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Most MMA fighters regard taekwondo as a taekwondon't. The martial art has no use in the cage, they insist. Its kicks are useless, they argue. The leg techniques may be fast, but they lack knockout power, they complain. Those fighters clearly don't know Anthony Pettis. Recently signed by the Professional Fighters League, he has an extensive background in the Korean art as taught by the American Taekwondo Association, and he never shies away from telling people the source of the spectacular kicks he uses to win in the cage.

Back in the mid-1980s, I lived in Pusan, South Korea, for the purpose of furthering my martial arts education. One day, our instructor entered the dojang and asked if there were any particular techniques we wanted to learn. Hmm …

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Invicta Fighting Championships, the world's best known, all-female mixed martial arts promotion, announced they have been acquired by Anthem Sports and Entertainment. This means they'll be parting ways with UFC Fight Pass, who has streamed their events online since 2014, and moving to Anthem-owned AXS TV and The Fight Network.

Invicta 44, scheduled for May 21, will be their first ever show broadcast on national television with atomweight champion Alesha Zappitella set to defend her title against Jessica Delboni. Invicta has been a launching pad for many of the sports' most prominent female fighters, including UFC champion Amanda Nunes and Bellator titlist Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino.


Prosecutors in New Mexico have elected not to pursue rape charges against jiu-jitsu coach Rafael de Freitas. De Freitas, who had a 6-1-1 record as an MMA fighter and who had served as a coach for former UFC champion Holly Holm, had been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a female student at her home last November.

But prosecutors felt there was insufficient evidence to proceed. De Freitas' lawyers contended that while their client made an error in his marriage for which he was regretful, the incident with his student was entirely consensual. According to sherdog.com they suggested the woman who alleged the assault may have had motives for falsely accusing him.


So which is it: We like when MMA fighters trash talk or we don't?

We like when there is apparent beef between opponents or we don't? It has to be asked because it seems when a fighter excels at throwing verbal jabs as well as real ones, they get celebrated and sometimes even fast-tracked to better spots in the fight game. But it also seems the loquaciousness of some obligates them to higher expectations for some reason.

There will always be discussion about who does it best or who best follows in the great Muhammad Ali's footsteps, but this is not about how good someone may be at it except insofar as it is part of the success equation. In other words, if being good at it propels. But, there really is an angle to explore in how the fan sees the value in the verbal sparring. And then subsequently what that fan or fans thinks when things go sideways for their favorite smacksmith.

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