A Plea to Bullshido
By now, news of Fedor Emelianenko's loss should have reached even natives of the Amazon rain forest.
Obviously, this is a community of people who care about that loss, be it sorrow at The Last Emperor's lackluster performance or joy that he, in all fairness, got his ass kicked.
A lot of the community has been very outspoken about the defeat, as well they should be. It's very difficult not to form an opinion on the matter. It was not what the community likes to describe as a 'close fight'. I digress, however. I'm not here to rag on Mr. Emelianenko's performance. He has done far more in combat sports then I could even do in my own dreams, and perhaps even the dreams of several close friends.
No, my problem is with the community, and how they have responded to, not only this loss, but any loss at all in the sport.
It's extremely easy to see a loss as a sign of a trend. Two losses in a row isn't exactly a great sign. Add a few lackluster performances in beforehand and it's not hard to say that a fighter is done in the sport. Mixed martial arts is not exactly a sport that caters to older participants. The training is tough, the injuries plenty, and the time required to be an elite-level fighter is just about enough to make sure that ninety percent of your life is about being a fighter.
I think this community should know better then that. Sure, it's one thing if some asshole in an Affliction shirt thinks Fedor should hang it up because he lost two in a row. That's because he's an ill-informed idiot. This is a community of fighters, for fighters, about fighters, and anything in-between. A lot of us know the training, be we hobbyists, amateurs, or professionals.
Now, imagine training doesn't go your way for a few months. Maybe you're down. Maybe your focus isn't all there. The point of the matter is, we don't know all the factors that meet to hand a fighter a loss. There is no way to scientifically determine whether a fighter will win or lose beforehand. We cannot recreate fights to see if it was a fluke or well-earned win.
So why do we try? Why do we jump to condemn fighters after a loss? I understand it's easy to want to assume that trends are set in stone, that a few bad performances mark the end of a career. And sometimes they do.
All I'm saying is we owe the fighters a bit of objectivity. Sure, Fedor said he wanted to retire. Then he didn't. Then he was the victim of witch doctor voodoo. These are men, fickle just like all of us. We don't know all the factors. We can't read Fedor's mind.
I cannot read Fedor's mind, but I doubt this is what is happening inside of it.
We don't know if his loss was the result of a poor camp or of psychological warfare or of an unfortunate alignment of the planets.
We don't have Top Men who can sit down and examine Fedor and determine when his career is over, when his body has depleted it's store of Win and it is time to enjoy the quiet life he fought to give himself and his family. The closest we have to 'Top Men' are the early men in the sport, the vanguard of mixed martial arts, and, quite frankly, a lot of them don't even know when it's time for them to hang up the gloves.
All I want to do is sit down and talk about fights with you guys. I trust Fedor will know when he's done. Do you really think any of us can guess better then The Last Emperor himself when his time in the sport is done?
If you can, maybe you should be running a training camp somewhere.
very well said. **** the armchair quarterbacks, armchair coaches, or armchair whatevers.
Both of you shut up. Fight entertainment isn't about being informed or experienced, or any other of your elitist, egghead ideas. It's not about fairness or patience or generosity.
It's about sitting on a couch vicariously enjoying someone else's hard work, pain, anxiety and jubilation, and then blaming them for not living up to the abstract expectations of victory you've invented on your arduous journey from sitting on the couch with Twinkies to sitting in the car to sitting at your desk with potato chips to sitting in your car with a mocha-latte-grande to sitting at the dinner table with gravy to sitting on the couch with Oreos and milk to lying down with porn.
**** you for not understanding the complexities of fight entertainment.
It's the nature of the beast. We watch the fighters for years and become emotionally involved. I know that every time I watch Fedor fight, my blood pressure goes up and I get nervous as if I am fighting. It's because I have watched him fight as a fan for so many years. So when he starts to lose, I would rather him step out then put himself and his fans through another loss. So that is the emotional side.
Physically, it is not only about being a good, talented fighter. It is not only about being technically perfect. There is the physical abilities side too. Recovery time, cardio, strength, injury recovery, and raw athletic ability. Once the fighter starts to get older, he can't avoid those things getting worse. The younger fighter will start to draw even or pull ahead, just because he is in better shape.
In the sport, the combination of the two are unavoidable. So it is not that I don't want to see fedor fight any more. It is that I don't want to see him lose. It is unavoidable, so I want him to retire while he is still on top. I hate seing Matt Hughes get KO'd. Can I guess when their time is up? No, not really. But I have a pretty good idea.
Now if they started a masters division, that would be cool!!
Nice post, Kickapoo.
In a way, seeing a great champion lose is always painful for his fans, but a great reminder of how they're human as well, the constant change of the sport and an unstoppable flow of new fighters.
You're all a bunch of ninnies. He needs to learn how to fucking shrimp.
EDIT: To sum up what I'd ranted. The same trait that gets these guys/gals to the top, is what's responsible for them fighting past their prime.
I'll probably gig till I drop dead (on stage even, that would be EPIC...finally youtube famous)...though the fighters can't exactly do that, they'll keep going for them, not just us. We may indirectly pay their salary (very indirectly), but they do the damn thing...let them.