Is there anything more irritating than hearing someone gloat about fight predictions that turned out to be true? Like clockwork, the day after a heavy favorite loses there's a legion of secret psychics crowing about how, thanks to the wisdom gifted only to them and a million other contrarians, they knew the underdog was going to win. But picking the second of two options isn't a sign of intelligence—you flipped a coin and went tails when everyone else went heads—especially when you don't seem to voice any opinion before the fight happens.
If you really believe your own pre-fight prognostications, put some cash on the line—or up the ante with ink, needles, and a pound of flesh.
That's what UFC commentator Jon Anik did. In the lead-up to UFC 196’s main event between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor, Anik took to the podcast he shares with UFC alum Kenny Florian and forecasted that McGregor would finish Diaz by first-round knockout. He doubled-down, vowing to inscribe the famous three digits of Diaz’s Stockton area code into his inkless skin if he was wrong. “I’m gonna say it right here for the masses to hear: I will get the area code 209 tattooed on the inside of my forearm if Nate Diaz beats Conor McGregor,” he said.
Anik said he made a similar tattoo bet in favor of Ronda Rousey before her blowout victory over Bethe Correia. And since Anik is about the most mild-mannered, uncontroversial guy you could have behind the microphone, he padded his prediction in praise for the Diaz brothers. He even suggested that he might get the tattoo anyway. But when Diaz found out that Anik had picked him—the short-notice replacement and betting underdog—to lose, he grew angry:
He spurned Anik’s social media apology, and that aggravation became another subplot to UFC 196. At the pre-fight press conference, McGregor said of Diaz, “He even tried to pick on Jon Anik the other day. He has a bully mentality until a real man shows up. Like Mike Tyson said, he’s scared of the real man.” Talking over those last words, Diaz responded, “Fuck Jon Anik. Fuck you. How about that?” Even after riding high after choking out McGregor in the second round, Diaz clung tighter to what Anik had said instead of letting go. “Jon Anik better get a motherfuckin’ 209 tattoo or I’m gonna whoop his little ass," Diaz said at the very end of the post-fight presser.
Last night, Anik went on Instagram and provided evidence that, apparently, he kept his word. Whenever he looks down at his left arm, he'll see a three-digit reminder that prophecy and reality are worlds apart. He'll also remember that making what seems like a trivial prediction can quickly become a test of your own integrity. But Jon Anik is a man of conviction, and that's worth reposting.
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