March, 2019
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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Why Some Careers Resurge and Some Don’t

Lewis, for all his accomplishments and heart, will not have the kind of legacy that dos Santos will, so why were the odds as close as they were? It was a mixture of the specific style matchup and recent history, as “The Black Beast” explained: “He’s not tough like he used to be. I believe he has a glass chin.” He wasn’t wrong to think that. After the legendary run that culminated in a single title defense, dos Santos hit a rough patch. He got brutalized across five rounds by Velasquez in their rematch, then proceeded to teeter-totter between wins and losses for the next five years, suffering three devastating knockout losses along the way. As new heavyweights arrived on the scene, it looked like dos Santos’ tenure as a relevant title contender had ended. In the last three fights, he has reversed this trend, looking like an evolved version of his vintage self in the process. It’s accurate to call this moment a career resurgence for the former champion.

Compare that to former lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn, who is booked for another loss — err fight — against Clay Guida at UFC 237 in May…

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Keep It Simple, Stupid

When Cody Garbrandt was a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 25, he confidently proclaimed perhaps the most definitive Garbrandt-esque sentiment imaginable: “[T.J. Dillashaw] said his fight IQ is higher than mine. Don’t matter,” he said, holding up a closed fist. “The right hand is my IQ.” There is an ironic beauty that such a dumb thing could be said about intelligence.

However, that concept isn’t all that uncommon in MMA circles. Most of us remember hearing some version of “take X athlete from their sport, train them in boxing and how to sprawl for six months and you got yourself a UFC heavyweight champ.” Sure, sometimes physical talent is all it takes to win — just ask Johnny Walker — but rarely at the highest levels of the sport. Prove me wrong, Johnny. Garbrandt is proof of that. He’s one of the most athletically gifted fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and he has been knocked out three times in a row since becoming bantamweight champion in 2016. Though the official record states his losses were due to punches and knees, it would be more accurate to list them as “TKO (Fought Like an Idiot).” Garbrandt was right; there’s about as much cognition going on in his hand as there is in his head…

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