Except ... that Dos Santos happens to have qualified for the Olympics in judo, and he did it the hard way. There are two ways to qualify for the Olympics which you would know, if you read my blog post "My Dream is to Become a Zebra" . Well, actually, there are three ways but one is to be the person representing the host country, which only works if you're British. The hardest way is to be in the top 22 men in the world. The easier way is to be selected under a quota of so many per continental union.
So ... when I heard that Dos Santos wasn't even being allowed to try out for the ultimate fighter show, I thought I would look him up, and since my wonderful friend Jerry Hays keeps me updated on the latest judo news, I was able to see that Dos Santos is a pretty respectable #14 on the roster for having directly qualified for the Olympics. In short, he made it in with a fairly comfortable margin.
If you look at his site, it says he won medals in two world cups, made the finals at two European events and won the Australian national championships twice. Yes, I do know that Australia is not exactly the hot spot for judo in the world. I also know that his coaches , Daniel Kelly and Maria Pekli are pretty good judo players and she won an Olympic medal, so he comes from good stock.
He's about Ronda's age and I was going to ask her if she knew him or if she couldn't stand him for any reason (I don't know him from Adam - he could be the biggest man whore douche bag in judo for all I know, or he could be the younger, male, Australian version of Mother Teresa). On second thought, though, it doesn't matter.
Fair is fair. I do agree with what Rick Hawn said a while back, that many judo players don't make it in mixed martial arts because the average judo player, even who makes the national team, just doesn't train that hard and they aren't that tough, as a general rule.
However ... I would say if you qualified for the Olympics and cracked the top 20 in the world consistently, you aren't the average judo player, and for the love of God that ought to be enough to qualify you to try out for one day for a TV show.
This whole incident reminded me of when Ronda came back from her second Olympics and wanted to enter a local grappling tournament that offered a cash prize. The conversation went like this:
You have no experience. You can't just enter the open division. Let us talk to your coach.
Let me get my mom.
Your MOM? This is your coach? Your MOM?
I think you all are underestimating my daughter. Give me whatever waiver you need me to sign. Here, I'll sign it twice if you want me to.
The rest of the story .... She won but did not get the money because they said she did not have enough competitors in her division. And here is how that happened ... after she slammed and arm barred the first three, the next two people said, and I may be paraphrasing here,
And pulled out of the division.
So, here is my point. Qualifying for the Olympics as one of the top 22 men in the world ought to count for two professional fights. Dos Santos already has one pro fight he won by submission in two minutes. (I'm not stalking him. I have the Internet. I looked it up.)
Frankly, I'm rather intrigued by the fact that he's willing to show up and fight six weeks before the Olympics when most players are terrified of getting injured. If he has that much confidence in himself, then, if I was pulling in people, I'd want to take a look at him. Either he'll back it up or he'll get his ass kicked. Either way, it would be interesting to watch.