mma opinion

Warning: An analogy is about to be used for effect. But not merely for effect. It is chosen intentionally because of the life-threatening nature of the subject matter. The analogy and thesis being that weight-cutting in MMA is proving to be similar to what happens in situations of domestic abuse. As stated, this is not used or mentioned lightly and it is in the frontal lobe that many families (including the writer's) have had the loss and bruises, so that here it is very much taken extreme seriously. The comparison is used completely wittingly with the full respect to those who suffer. It is actually that respect and the constant sight of suffering that instigated this communication. When we say of both situations that someone might literally die unless something changes, it is not hyperbole and further it is tough to find more pointed language to give it the seriousness it deserves.

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MMA fans might suffer fools, but they will sure as beans not abide an excuse-maker or blame-shifter. Before the congregation says amen, a moment of pause seems fitting. There are so many intangibles in such a very, very, tangible sport. There are so many things that are - whatever the most correct word would be for - the opposite of abstract. Broken orbital bones, hematomas, weight misses, etc. There is plenty in the fight game where there is no need for judgment and speculation. But, trying to discern when someone is making excuses – which is often seen as lacking virtue and even cowardly – is far from an exact science. It is even strange that there is a discussion associated with this subject at all. But it rears its head so often it almost begs to be mulled over.
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The nostalgic diehards among you will no doubt have a nice warm feeling when you read the title of this bit. If it does not make sense, you may need to spend some time in the MMA rabbit hole. Take care though. It can be hard to escape and not just bleed. Ok, that might be too far and too inside. Silliness aside, pain is a very real and constant aspect of the fighting arts. It makes it all the more remarkable that MMA in particular has made the mainstream. The cliché explanation may serve some purpose that fighting is in our DNA, but make no mistake – no rational person seeks out pain.

If you have ever had to go to the doctor and explain pain, it can be a very strange thing to do. As ubiquitous and axiomatic as pain is in most people's lives, it is near impossible to describe with words. For a comedic look at it, do yourself a favor and get your hands on Brian Regan's bit on the emergency room visit from I Walked on the Moon. He does a great job of observing this very strange phenomenon of describing pain. You could even go down the more serious trail of studying things like pain indexes (indices if you're inclined) and the normalizations of some over others in the medical field. And it is not only the degree of severity that is being worked on, but the brands or types of pain. All very hard to quantify even for the purposes of treatment and recovery.

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You may have heard a coach say, "We didn't lose, we just ran out of time." You have also heard, "Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." But wait just a minute! Are either of those actually true? You don't ever really almost get a point in horseshoes. It is true that a horseshoe width from the stake is a point that is not actually touching or hooked around the stake, but that is not technically speaking "almost", but rather a rule that means a point is earned – it is not almost a point, it is a point. And sorry coach, they don't add minutes to clocks, so Willy Wonka was right, you lose... good day, sir. Mark Twain (if it was actually him) pioneered the dad joke when he observed, "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."

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