Written by ‘Steven Johns’*
Does anyone care about a fighter’s record?
Don’t get me wrong, if a fighter has a record of 0-20-0 it is probably safe to say it is down to them having a lack of the required elements that make a successful fighter, rather than bad luck or poor match-ups. The same goes for some undefeated fighters who are legit killers, while others have been fed easy wins to create a perfect record; but that being said what about a fighter who is 31-30-0, 34-29-2, 7-8-0, 5-5-0?
Does a 50/50 record reflect a fighters skill, or does it show poor management of timing and opponent selection? Of course, the answer is neither and at the same time both.
A fighter’s career/path is a combination of hard work, preparation, timing and execution. Hard work and execution are 100% the fighter’s responsibility, but preparation and timing are, for the most part, in the hands of your coach/manager.
If you have no coach or manager you are opening yourself up to the joys of independent fighter life. A story for another blog! Right now I will use the framework of the modern MMA fighter, who fights on a team and has a coach, a manager or both.
So, if a fighter starts his/her career with 4 wins and then has 2 straight losses should the fighters next fight be a ‘gimmie’ (meaning the selection of the next opponent is very cautious looking for a better chance of victory), or should they continue fighting at the level that has given them 2 losses and hope they can improve before the next one? That hopefully being a level of opponent that has equal or similar experience and skill.
A similar skill set is vitally important for good competitive fights, I can’t stand seeing the local prospect smash through some obvious novice or any kind of blatant mismatch. It’s completely unnecessary in MMA, because for the most part if fighters have similar skill (at least even if experience is different), the fight will be entertaining. It has just as good, if not more chance of a satisfying finish for the fans.
Surely any fighter worth the price of a ticket would rather have a competitive loss in a great fight than win or loss in a shit show? This is gladiator, samurai, bushido shit we are living right now! Have some got damn self respect. Death before dishonour is the motto in my eyes.
I digress, back to the topic at hand
Fighters with losses on their records; were the losses due to a outside factor like illness or personal distractions like girlfriend problems, children or death in the family etc? Or was it simply a case of a better opponent? Who knows and who cares? For me I’m more interested in whether the fighter was being used as fodder or were they involved in a legitimate bout.
Thank goodness MMA hasn’t mirrored Boxing’s idea of ‘the perfect -0’ being the mark of who is the best of the best.
Although having a something-0 record can help you get some better fight opportunities and maybe a extra sponsor or two, it is the mindset of most people I encounter that if you have 0 in the loss column you haven’t been fighting the right fights.
I guess in my eyes a record makes no difference to my interest in a fight as you just can’t tell what the fight will be until the bell rings and sometimes the best fights/fighters are born from a mismatch being won by the underdog or the guy with a losing record finally turning the losses into a win!
Just because the weatherman says it’s gonna rain, ya never know 😉
* = Steven Johns is the pen name of our guest blogger. He is a former professional fighter who is still involved in the industry.