21 March 2016

What about the winners?

Over the last few months we have seen a few upset victories in the MMA field. Two immediately spring to mind: Ronda Rousey v Holly Holm; and Connor McGreggor v Nate Diaz.

Regardless of how each bout went, the news coverage and comment fields across the Internet focussed on one thing: the person that lost. For Holly Holm's victory all I saw for the next two weeks was coverage of Ronda. She was the one making appearances on TV and giving interviews. Yes she is a media darling and has done a lot to promote women's fights in the UFC. But where is the love for Holly?

Most of what I have seen in the weeks after Holly's win dealt with vitriol aimed at Ronda as people slithered out from their dank holes claiming they always hated Ronda and are happy she lost. They didn't care who took the former champ down, they only cared that she was taken. These are the same people that months ago jumped on the Rousey bandwagon claiming she'll never be beaten.

Holly deserves the credit for a very technical match and victory over a tough opponent. But now she lost the title to Miesha Tate its as if supporters have dropped her and some see her win over Rousey as a fluke. This negative mentality gives a bad name to fight supporters and must stop.

Any person that steps into a ring, octagon or other shaped arena to test their fighting skills against another person is a champion. The effort required is lost on the majority. Many wannabe fighters have a single amateur fight and call it quits. They find out that fighting as a career is not for them. But even then they've still put themselves on the line. That courage will see them through a lot in life. Those that continue onto the pro circuit have it far tougher. Being noticed among all the other skilled fighters isn't easy, but is necessary to gain matches as well as sponsors.

Personally I have little interest in the showboating of a lot of professional fighters. Connor McGreggor does mouth off a lot, but that is his shtick. Being a pro fighter is essentially being a sole business owner. They need to promote their brand and have their name spoken in every household. This is how they make their living and Connor does it very well. Regardless of how I think of him as a person, he is a damn skilled fighter. But again with the Diaz fight, the noise is about how Connor got his mouth shut not about how Nate fought a hard battle and emerged victorious.

I blame this a lot on the anonymity of the Internet. People spout off opinions online that they wouldn't have the nerve of saying in person. Just look at your favourite website that allows comments and see all the negativity that quickly descends. Internet culture needs a massive shake-up to stop the cycle of hatred. Maybe then people can enjoy watching skilled fighters clash without feeling the need to spew toxic garbage across news feeds.


  1. I think you make a good point about trolls & anonymity. It will be interesting if some of the proposed cyber-bullying laws end up making a difference - if people have to take responsibility for the vitriol; it is less likely that they might be as toxic in the public realm.

  2. I think it's good the law is catching up and remain hopeful that people are capable of change.