I was walking into AMA today and something dawned (spell) on me. I was thinking about my career in general, what I hoped to accomplish, and how I was going to do that. This led me to think about my last fight, which then led to thinking about all the comments and articles I read from the fans and media in relation to my last fight. I do not take these comments and articles seriously, but I do acknowledge them. So many times I read terms like “gatekeeper” “mediocre” “past his prime”. My brother, in an effort to motivate me, stated how people are thinking I’m done, that I’ve maxed out. We know this is not the case, but only the perception of some people on the outside.
So then it dawned on me, in every sport we have the best of the best (A. Silva, Jordan, Manning, A. Rod), then we have the above average guys, then the average, and then we have the least successful players. In no other sport other than MMA do the fans and some media convey the message that anyone less than the best serves no purpose. This blows my mind. UFC fighters represent a small microcosm of the world, it’s survival of the fittest. Some people are the lions, some are the wildebeests. Does that mean you shouldn’t fight tooth and nail day in and day out to step up a rung in the ladder? When’s the last time you heard the media calling for a .260, 15 HR guy to retire, that he will never be a .320 hitter and hit 45 homers?? That there’s nothing left for him?? The worst recent case of this in MMA was probably w/ Koscheck. A fight or two ago, I was reading, “He’ll never get another title shot, what’s left for him to do?” How bout make some good freaking money and test his limits???
It’s discouraging as a UFC fighter to see this perspective from fans and some media alike. It really makes no difference what I am to outsiders, I’ll bust my a$$ just the same!!!