn’t de-escalated despite his best efforts, and he became the victim of this vicious assault you’ve seen.”
De-escalate? Counselor, you keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.
Braden "Beanie" Brown, one of the two brothers, offered a perspective that appears to be in keeping with the available information.
"Just to get rid of the misconceptions, I’m the fellow in the beanie and that is my brother. We ARE NOT wrestlers at any university, we have been wrestling since we were in diapers and MMA/Cage Fighting since we were 12. They gave us no options, unfortunately. We showed restraint."
The Norman PD identified all the individuals involved, investigated, and turned investigative reports, videos, witness statements, and other documents over to the Cleveland County district attorney Greg Mashburn, who made the following determination:
“We have carefully considered the entirety of the circumstances surrounding the incident including a previous altercation between the parties and the actions that led up to the physical fight caught on camera by a bystander. My office has decided that no criminal charges are appropriate as this appears to be a mutual combat situation in which both parties voluntarily engaged in a fist fight.”
Jones was recently hired as a coaching assistant at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Hopefully, he grew from the experience, and no longer does the equivalent of kick sand in the face of little guys. But if he still does, there are enough little badass wrestler/MMA fighters in the world to repeat the lesson as necessary.
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