The MMA Life The MMA Hour: Episode 337 (w/Mir, Buffer, Romero, Letourneau, More) Video update MMA
I am a professionally trained fighter. Throughout my life, I?ve been an exceptional athlete, playing sports that range from baseball to tennis. I played football for six years, basketball for three years, wrestled for five years, played baseball for nearly a decade, and none of these sports even compare to complexities and difficulty of mixed martial arts. This sport requires amazing athletic ability accompanied by an enormous amount of pain tolerance, conditioning that even the best trained wrestlers have trouble accomplishing, and knowledge of at least five major martial arts, if not more. This is by far the most demanding activity, both physically and mentally, I have ever attempted.
Recently I had my first fight ? and won. At the venue, I noticed a huge difference from the people who train to fight and people who don?t. After warming up I went out to watch the first few fights and I became sick to my stomach, seeing these tough guys ? tough but not trained ? be absolutely destroyed by their opponents. Soon, my sickness turned into anger. I was mad about how people view the sport, and I was especially unhappy with the people who are willing to enter a cage with a known trained fighter in hopes that they?ll win. I know most guys have a mentality that no one can beat their ass because they?re a man. I see it all the time in downtown Iowa City. Although mentally people believe this, I believe it?s the number one cause of injury in the sport. These untrained fighters are exactly like the critics in every way. They believe it?s a brutal street fight that doesn?t need any practice or training. Unfortunately for them, they learn the hard way, and increase negative publicity that the sport receives from the media and even some politicians. They are the ones that help fuel the fire of MMA discontent.
I was watching a video of Jens Pulver fighting a guy in my hometown. The guy weighed probably 210 pounds and Pulver was fighting at 155 then, so he had to eat a lot just to make weight. That means his natural weight was probably close to mine (152). This guy would taunt Pulver after every strike. Of course Pulver became more infuriated at the disrespect of the 210 pound man of solid muscle as each second passed. Eventually, as the fight went on, the man?s ego overwhelmed any rational thought and he dropped his hands to his stomach, and stuck out his chin. Pulver instinctively threw that beautiful left hook of his and knocked the guy out. They took the guy to the hospital in a stretcher. Every time I see fights like this I get infuriated. The fact that a tough guy would get into any fight with any trained fighter is absolutely ridiculous, and this fight is only one of many. It?s practically asking for a beating, whether the guy weighs 150 pounds or 210 pounds. Also, being paired up against a fish is a slap in the face to a trained fighter, and it?s a slap in the face to the sport itself. Continuing this trend is only going to hurt the sport due to the injuries sustained by the fish, and it will continue to give fuel to the opponents of mixed martial arts growth.
Trained fighters do get hurt, and it?s no surprise. Mixed martial arts is a compact sport, comparable to football, hockey, or boxing, but these fighters know it?s a possibility that they could wake up staring at the lights trying to remember their name. They know that they can get hurt, but they know when to tap, when there limit has passed for strikes and a knockout is imminent, or when their opponent has had enough. Their corner man knows how much these fighters can take, being trained fighters themselves. Bill?s uncle who decided to corner him after his eighth beer does not. Bill himself doesn?t know his limit, but due to the fact that he has won a couple street fights against people smaller than him or ex-track stars, he believes he?s a badass. I don?t know if it?s out of stupidity that some are willing to get beat, or that the man voice that some untrained fighters can?t silence is too prevalent in their minds. Whatever the reason, these match ups have got to stop. I believe only known trained fighters should be able to fight, for the glory of sport, the technique that trained fighters enjoy watching, and although it won?t silence MMA critics completely, it will help in legitimizing the sport worldwide.
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