Tuesday, November 23, 2010


They walk in to the gym, talking large and with a strut. Most of the time they smell like cigarettes. A good number already have a fight scheduled, all that do the fight is in about two weeks, most likely sooner.
They start out the warm up balls to the walls, slow with in 30 seconds, and in a minute they are sucking wind, asking for a water break and we haven't even started shadow boxing yet.
Before practice their talk was large, about fights they won, and techniques they pulled off. During practice they show an ability to eat jabs and throw winding looping punches that are easily avoided and countered. They throw kicks off balance, and eat them like they are candy.
They profess to be submission kings, and to have wrestled "all of their life." On the mat they show an amazing ability to give up more submissions than if they were actually allowing you to submit them.

Why? I don't get it. People don't automatically assume that they can run a marathon with less than two weeks training, even if they ran a mile once or twice. Why do they believe that they can step in to the ring and fight, even if they had a street fight or two. It makes little sense. Yet, last night I saw a guy with his chest puffed up walking in to the gym with a swagger, and I knew what he was up to. I can understand the trainers taking him in. His money is as green as everybody else's. They get the first month's dues and set him loose. They know that the vast majority of these guys will not stay past the first month, so take his money and feed him to the wolves.

I guess that I have a problem with all of this because I love combat sports, and this kind of behavior only serves to stain their reputation. Promoters who put up these fights are what give the sport such a bad name. If this guy walks in to the ring with a trained guy he will bust his wad with in 30 seconds, then gasp for breath as his opponent mauls him. If he steps in with another like him, the fans will be treated to two guys winging hay-makers for 30 seconds, then push on each other for the rest of the fight. Fun for the fans, I guess.

Promoters should only schedule fights with legitimate gyms. You still will get the mauling, but at least you will know that the fighters will have a little bit of gas in the tank, and some halfway decent technique behind them. The problem is that most promoters are little more than street slime themselves, looking to make a buck not on the sport, but on the blood and trauma of the fighters.

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