On a radio show this morning, former RNC head Michael Steele was asked who would win in an MMA-style cage match, him or Reince Priebus. Steele said he'd win easily. An MMA expert we talked to disagreed.
Steele made the comment on "Andrea Tantaros Show" where, once again, the topic of conversation was the feud he's trying to foster with Priebus, the current head of the organization.
The conversation went like this:
Host Andrea Tantaros: Michael Steele, who would win in a steel cage match, you or Reince Priebus?
Steele: Oh, no question, I'd clean his clock, as I did electorally.
Tantaros: What moves would you use? The sleeper hold, or… ?
Steele: Just one knock on the head. It's over. It's done.
Tantaros: No piledriver needed?
Steele: No, that's way too much energy for this.
Knowing what we know about Steele's strength with data, we figured it was worth double checking that claim. After surveying the available data, we developed the following profiles for each combatant. Both are wrong, but probably not by much.
• Age: 41
• Height: about 5'9" (based on a photo taken with Mitt Romney)
• Weight: about 165
• Age: 54
• Height: about 6'1" (based on a photo taken with Russell Simmons)
• Weight: about 200
And then we called Jay Coleman of Capitol Combat Sports in Washington D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood. So, Jay, who would win this fight?
"It comes down to who wants it more, who's trained more, who has more experience," he told us, then asking, "Has either one of these guys ever done anything physical?" Um, probably not.
In that case: "I'd definitely go with the Priebus guy." Why? He's younger, for one, and his body mass index is closer to where it should be. (Sorry if we overestimated your weight, Mr. Steele.) Unless Steele "is jacked" or is "all muscle," Coleman said he'd "go with the guy who's in better shape, who's younger, who's less likely to gas out."
So what could Steele do to improve his chances? Coleman recommended even one class, to learn some technique. For example? How to pace himself, or how to "get in top in a dominant position." This, Steele has been working on.
We asked Coleman if he'd ever seen a situation in which someone won a fight with one "knock on the head." Sure, he replied, explaining that "old-man strength is nothing to take lightly." But Priebus's smaller size probably meant he was more agile, and could dodge the blow.
On the off chance we could put this thing together, we asked if Coleman knew any MMA arenas in the D.C. area. He kindly suggested that they could put down some mats in his gym, and host it there. Michael, Reince: 1726 Kalorama Road. Say, Saturday at 10 p.m.?
No one would be looking forward to the fight more than Coleman. After he initially picked Priebus, he said that he was sad to have selected the Republican. Oh, they're both Republicans, we explained.
"Then they can beat on each other as long as they want to," he replied. "Doesn't bother me."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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