Mixed Martial Arts
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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Knowing When To Quit

“It is generally accepted that toughness and perseverance are fundamental prerequisites for success. Life is hard and adversity is inevitable; you have to be able to overcome the obstacles in front of you, whatever they may be, in order to achieve your goals. The word “grit” has gained tremendous traction in this context, especially in the world of education. One of the most prominent researchers on the subject, Angela Duckworth — who literally wrote the book on grit — defined grit as: “… passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

As Duckworth noted in the same speech, grit is the single most significant predictor of success, more so than talent or intelligence. Most professional fighters would probably agree. Fighters are lauded for their toughness, for “embracing the grind.” The weeks spent preparing for a fight, as well as the minutes spent actually fighting, are among the most physically and psychologically grueling contrivances in modern sport. Anything short of a quick knockout requires a type of determination that is alien to most of us in the audience.

Yet unconditional grit can be a flawed virtue. Sometimes a challenge is not worth the effort, or simply impossible to overcome. In such cases, it’s in a person’s best interest to give up. A recent study led by researchers from University of Southern California and Northeastern University put hundreds of people through various tests of grit. In light of UFC 224, the findings were discomfortingly on-the-nose…”

 

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Back To The Future

“You’ve probably seen this concept in a sci-fi movie before. A scientist, trying to explain how space-time works, punches two holes in opposite sides of a piece of paper. He or she then folds the paper in half so that the holes align, thus demonstrating how going through a black hole can theoretically allow people to travel a great distance in a short time — faster than the speed of light, so fast that time itself is warped into a maelstrom of past, present and future.

That was how Bellator 198 was to me on Saturday: a blast from the past and a look into the future all at once…”

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

MMA’s Modern Mythological Hero

“When the dust settled from UFC on Fox 29 and the crowds vacated the Gila River Arena on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona, the main event between Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirer was easy to mythologize. It was the type of fight that warranted clichés without any facetiousness or eye rolling. They left everything in the cage; they were fighting in a phone booth; they were warriors. It was the type of fight that made the lyrics to “Face the Pain” feel like a Homeric poem.

The fight was undeniably epic. It was Gaethje’s third appearance in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, each of which has been shortlisted for “Fight of the Year.” His promotional debut against Michael Johnson last July was the consensus pick across every major MMA web site, and his December bout against Eddie Alvarez was close behind. Although there are plenty more fights to be fought in 2018, expect to see this one popping up at the end of the year.

Yet in an alternate dimension, we may have never had the chance to see any of these fights…”

 

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Making Sense of Nonsense

“The week leading up to UFC 223 was absolutely bonkers. Between the musical chairs of finding an opponent for Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor’s now infamous bus attack, there has never been a more ridiculous series of events preceding a fight card. The fact that a proposed UFC Hawaii event fell through went largely unnoticed amid the pandemonium in Brooklyn, New York.

Miraculously, the event went pretty well. There were entertaining and divisionally relevant fights, and while my heart goes out to the fighters who had their bouts cancelled due to McGregor’s antics, having fewer fights made the event as a whole much more watchable. Thus, despite the attendant nonsense of fight week, there is still much to unpack…”

 

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By In Mixed Martial Arts

Every Crazy Thing Leading Up to the Cursed UFC 223 Event

“UFC 223 was supposed to be simple: Khabib Nurmagomedov, the undefeated number one contender would finally square off against interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson. They had been paired three times before, and each time the fight fell through due to alternating injuries – Khabib, then Tony, then Khabib again. The winner would become the undisputed lightweight champion, the title that Conor McGregor had gone 500 days without defending. With McGregor’s absence from the cage, Ronda Rousey’s disappearing act, and the PED problems of Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar, the UFC desperately needed to give fans something to be excited about. Anticipation for the main event and a comprehensively stacked card underneath it made UFC 223 the first quality mixed martial arts offering of 2018. And in a matter of days, it all went to shit…”

 

Read more at Vice Sports

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