FanPost

MMA fans place too much importance on finishing.

First off, i'd like to say that I love a great finish as much as the next guy.  Brutal knockout standing, or barrage of strikes on the ground?  Pass me the cool-aid.  Picture perfect jointlock/ choke with a great transition?  That's my shit right there.  There are few things in the world cooler and more decisive than a clean finish (so long as it isn't controversial, due to some kind of referee err, or what have you).  

But to ask for consistent finishes from top athletes facing eachother is ridiculous- GSP absolutely mauled Alves:  neutralized and beat him standing, took him down at will, and positionally dominated him while working steady GnP, but some people insist on saying that he's boring.  And that's an insult to both competitors- to GSP who is an absolute stud, and to Alves who is a very tough guy, and who still stayed game and tried to take Georges head off every time they stood, as well as the singular time he got on top.  To be at the top of the game, and finish all comers of different styles is nigh impossible, and any other mindset leads to people decrying Machida (earlier in his UFC career), Anderson Silva, GSP, or any other high calibur athlete that doesn't finish a fight, and distracts people from the fighter's technical brilliance and fighting prowess.  The fact that guys like Fedor, Anderson, and BJ can consistently finish the top dogs of their divisions is what makes them demi- gods.

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But sometimes I feel that too much importance is put on the fighters to finish.  First and foremost, MMA is a sport- and just like any other sport, the goal of the competitors is to win.  If the organizations promoting the fighters don't make winning the #1 incentive for the fighters, then the results of each contest have less merit, IMO.  For example, take a guy like Yushin Okami- Okami is a fighter who has already posted a 7-1 mark in the UFC, with his only loss being a competitive decision to the former MW divisional ruler, Rich Franklin; his Octagon wins include quality fighters like Belcher, a then- streaking MW Swick, a then- highly regarded J-Mac, a grappling wiz in Lister, and provided he wins his next fight- a former olympic alternate Greco Roman wrestler in Sonnen.  He also has a controversial win (as we all know) over resident 500 lb. gorilla of MW/ p4p stalwart Anderson Silva.

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Long story short, the UFC has only given Okami 1 marquee bout (against Franklin), and they regularly leave him on the undercard of their PPV's, because he has a 'boring' style.  Yushin is a guy who doesn't even really show up for the fight until the 2'nd round or so, and that's why I think he's perfect for challenging a title in a 5- round format.  However, other more marketable fighters like Bisping/ Hendo, Marquardt/ Maia were all given very hyped, marquee fights.  And when you, as a sports organization (especially a combat sport), place more importance on being exciting than performing your best, and trying to win, then you become similar to the WWE.

Now don't get me wrong, I actually do think that the "Fight of the Night," "Sub of the Night," and "Knockout of the Night," bonuses are a very good idea, because it provides an incentive for each fighter to perform at their absolute peak, on top of going for the win.  But when you play god with an athlete's livelihood by controlling how well you're going to market them, by how many main event/ main card fights you're going to give them, and hinder their progression as a challenger to the title (which is every fighter's ultimate goal), then you're creating a conflict of interest.  And that's how you get guys like Jorge Gurgel and Chris Lytle, who ignore their great ground skills in favor of engaging in a sloppy standup war, and that's how guys like Okami and Jon Fitch get put on the undercard because they tend to win methodical decisions.

Forgive me for the absolute wall of text, but I feel like there has to be someone who agrees with me.  If you don't like the sport in it's purest form of competition, then maybe you should watch something with guaranteed excitement and drama, like WWE.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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