Monday, May 2, 2011

Calling you out

Kongsak is a powerful southpaw who has been winning fights with his devastating left kick. Sam-A, one of Thailand's current top contenders, is Kongsak's next opponent, and sends him a short message via youtube video. He adds a little touch at the end. You don't have to understand Thai:

Hype is an interesting aspect of combat sports. Personally, I could care less about Georges St Pierre or Yodsanklai destroying a loud mouthed challenger who doesn't reach their caliber...

My interest is very much about the technical match ups. Does the fight present an interesting clash of styles or skill sets?

For me, the Hominick vs Aldo fight on the UFC 129 card was the only fight I was really interested in prior to the actual event. The interest wasn't from any kind of Koscheck or Lesnar talk/reputation, but from seeing both fighters abilities. Luckily, I was not disappointed. That fight even surpassed my expectations. Aside from his skill set, Hominick's show of heart alone is reason enough to have interest in any fight he takes.

There was no "bad guy" in the cage. The audience didn't need an orchestrated drama to side with either fighter. They only needed the fighters themselves. I doubt anyone wanted to see a Knockout in that fight for any other reason than their respect for either fighter's explosiveness.

The fabled Pacquiao vs Mayweather match up is intriguing for the same reason. Yes, Mayweather is a talker (which admittedly does make you want settle on who the greatest is), but the primary reason for anyone wanting to see that fight is an appreciation of both fighters' skill. The only reason I'd even want to see either knocked out is simply for proof that it is possible.

We've all heard some terrible things said by fans of every combat sport, and sometimes even worse by the fighters. It's easy to get caught up in the image, because the image is what sells. We like identifying with fighters and athletes, even when we have no idea who they really are. Apparently Josh Koscheck is a really nice guy outside of TV. Is he really? If that's true, he shouldn't have to be a dick to sell a fight. We should side with him because we respect his wrestling, or side against him because we think his opponent is a legitimate threat.

Try not to forget that. As you train more and more, learn to appreciate the fights not for the drama or image, but for the fighters and love of the game.

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