MMA's hype machine puts too much pressure on fighters and benumbs fans. Men become unstoppable monsters; managers and promotions, ruthless villians. Do people actually believe there is an historic event every 2-3 weeks?
The latest victims of exaggeration: Anderson Silva and BJ Penn. This past weekend two fighters once called invincible looked human. One even looked too human.
Hype, truth, or a combination of both, the fabled aura of invincibility goes a long way in punching someone in the face. Penn's and Silva's have both faded to an extent--contenders Sonnen, Maynard, and Belfort are now more outspoken--but Penn's seems less damaged; ask Zuffa who is harder to repackage.
The good part is, the hype is over, and they can get back to normal; something they weren't this weekend.