WTF is wrong with MMA fans?
In the past several months we have seen some brutal KO’s and some legends fall to multiple KO’s. A quick recap of the past year or so, Chuck Lidell (6 TKO/KO’s), Big Nog (2 TKO/KO’s), Randy Coture (5 TKO/KO’s), Wanderlei Silva(6 TKO/KO’s), Sakuraba(8 TKO/KO’s), Cro Cop (4 TKO/KO’s), Ken Shamrock (9 TKO/KO’s), Jens Pulver (6 TKO/KO’s), the list goes on, these I’ve named are some of my favorites, for a myriad of reasons. Some for the battles they waged, their ferocity, pioneering the sport, accomplishing the impossible over and over again. The fighters mentioned have a place in my heart, they have inspired me, thrilled me, awed me and in the ‘here and now’, saddened me. I want to meet these great fighters 20 years from now, and be able to have a conversation about heir glory days, sadly, some of these fighters will not be able to hold that conversation with me, at least not in the manner I’m accustomed to. Yet, despite all the visual and audible evidence, MMA fans continue to call for them to keep going, turning anyone who suggests retirement for their favorite fighter an asshole, or that they are ‘playing God’ with a fighters career.
I keep reading about how Dana Wihte is an asshole for forcing or planning on forcing a fighter to retire. BLAH,BLAH,BLAH…the fighter can make his own choices, he knows what’s best for himslef, we can’t decide a mans fate, and my favorite ‘we are not doctors, so we can’t speak to a fighters physical conditon.’ Meaning, we don’t know if the KO’s have done any damage. Really? We can’t tell if the KO’s have done damage? Are you F23King kidding me? In this day and age, almost everyone on the planet has a computer, and access to youtube. With those two tools alone a child could tell you if a fighter has received any damage which affects their ability to fight! AAAGGGHHH! F23K! Watch Chuck Lidell’s interviews from after he first won the belt, now watch one after his last KO’ by Rashad. Tell a difference in his speach pattern, oh, that’s not an indicator right? Ever listen to Larry Spinks? How bout James Toney? No damage there right? For the love of peanut butter, you assholes! It’s a proven scientific fact, repeated head trama (ie. punches/ kicks/knees/elbows to the head and KO’s as well as being tackled in football) lead to cognitive degeneratin. What does that mean you may ask, well here you go, pay attention now.
The condition, which occurs in boxers who have suffered repeated blows to the head, manifests as dementia, or declining mental ability, problems with memory, and parkinsonism, or tremors and lack of coordination. It can also cause speech problems and an unsteady gait. Patients with DP may be prone to inappropriate or explosive behavior and may display pathological jealousy or paranoia. Individuals displaying these symptoms also can be characterized as “punchy”, another term for a person suffering from DP. The brains of DP patients atrophy and lose neurons, for example in the cerebellum. The corticospinal or pyramidal tract generally dysfunctions.
I’m not making this shit up, it’s medical fact, backed up by science and, I don’t know, maybe 150 years of medical history and examples. Ever heard of a guy named Muhamed Ali? Smokin Joe Frazier? Or one of my favorite boxers Roy Jones Jr., remember how eloquent he used to be, how he could spin a rhyme and mock his opponents, he can barely handle a conversation now.
Randy Coture stated that the reason he was retiring when he did was because he didn’t want to be the next Chuck Lidell, a veiled reference to his decline in skill set, brought upon by repeated KO’s. He saw the damage in his friend and decided to get out while he was relatively healthy. Randy ‘The Natural’ Coture, Captain America himself, felt that the damage to his friend was evident enough to make him consider, and finally decide to quit fighting for good. Is he an asshole? I think not.
Right now the argument is Tito Ortiz, every fan is saying ‘Look, Tito came back, everyone said he should retire, and he’s still competitive.’ This is a good argument for fighters on a losing streak, not for fighters on a ‘I got KO’d a bunch of times in a row’ streak. Using Tito as an argument for fighters like Wanderlei is absurd. Wandy has a string of devastating KO losses, Tito has been KO’d 2x’s in his career, 2 years apart. He has not sustained the repeated damage the fighters mentioned above have. Also, listen to him speak, no significant changes from then till now. The same can’t be said for every Fighter I’ve mentioned aside from Randy Coture, who defies all logic on every level as a fighter.To call Dana White and asshole, or to say ‘He doesn’t have the right’ is just plain stupid, and ignorant. Despite what many think, Dana cares about the fighters health, he loves the sport, and most likely the main reason is, he doesn’t want any poster children for why the sport should be banned. Jens Pulver is bad for business, as is Ken Shamrock, and letting Chuck back into the ring only brings on the worst kind of attention from the MMA naysayers. Dana’s moves are not altruistic, they are for the longevity ofthe UFC brand. If a fighter Dana publicly says should retire continues to fight for another promotion, Dana can then grandstand about how the UFC ‘protects it’s fighters health’ while the ‘mom and pop’ promotions exploit them. It’s a good strategy, but we can’t forget, no matter what the long term benefits to the UFC, the original idea behind Dana forcing retirement on a fighter is to protect the fighter.
Calling for Wandy, Big Nog, Chuck Lidell, Jens Pulver, Frank Shamrock, Roy Jones Junior, or any number of MMA Fighters and or Boxers to keep trying when they are obviously not at the level needed to compete is just selfish. If you love a particular fighter who should retire, support them by buying their clothing/supplements/etc. and watching their fights on youtube or wherever, reliving all of the amazement they provided you as a fan over and over again, without causing them anymore ‘damage’.