May, 2019
Archive

By In Mixed Martial Arts

Same But Different

After Sage Northcutt was knocked out in his organizational debut at One Championship “Enter the Dragon” on Friday in Kallang, Singapore, Deadspin covered it with the following headline: “Poor Sage Northcutt Gets Knocked Out 30 Seconds Into Minor League MMA Debut.” This caused a surprising amount of ire in certain segments of the MMA community. Not only does One Championship boast a number of world-class fighters on its roster, but it’s not even a league in the first place.

Of course, calling One a “minor league” was not meant to be a comment on the structural organization of MMA so much as the talent disparity between that promotion and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. That Boolean framework of major league versus minor leagues is immediately understood by most of the general sports-watching audience. In that way, the headline makes sense, especially since a big part of Deadspin’s editorial style is its irreverence. Yet it is, in fact, inaccurate, for both the synonymizing of “league” and “promotion” and, partly, for the underlying assumptions about the differences between One and the UFC. There are clearly significant gaps between the two, but in a lot of ways, they aren’t all that different…

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Following Fear

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s strawweight titleholder Rose Namajunas had some interesting things to say after her fight at UFC 237 on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That wasn’t surprising, as her honesty and willingness to be vulnerable have often led to interesting sound bites. This time, however, her thoughts were more broadly relevant than they immediately seemed.

“It’s just a huge pressure off my shoulders,” she said during the in-cage interview after her knockout loss to Jessica Andrade. This surprised UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who was sitting cageside on commentary duty. “What’s the pressure?” he wondered aloud. “Not having the belt anymore? Getting rid of fight week? I don’t understand. We work our entire lives to get [the belt], right?” At the post-fight press conference, Namajunas was asked to elaborate: What exactly was the pressure? Fighting generally, or being the champion specifically? “I mean, yes, being the champ, I guess … but honestly, just the fighting itself is a lot. It’s scary. I mean, that’s why I do this. I want to face my fears.”

If they sound like contradictory sentiments, it’s because they are. “Thug Rose” is large; she contains multitudes. Yet there’s an undeniable truth in the tension between wanting to face your fears and being utterly exhausted by them…

Read more at Sherdog

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