"I just want to go on record I am embarrassed one of my fighters has made derogatory comments about one of the most professional fighters we have had compete in the XFC Cage, Felice Herrig," Prisco wrote on Facebook. "Wish she was still with us. I have instructed my fighter to shut her mouth from this point forward. As a organization I would like to offer my sincere apologies that these unfounded rumors started, some people have to learn how to lose gracefully . Felice, stay focused and continue your quest to be the best fighter in your weightclass, we miss you, God Bless and I am sorry this nonsense has come from one of our fighters , it stops today, promise."
Prisco's post opened a can of worms, as over 100 comments flooded his Facebook wall with fight fans both in support and disagreement of his message.
Some fight fans in the thread argued that MMA needs more respect and sportsmanship. "These women are suppose to be a example for the next generation of women. And martial arts. It is important they guide the youth in a respectful way. Every thing they do is watched, don't miss lead young people in to inappropriate," MMA fighter Randall Schuckman wrote in the thread. "Talk, dress etc. Be a true martial artist and represent yourself according."
That's a fair point, but on the other side of the coin is the fact that rivalries equal big ratings.
History dictates that fans buy fights that involve fighters who dislike each other and bash each other in public forums, as Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz, Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans, Tito Ortiz vs Ken Shamrock and Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen rank among the top of the charts when it comes to ratings and PPV buys.
If you're an MMA fighter, the cruel truth of the matter is this: Your fight doesn't matter that much to the casual fan, unless you're one of the handful of stars in the sport.
By the time 2013 is over, the UFC alone will have put on over 400 fights and Bellator will have completed over a dozen free cards. Add to that World Series of Fighting, XFC, Legacy FC and Invicta FC, and you have an overabundance of MMA.
This isn't 2005 anymore, when it was good enough to just be a fighter and let your fists do the talking inside the cage and not have to worry about anything else.
If you're a fighter who wants to make the most of your earning potential, it's important to figure out a way to build your brand and generate fan interest in your fight.
"If two guys walked outside right now and got into a fight, I'm not going to go out and watch. However, I'm a UFC fan, because I know who's fighting. I know why it's important to them, I know a little about each guy. And the UFC can't do all that on their own," UFC star Chael Sonnen said. "We depend on fighters to tell the story. Why should I want you to win? Or, why should I want you to lose? Most importantly, why should I care about this match?"
Sonnen is among the best when it comes to talking trash and building up a storyline to hype fights, but what happens when the trash-talking goes too far?
A little trash-talking might help hype a fight, but in the case of Clark vs Herrig, both ladies took jabs at each other that crossed a personal boundary. Clark said that Herrig had a romantic encounter with two gentleman in the backseat of a car, and "Lil' Bulldog" shot back by saying Clark was kicked off her team for "being too much of a hoe."
Obviously both comments were crossing a line.
"I read all the back and forth and As a promoter don't think I don't like the back and forth but not when it gets that personal, I have seen Felice do some very thoughtful gestures to our fans when she fought for us," Prisco said of the situation between Herrig and Clark. "I don't care if my fighters don't like each other but they should know better and respect each other, they know how hard they have to prepare to fight at this level, there needs to be common decency when addressing one another . I am embarrassed such talk went on, it is a reflection on everyone in the industry and it is not needed."
There's definitely two ways to look at it. Of course respect and sportsmanship is important, but drama equals big ratings.
Do WWE-style storylines have a place in women's mixed martial arts? Let us know in the comments or tweet the author, @ericholden.