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23Aug/115

Mixed Martial Arts or: How I learned to Stop Clinging and Love a Fighter’s Retirement



Mixed martial arts is a fantastic sport. I was introduced to it just over 12 years ago from a pirated copy recommended to me by a shopkeeper (in my country it's hard to get originals.) Since then I have been hooked and have never missed a pay-per-view or live event since 2004. I have been watching the sport i love grow exponentially. When I first started watching no one knew what this sport was about, today it is almost mainstream.



Many people have trepidations towards MMA because of its violent nature. This is understandable, but here are a couple interesting facts: 1. the most severe injuries happen during training 2. There is less brain trauma than boxing and American football.

Also the violence is not what attracts (at least for connoisseurs of the sport) but the technique, physical prowess, and tactical acumen of the combatants. A "fan" going for the violence is like going to a Jimi Hendrix concert for his on stage antics not his music.   It's missing the point. Martial arts require much more than throwing punches or kicks, it's the evolution of an art form. Hence the mixed. A few months ago i found a great video on the Sherdog forums, after all a picture is worth...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBLGzTX0FY0

I would like to speak a little about Fedor and the retirement of fighters. This part is a bonus post for the initiated and the newly interested.



Fedor is and will always be one of my favorite fighters. Not because he was unbeaten, i never had illusions of his invincibility. Not because of his skill, I have never found him particularly savant in any martial area. But because of his heart and personality.His recent string of losses removed this fantastical aura many fans have attributed to him and I believe this is a good thing. We can now see him for who he truly was: an undersized heavy weight who has carved his way into MMA history through will alone.



There are still many WHAT IF'S hanging around after his third loss but let's not kid ourselves, he is not getting any younger and has contemplated retirement. Maybe... just maybe it's about time.

Every MMA fan should be tired of seeing their heroes keep fighting when they should have retired. There are exceptions of course. Randy Couture comes to mind. I was at the event when he came back from retirement at the ripe age of 43 and won the heavy weight title once more. But the exceptions are few and far between, the examples of fighters fighting past their prime and being beaten over and over are numerous and sad (Chuck Lidell). That is why i believe the greatest example for veteran fighters to follow is Chris Lytle. Prior to his bout, Chris announced the end of his career and set precedence unlike any other. On August 14th 2011, Chris Lytle entered the ring against Dan Hardy and gave us his greatest fight. Finishing his journey in a spectacular fashion and giving us as close to a fairy tale ending as there can be. Thank you Chris, here is to you.




“Our peace must be a peace of victors, not of the vanquished."
General Ferdinand Foch Quotes

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  • http://www.jappy.de Camille

    awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks.

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  • http://SaladCreations.net AK

    Nice Blog man….. Except for two things. first, Jimi’s Antics are just as good as his music, they are actually one and the same, plus people go to his shows for his antics more than his music, he’s a fantastic showman. But i get your point. Second, you can have your opinions as a fan, but you’ll never know the real reasons why some Champions choose to stay for the long fight…. Chuck Lidell is a Warrior, as long as he has legs to move, iron fists, and Ice… he’ll keep fighting. As the Chinese like to say, Knock me down 7 times, and I’ll stand 8 times.

    • acidforever

      1. I don’t know about going to the show for his antics MORE than the music. After all if you don’t like his music then there is little reason to go. Anyways this is beyond the analogy and at least the point is understood.
      2. I would be first to admit Chuck is a warrior, and that is a rare quality even in fight sports. But he retired after being on the receiving end of three brutal KO’s and a loss to a gatekeeper in Keith Jardine. The signs were there, Joe Rogan acknowledged it after the Shogun fight. I understand where you are coming from, I am a big fan of Chuck myself but you must also understand that the aging human body can only take so much punishment and worse than watching Chuck retire is seeing him injured severely. These fighters are the reason why we are fans, we must care for their health as much as we care to see them fight.
      Thanks for the comment, keep ’em coming.

    • http://www.themoralarchives.com CoolFryinPan

      1. I don’t know about going to the show for his antics MORE than the music. After all if you don’t like his music then there is little reason to go. Anyways this is beyond the analogy and at least the point is understood.
      2. I would be first to admit Chuck is a warrior, and that is a rare quality even in fight sports. But he retired after being on the receiving end of three brutal KO’s and a loss to a gatekeeper in Keith Jardine. The signs were there, Joe Rogan acknowledged it after the Shogun fight. I understand where you are coming from, I am a big fan of Chuck myself but you must also understand that the aging human body can only take so much punishment and worse than watching Chuck retire is seeing him injured severely. These fighters are the reason why we are fans, we must care for their health as much as we care to see them fight.
      Thanks for the comment, keep ’em coming.

  • Ignatius Black

    :)
    Great writing man. I love it. The Youtube video put a lasting smile on my face too..

    I gotta say that MMA is a great sport. Probably the oldest “sport” in human history. In fact, it’s the oldest game on Earth – survival of the fittest.

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