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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.
Really? You wanted him to lose? Have you no soul?
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.
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.
Last edited by Kickapoo; 2/21/2011 10:24pm at .