The Unpredictable World of MMA: A Tale of Two Fighters

The Swift Tides of Change in the UFC Featherweight Division

Think about it for a sec – isn’t it wild how much can change in MMA in just a year? Seriously, show me another sport where the game flips upside down so fast.

Let’s take the UFC featherweight division. It’s been totally shaken up. Last week, Ilia Topuria came out of nowhere and took down Volkanovski, who, just a blink ago, was seen as a top dog. Now, we’ve got this new champ making waves. I’m not here to rehash that fight as it’s done and has been reviewed to death – that’s old news now. But, it’s a perfect example of how unpredictable this sport is and a touch of something now seemingly unthinkable.

Paddy Vs Topouria – A hypothetical that speaks Volumes

breakdowns from mississauga's first and only ufc veteran claude patrick on the recent dust up in the ufc fetherweight divison

Now, cast your mind back a couple of years. There were whispers of a fight between Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett and Ilia Topuria. Looking at it now, with Ilia holding the title and Paddy… well, let’s just say he’s not in the same league, it feels almost laughable in hindsight. 

People were pushing this fight like it was a thing… lol im not expert but i know what i’m watching so even then its was absurd to me

Paddy, a media darling, has been exposed as a mid-tier, fairly one-dimensional athlete in his division that fit the mold of being sellable and got the media push, which he was far from being able to live up to expectation-wise. 

 

The Connor Mcgregor Effect

Connor Mcgregor laid out the formula he talked the talk and walked it all the way to the belt and beyond but was grinding hard for years before the general fan in the  MMA masses knew about him and got the scene hungry to say the least take a look at his highlights below

now we see guys pushing the gimmick first getting to the table and not belonging there.

It’s a classic case of careers taking wildly different paths.—-> Illia’s Own words here

This isn’t a knock on Paddy; he’s doing his thing and making his money as every fighter should but imagine how crazy it is to put those two in the same cage? And how just 18 months ago this was a spoke about and possible matchup people would have picked both sides of in terms of bets. It highlights how much of the fight game is about the hype and effect of the promotional machine’s power on the masses.

Even in a sport 25+ years old it’s still amazing how many forget what you see with their own eyes and are hypnotized into listening  to the media pundits as to what reality in the cage really is 🙂

 Danger of the Hype Machine -Reality for Today’s Combat Sports Athletes

It’s not just about how you fight, but also how you sell yourself. Sure, you need to back it up in the cage, but having a bit of a persona helps get you noticed. However, there’s a big difference between fighting and other forms of entertainment. In the end, no matter how much they say you can do this and that, It’s always you that has got to fight.

There are cases of guys who will pop in for some quick cash and clearly don’t care about winning or losing and I’m not even looking at them because that’s an entirely separate career path unto itself, I’m trying to get out in front of the hype machine and warn the young athletes of today that may have something the promoters like and are willing to push regardless of your abilities or lack thereof.

Fighters always remember promoters aren’t your friend

So, to all the up-and-comers out there, remember, promoters are in the business of promotion. It’s on you to master your craft. Don’t get caught up in your own hype or spend too much time on social media. Focus on what you do best: fighting. Forget that “I’ll fight anyone, anytime” stupidity and remember a career like another is carefully and meticulously crafted there are good and bad fights, right and wrong time. Knowing what to do and when is crucial.

Sure, build your brand, but know that at the end of the day, it’s your performance in the ring or the cage that really counts.