By now you probably have a pretty good guess where this article is headed. It’s a plague that is beginning to really have a profound impact on the way people view fighters. Insulting to an opponent at times, enraging to the degenerate gambler who just bet money he shouldn’t have, and often disappointing to the fan who spent 50 bucks hoping to see two performers at the top of their game. In this edition of “Reality Check” we will take a close look at the post fight disclosure of the prefight injury.
“No one knows what to say in the loser’s locker room. “- Muhammad Ali
It’s becoming a monthly practice at this point; you shell out your hard earned money for the latest MMA pay-per view event, the fight you have been looking forward to has taken place, and we have a winner. The fight was a battle between two fighters, two competitors who don’t like the thought of losing, much less talking about it before having a chance to even catch their breath.
I really don’t know what type of answer I expect to the obvious questions being asked of losing fighters these days. “Tell me fighter B , after fighter A managed to control you for the first two rounds, did you have any idea you were behind on the judges’ score cards.” “ Tell me fighter A, you said you had your best camp ever leading up to this fight, Is it possible you over trained? Did you come into the fight at 100 percent? “ And the list of stupid questions continue to grow, at the post fight presser, the one on one interview with the major outlets after the presser, the Monday morning Blog Blitz.
I think the more important question is what type of answer does the organization expect their fighters to give their commentators. I think all too often, the MMA “media” forgets who is media, and who is company man. Media should be looking for answers to relevant questions. Company man is painting a picture, weaving a story, entertaining the fans who have spent perfectly good money. Too often our media is taking our queue from the Company man and just regurgitating the same question hoping to appear to have done their jobs.
Just once, ( and I hope to be the guy) I would like someone to ask the question. “Fighter A, in your post fight interview with Joe Rogan, you mentioned you entered the fight with a torn ACL in your left knee, a painful groin pull, a cracked skull. How did you pass your prefight medical with an injury that severe? If you knew going into the fight this injury was going to put you at risk of no performing well for your fans, why didn’t you request to reschedule the fight?“
There are a couple of ways we can look at this situation. The fighter is not being truthful, and is using injury as an excuse in a poor attempt to save face. The state athletic commission doctors doing prefight medicals seem to NEVER EVER find a problem in prefight medical screenings for major promotions.
Quite frankly I am growing tired of the whole situation. If a fighter enters a fight with an injury that he is aware of , and it is a contributing factor in why he lost, I don’t care. You lost, and to blame it on a pre existing injury after the fact makes you appear desperate or stupid. You have earned my pay per view dollar; I have purchased the event with the expectation to see you perform your best. When I am informed that it was physically impossible for this to happen, it’s a touch irritating. It’s insulting to your opponent and disrespectful to your fans who paid to watch.
Don’t misunderstand me, I think this is a horrible position to place these fighters in to begin with. I personally wish the practice of interviewing the losing fighter in the ring/cage would stop. Let the athlete collect his thoughts, and come to grips with what has taken place.
At what point do these excuses begin to devalue the product? Between piss poor judging decisions, and fighters entering fights with injuries that impact the outcome, how often does the fan get to see Top level athletes performing their best?
Perhaps something can be learned from Marcus Davis, who after a recent defeat had this to say. “ Thank u to those who supported me. I had the best training camp I ever have had. I don’t know why I wasn’t able to perform. Ben is a great guy and put an ass whooping on me. All I can do is go back home and digest this and try to come back – hopefully better. Thank u all.” I can’t speak for you as a fan, but for me that works. In a world full of empty excuses, I find myself having more respect for a man who can give this type of answer. Humble, professional, and at no point do I feel cheated as a fan. I know he brought everything he had, and will do so again in the future.
It’s often said “Nobody goes into a fight 100 percent” where does the line get drawn? If a main event fighter enters a fight at 80 percent, can I pay 80 percent for the event?”
Or perhaps I’m being swayed too much by the interview questions. I went back and watched a recent post fight interview with the sound turned down, and it did appear like a much different interview.