Monday, October 29, 2007

2007 - The Year of Upsets?

MMA N-sanity Vol. 1

As we wind down this miraculous year of fighting; I question was this the year of the upsets? So many times this year, we saw what were thought to be horrendous mismatches; as time showed us we were wrong.

What does that mean? Is it that our belief in Pride to have the best fighters was wrong? Or once a fighter reaches his potential he loses his hunger? Good old fate shaking things up? Perhaps it was clever match-making to keep salaries down and fighters in check? Probably it is all of the above to some degree. But, first things first.

Pride had a disappointing showing after the UFC's acquisition of the company. However I'm not so sure it’s all their fault. For years Pride would hire ex UFC stars or fighters and match them with, what were in those arenas, killers. Pride would normally win the lopsided bookings, making themselves look like the world's top stable of fighters. So turn about being fair play. The Pride fighters were given the same treatment. Some might say it’s about time. Let’s face it, Japan has always brought in the big bad American to lose. However once you become an established fighter in Japan you are treated like an icon. Treatment you would only receive if you were famous in the U.S. The difference is unfathomable. Try going from a rock star image and royal treatment to minor league accommodations and a lot tougher competition. Could this shake up an athlete and his ability to perform? Absolutely and it has almost every time.

What about the hunger factor? Could it be that the numerous belt holders, who were upset this year; had lost their hunger?

Maybe. That’s not for me to speculate on. Only their warrior within knows that answer.

Personally I'd like to think the latter, good old Fate! Nothing can stir things up as well as fate. A date with destiny can never be stood up or given a rain check. When the stars align for your time to fall or shine, and the electricity fills the air; nothing can stop it. It will be the most powerful time for the winner. But it’s the hardest, loneliest and weakest time for the loser.

Still though one could assume that more than odds and beliefs in abilities, match making dictates the flow of the sport. So are they that good or that bad? Since most of the big fights this year were the underdogs' platforms, was it a way to knock down the big names? Taking value away from their drawing power and salary demands, so younger, cheaper, more manageable fighters could take the helm. Or was it really supposed to go the other way? Spiraling the match makers into a string of calamitous bookings that landed the world of MMA upside down and making '07 the year of the upsets?

Well, I leave it for you to decide with two months of action left in the most controversial year in MMA history.

By Justin McCully, The N-sane-1



Anonymous Anonymous said...

UFC Champs would go to pride and loose very bad.
The current UFC Middleweight Champion is a pride fighter.
Most of Pride Fighters don't perform very well in UFC because UFC doesn't allow kicks on the floor, stomps & knees to the head.
You develop a way of fighting and then you come to UFC where the only cool thing is elbows on the floor and your game fight changes dramatically. A cage is not like a Ring either.
By the way there are lots of Pride superstars that aren't on UFC like Fedor and they will take the champion belt easilly.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Nsane1 said...

Buddy, everyone knows that Pride and UFC are differant styles. We all have rules meetings two days before every event. So differant rules CANNOT be used as an excuse. I could compare apples and oranges all day. The fact is just because you did well in Pride, doesnt mean you'll have success in the UFC. Untill you do, you cannot be considered the best in the world. Mirko Crocop (lost to a fighter the UFC, by there mistake was trying to get rid of Gabriel Gonzaga), Ninja( lost to EX UFC fighter Robby Lawler), Gomi(Pride USA lost to ex UFC fighter Nick Diaz), Shogun (lost to an amazing performance by Forrest Griffin)etc.. Those names I just mentioned are some of the best fighters in the world. Will they adapt to the US and the Cage style ? Most likely. But they all lost badly What do you have to support your theory ?

2:04 AM  

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