Originally Posted by BlunTForcE
Uh that doesn't happen. When you're gettin paid to compete at a professional level, you don't just "go play for fun", you go in with a sound strategy and a fully trained skill-set so that you ensure a victory..
These guys are fighting for money and they get paid to win.. they don't get paid to just go out there and have fun and see how it goes.
To put his concern in another way...the professional MMA fighter holds a mystique for his fans because he is a fighter.
It's not just the fact that he's a professional athlete, it's the fact that he [or she] fights
. The routine element of personal risk in the intimate nature of an actual fight far outweighs the physical risk other athletes routinely face in their sports. In football and basketball, contact is limited by the rules. Even in hockey, where fighting is more commonplace, the fighters are seperated as soon as the fight hits the ice and participants face infractions.
The fact that fighters willingly subject themselves to that risk is part of the mystique.
Virtually all athletes employ skill and stategy. Nascar racers employ skill and strategy. Billiards players employ skill and strategy. Ultimate Frisbee players employ skill and strategy. A pokerplayer keeping his heartrate down and a steady had as he makes a half-million dollar raise in a cashgage employs skill and strategy. But none of these examples have the routine risk of physical harm willingly embraced every time they engage in their sport.
I'm not saying it's wrong for a fighter to look to minimize the risk they undertake. It's not wrong for a fighter to look to employ his skill where it's going to be most effective, while minimizing the risk of personal danger.
But there is an element of appreciation of the heart of a fighter, who persists beyond the limits of personal pain and injury. who willingly faces whatever challenges are presented wherever they are presented. That's not saying that every fighter needs to stand in the pocket and bang, or that fighters who fight stupid are better than fighters who plan.
But part of that appreciation of a fighter's performance is the acknowledgement of risk, and when a fighter fights so conservatively as to avoid any risk, they're going to lose some of that appreciation from a lot of fans.
It's a double-edged sword. It represents a spectrum: on one end, you've got fighters like Machida, who've made a career out of avoiding damage while inflicting it, and on the other, you've got Cabbage Correira, who prides himself on taking punishment. The individual fan is going to gravitate to what he appreciates the most...but you can't expect every Cabbage fan to be a Machida fan as well. Sure, you're going to get crossover, but it's going to be the exception to the rule.