Hard to know who's more full of it this week – Israel Adesanya, Kevin Proctor, Shaun Johnson or Phil Gould.
Adesanya said he was bigger than the All Blacks. Proctor said he didn't bite Kiwis colleague Shaun Johnson in their NRL clash. Johnson said he did, but then said he didn't. Gould, "Commentator On Everything", said he had lost faith in the system after Proctor copped a four-game ban.
While Adesanya was talking up the UFC, the middleweight champion said he was already bigger internationally than the All Blacks: "MMA is the biggest sport in the world – people just don't know it yet. Understand that. There's football and soccer, blah blah blah, but all those people watch us because we all know what we're trying to do: we're trying to be the baddest motherf***ers around.
"I don't really care to be honest [whether his sport will eclipse the All Blacks]. But I know if you put it on the world stage, me myself as Israel Adesanya 'The Last Stylebender', I'm bigger than the All Blacks, like worldwide. Not definitely in New Zealand... but yes, worldwide, all around the world, all across the land, I definitely have more footprint than the All Blacks."
Who knows, maybe 'The Last Stylebender' (whatever that means) is right; certainly UFC's biggest fights attract large audiences, though there's plenty of evidence boxing often outrates it. Adesanya has a global following - recognised in countries less likely to register the All Blacks like the US, Russia, South America and large swathes of Europe and Asia.
But is he bigger than the All Blacks or Steven Adams or Joseph Parker? Maybe, maybe not – it's not really the point and there are no global figures to back it up anyway. The point is what seems to be Adesanya's ego is actually marketing. He has a big bout coming up against Brazilian Paulo Costa next month, which explains the mouthy stuff.
You can tell because there is never any reference to the negatives of UFC, including the ultra-violence which keeps many potential fans away. If UFC/MMA can't convert them, they face the same spiralling descent boxing has.
I'm one - I hate humans acting like caged dogs and, in particular, the sight of one fighter pounding away on another who is already unconscious. That ain't sport… it's sub-human.
US university research in 2016 showed that, on average, nearly three head strikes are delivered to fighters already unconscious in MMA (all mixed martial arts including UFC) and nearly 16 knockouts per 100 athletes, with American football the next worst on eight, boxing on five and kickboxing two. UFC, according to that study, was averaging a "concussion-like" injury in 32 per cent of its fights.
Firing off an "I'm bigger than" speech sometimes comes back to bite you. Case in point: John Lennon who, many years ago, said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. He meant it in the context of how Christianity was diminishing – and he was probably quite right.
Didn't matter. The furore spread round the world like a forest fire and, in the Bible Belt of the US, Beatles albums were burned and shredded. The Pope had a crack and South Africa, then solidly apartheid, saw an opportunity to seem good and godly by issuing an official condemnation of Lennon's statement.
It all ended with Lennon in tears, literally, a stumbling and embarrassing press conference apology and a Beatles tour of the US which proved to be their last – they felt threatened by the US crowds and became solely a studio band after that.
Fifty years later, Christianity has more followers than the Beatles, it's probably safe to say. Just as 127 years of All Blacks tradition will probably still be around in another 127 years, long after Adesanya and probably UFC have gone. Those who gob off loudest are often in danger of the biggest fall; UFC is not the most forgiving of sports. Look how fast UFC darling Ronda Rousey was spat out when she lost her title to Holly Holm.
Talking about excesses of the mouth, Proctor's ban for biting Johnson showed complete disdain by some in the NRL for fair play. The TV evidence seemed incontrovertible. It looked awfully like a bite, especially when you factor in Johnson's initial reaction. But was Johnson turned by the concept of mateship trumping punishment? He spoke for the defence, alleging he hadn't been bitten.
"My arm was pressuring against his mouth," Johnson told the NRL judiciary. "I felt like I got bit and that's why I reacted the way I did at the time." That instantly recalled the old comedy act by Jasper Carrott who made a career out of making fun of real-life insurance claim excuses like: "A lamp post bumped into my car, damaging it in two places."
Would this have happened outside the era of Donald Trump, the Big Orange Pillock in the White House, a master of spouting arrant nonsense and who has persuaded others to talk complete bollocks as if it were shining truth?
Even Gould said: "If I'm sitting on the judiciary panel, I could only find a player guilty of a bite if the other player came before me and said 'He bit me. He bit me.' That's the only way I could find him guilty of a bite, if he's believable and I've got evidence to back that up. But if the player who was 'bitten' comes before me and says on reflection he doesn't think it's a bite, on reflection he overplayed it at the time…"
Yeah, but you see, Phil – that only works if enough people believe it. Ask Donald.