Do the fighters really owe the fans anything?

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Rush
8/5/09 12:17:01PM
This is a question I keep asking myself when I see people posting or hear them talking about a fighter's choice in career moves, etc. I keep asking myself if these guys really owe the fans anything???

Some fighters give the impression that they owe the fans a "good show" by apologizing after a fight that went to decision. I personally loathe it when fighters do that. The only time a fighter should apologize IMO is if they don't make weight and the apology to the fans really should only be in the case where title fights are canceled because of missing weight. Other than that, they need to apologize to their opponent and boss.

If a fighter does not train or fight hard, how did they let anyone down, except themselves and their trainers?

But getting back to what prompted me to write this thread, is the Fedor issue. I get the sense that a lot of fans have a sense of entitlement with respect to Fedor (or any other top fighter). That is, they feel that the fighter owes it to them to fight the fights they want to see (which are usually the "best vs. best" scenarios).

So as I write this I become more and more convinced that these fighters do not owe us anything. They can do what they want to do and have to accept the consequences of their own actions. Much like a movie director, they may be expected to make a good movie, but they do not owe it to the fans to make a good movie. Ultimately they pursue their own vision.

I guess I look at it as a cause and effect sort of thing. I think that a good fighter will indirectly pay the fans by entertaining them with good performances, but I don't feel that it is a prerequisite for the fighter's existence.
Art_Jimmerson
8/5/09 12:22:01PM
We pay the fighters, they owe us everything!
PABLOMAFIOSO
8/5/09 12:39:25PM
Seeing as the fans make it possible for fighters to be paid (often obscene amounts per fight) I think they at least have to play the game to the best of their ability. If a fight goes the distance I don't think a fighter needs to apologise; if a boring fight goes the distance after a fighter talks a good fight it is different.
The Fedor thing is just disrespectful to fans. He and his management are expecting people to believe they are trying to find the best competition but clearly they are not.
scoozna
8/5/09 1:06:29PM
I agree with Rush. I even object, to some degree, with what Dana said about the Silva vs. Leites fight. Silva stuck to his gameplan, which did not include getting suckered into a technical BJJ match. Leites too, stuck to his gameplan of trying to pull guard and buttscoot to lure in Silva. End result was a less than exciting fight - but sometimes that's the way it has to be if this is to be a legitimate sport. There is an entertainment *component* to MMA, but it is, in the end, a sport, where excitement is not guaranteed.
grappler0000
8/5/09 1:08:33PM
I actually do agree with Rush to a certain extent. In my mind, a fighter can do whatever they wish, but with that, one should expect and not expect certain things that comes with those decisions. Without making a long drawn out argument, I'll just say that if you are pissing off the fans, don't expect the world.
grappler0000
8/5/09 1:15:07PM

Posted by scoozna

I agree with Rush. I even object, to some degree, with what Dana said about the Silva vs. Leites fight. Silva stuck to his gameplan, which did not include getting suckered into a technical BJJ match. Leites too, stuck to his gameplan of trying to pull guard and buttscoot to lure in Silva. End result was a less than exciting fight - but sometimes that's the way it has to be if this is to be a legitimate sport. There is an entertainment *component* to MMA, but it is, in the end, a sport, where excitement is not guaranteed.



I agree...if Silva would rather win than put on an exciting fight, then that's his prerogative. I personally don't think that was necessarily the reason for his lack of action, but that's not relevant at the moment. Of coarse, with that mind set comes consequences. Fighters may not have as much leverage in contract negotiations or may even get cut in some scenarios, but I am not one to deny them the option to fight to win.
king_katool
8/5/09 1:24:15PM
i agree to a certain extent, the fighters we me something, but only 1 thing and that is to go in the cage and give it his best, i dont care if its exciting or boring, but i want their best everytime they get in the change, i dont pay 50$ a month sometimes 100$ like this month, to see a fighter go in there and run track for 15 mins,
Aaronno9
8/5/09 1:38:59PM
The way I see it is, if you didnt have fans, you wouldnt have the sport. When fans are paying up hard earned cash on PPVs, or tickets to see the event live, fighters should respect that, and try to give them a show, becouse if they didnt buy the ppv/tickets, the fighters wouldnt get paid.

I dont think that means every fighter should have to come out all guns blazing, or even not use LnP to win a fight, I mean, it doesnt matter how you do it, then end goal is always to win, so I would never discredit a fighter for using the best tactics to do so. But I do think, to an extent, fighters should always be looking to finish the fight to the best of their ability.
postman
8/5/09 1:46:52PM
IMO They don't owe us anything other then 100% where ever they decide to fight. It's their choose where they go. If they don't give 100% then I won't support them. As far as the buttscoot BS I feel thats the UFC or the Athletic commisions (not sure whos call it is) fault for not implementing yellow cards. Yeah we are the ppl they entertain but I don't expect a guy to do something that he feel is going to harm him in the long run ie: stand and trade with someone who is going to knock him out or roll on the ground with someone who is going to break his arm or even sign a contract that dosn't suit their needs.

I don't like being told I have to do something by anyone (People I know or don't know) Why should they.

Edit:

Aaronno9 I love to see finished but don't feel its an obligation of the fighter to do so I think first and foremost they should look for the win and if the opprtunity to finish the fight presents itsself then they should take it. I hate to see a guy winning a fight and rush the finish to get caught and lose. look at Mirs stratigie agianst Nog put him down, put him down, put him down, put him down and finish him, had he went after the first knock down maybe nog tapps him. Just my point of view
AchillesHeel
8/5/09 2:23:27PM
I pretty much agree with the OP.

Fighters certainly owe the fans respect, and respect for the sport, but no less than the fans owe the fighters. That part is a two-way street, so I don't think the fans can claim the moral high ground, to mix my metaphors.

I think the "we pay them to entertain us" argument has some validity, but we have to remember that (a) we can choose not to pay, and (b) we don't pay the fighters directly, we pay the sport, and the sport pays the fighters. What this means is that fighters get paid, most fundamentally, to be good at the sport. No one would even be in the UFC or Dream or Strikeforce if they weren't good at MMA, it doesn't matter whether or not they're entertaining by other measures.

So I do think that the fighters "owe" the fans, to some degree, and the fans "owe" the fighters, to some degree. In the case of signing with this organization or that, I don't think the fighters "owe" the fans anything.



Posted by PABLOMAFIOSO

The Fedor thing is just disrespectful to fans. He and his management are expecting people to believe they are trying to find the best competition but clearly they are not.


Aside from the fact that I disagree that it would have been disrespectful to us if he'd signed with "Slammin Jammin Weekend" (it might have been disrespectful of his own legacy, and of the other fighters in that organization), I think your basic premise that Fedor did not sign with the organization that offered the best competition is flawed.

The UFC has 1 fighter that Fedor "needs to fight" right now, imo. Fedor should have fought Couture 2 years ago, and that ship is close to sailing, if it hasn't already. That's the only regret I have about Fedor signing with Strikeforce.

Lesnar, Velasquez, Dos Santos and Carwin haven't earned a shot at Fedor. I can see any of them giving him a fight, but maybe in another year, after they've settled things between themselves. I think watching Fedor bludgeon Big Nog, Cro Cop or Herring again would be more interesting than watching me fight Matt Hughes, but only just. Mir, Gonzaga, Hardonk and Kongo might last a round against Fedor, on a good day, and any UFC-caliber Heavyweight could land "the Shot Heard 'Round the World", but that's an argument against any of these guys getting a shot at Fedor, not for it.

On the other hand, a cross-promotional deal with Strikeforce and Dream allows Fedor to fight, in no particular order, Josh Barnett, Andrei Arlovski, Jeff Monson, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, and Sergei Kharitonov. There's also Brett Rogers, who's the guy the UFC really should have signed, imho.
Rush
8/5/09 7:19:52PM

Posted by Art_Jimmerson

We pay the fighters, they owe us everything!





No that is not correct. The UFC pays the fighters and we pay the UFC to watch them.


While I agree that fighters owe appreciation to their fans because the fans admire them. However, I think the point I was trying to make was missed to an extent. I guess what I don't get is when I hear fans talk as if the fighters owe it to them to make certain decisions about their careers or how they will approach a fight.

We are entertained by these guys fighting, but I don't think it is their job to make sure we are entertained. They train hard, learn skills, develop game plans and direct their career that will benefit them (whether it be for their legacy, money, health, etc.) and not for the sheer entertainment of masses.

RNC
8/5/09 8:10:12PM
UFC fighters don't owe us anything. We watch the sport of mixed martial arts to see exactly that, mixed martial arts. Every fight doesn't end in a submission or a knockout. Decisions are a part of the sport. If fans are so fixed on seeing KO's then they should start watching Toughman and not MMA.

I think a fighters job is to go out there and compete to win. That's what the fighters train for. I don't think their trainers and coaches and teammates are putting all the time and effort in so that they can go out there and lose. The idea is to fight to win.

But Not every fighter believes that. There's guys like Jorge Gurgel and Wanderlei Silva that are more concerned with putting on a show. But doing so got Gurgel released from the UFC, and this same method handed Wanderlei loss after loss, actually making him reconsider this approach to fighting.

On the other hand, there's guys like Machida and Anderson who believe the only thing that matters is winning safely. Anderson is the unbeaten MW champ and regarded as #1 p4p in the world, and Machida is the unbeaten LHW champ, top 5 p4p in the world. Clearly, there's a big difference between those who fight to put on shows and those who fight to win.

Fighting to put on shows is fun, but it isn't good for a fighters career. I can guarentee you that GSP is not going out there trying to impress the fans. In the last round of his fight with Thiago Alves, Greg Jackson actually told GSP not to take Thiago's back and go for the choke. GSP was on his way to winning a decision and it was too dangerous. GSP is fighting to win and win safely.

Now I can understand people getting upset at a guy like Kalib Starnes for literally running away from his opponent, but that's because he isn't fighting. I thought that Anderson's fight against Cote was a great fight, and I wasn't let down by his fight against Leites either.

In the Cote fight, he hit him with kicks, knees, and big shots in the first round. It's just Cote has an iron jaw. Then later on, Silva landed the most impressive switch I've ever seen when Cote tried to take him down. Then Leites fight was not enitrely Silva's fault because Anderson's striking revolves around a rhythm. Everytime he would get something going Leites would just fall down. None the less, watching Silva's movement and footwork mixed in with his unique striking in that fight was enough to entertain me.


And to address the Fedor situation. As a fan of the sport I would like to see Fedor vs Lesnar because its the biggest match up there is out there. But Fedor in no way owes me that fight. He never asked me to watch him compete or to be a fan of his. He simply does something he loves in fighting and just so happens to be good at it. I have to respect him as a person and as a business man that he is looking out for his best intentions.

I have said no to things many a times that made people upset, but it was only because I was looking out for myself that I said no. Fedor is doing the exact same thing. If by him doing this makes you upset, then maybe you need to reassess your position as being a Fedor fan, calling him the top HW in the world, and regarding him as the #1 p4p. Etiher way, at the end of the day Fedor doesn't care what you think, and he's already made that clear.


Art_Jimmerson
8/6/09 3:47:52AM

Posted by Rush


Posted by Art_Jimmerson

We pay the fighters, they owe us everything!





No that is not correct. The UFC pays the fighters and we pay the UFC to watch them.



Yes, it is correct.

You proved me right in your post.
Kpro
8/6/09 6:39:45AM

Posted by RNC
Now I can understand people getting upset at a guy like Kalib Starnes for literally running away from his opponent, but that's because he isn't fighting.




The glass is half empty vs. The glass is half full.

Starnes ran away vs. Starnes is the most aggressive fighter in MMA history (when watching the fight in reverse).

I'll take the latter.
Rush
8/6/09 7:17:31PM

Posted by Art_Jimmerson

Yes, it is correct.

You proved me right in your post.



How so?


The fighters are paid money, from the UFC, to fight. Beyond fulfilling their obligation in that manner, they owe us nothing. The money you pay (or may not pay) to watch PPVs goes to the UFC. The UFC invests money to set up venues and outlets for us to watch these guys compete. Primarily athletes are interested in competition (not entertaining people). The fact that we are entertained by their competion does not require them to function/adjust their career in order to facilitate our "wants" as fans.

In other words, they owe us nothing.

Art_Jimmerson
8/6/09 10:51:21PM

Posted by Rush


Posted by Art_Jimmerson

Yes, it is correct.

You proved me right in your post.



How so?


The fighters are paid money, from the UFC, to fight. Beyond fulfilling their obligation in that manner, they owe us nothing. The money you pay (or may not pay) to watch PPVs goes to the UFC. The UFC invests money to set up venues and outlets for us to watch these guys compete. Primarily athletes are interested in competition (not entertaining people). The fact that we are entertained by their competion does not require them to function/adjust their career in order to facilitate our "wants" as fans.

In other words, they owe us nothing.




Wow, you wrote all that stuff and you're still wrong.

If it wasn't for us, there would be no sport and the fighter's wouldn't be getting that nice paycheck after their fights.

They owe us because we pay their fee's. Indirrectly? yes, but we still pay their fee's.
cowcatcher
8/6/09 11:04:18PM
and you wouldnt watch them and pay the PPV money if they werent there to put on the show for you. he isnt wrong no matter what you think about it, its more of a chicken or the egg question than anything.
Aaronno9
8/6/09 11:10:16PM

Posted by cowcatcher

and you wouldnt watch them and pay the PPV money if they werent there to put on the show for you. he isnt wrong no matter what you think about it, its more of a chicken or the egg question than anything.



It really isnt, MMA would stil exist, regardless of the fan base. But without a large fan base, like the UFC has, the fighters wouldnt be getting paid anywhere near as much as they currently do. You can make any argument you want, but thats an absolute fact. Without the revenue, the UFC wouldnt beable to afford the venues or the fighters.

Its easy to say the "oh, its Zuffa who pay the fighters, not the fans". But do you really think they would beable to afford to pay the fighters, if they had no fans?
cowcatcher
8/6/09 11:15:53PM
would 75%(at least) of the people that watch mma in this country watch if it wasnt for the ufc? would mma be as big as it is without the ufc? so while i think that your "absolute fact" is true to a point, they built this sport up and got the fans, it wasnt just a sudden rush without them doing the work. again, chicken and the egg.

in the end what im saying is no one "owes" anyone anything. the ufc owes it to themselves to put on a good show if they want the fans to pay for it. the fighters owe it to themselves to put on a good show to keep getting paid. we owe them for entertaining us, they owe us for buying in and keeping them afloat/giving them a paycheck and id say thats a draw, we wouldnt tune in if it wasnt worth it to us.
RNC
8/6/09 11:30:29PM

Posted by Art_Jimmerson


Posted by Rush


Posted by Art_Jimmerson

Yes, it is correct.

You proved me right in your post.



How so?


The fighters are paid money, from the UFC, to fight. Beyond fulfilling their obligation in that manner, they owe us nothing. The money you pay (or may not pay) to watch PPVs goes to the UFC. The UFC invests money to set up venues and outlets for us to watch these guys compete. Primarily athletes are interested in competition (not entertaining people). The fact that we are entertained by their competion does not require them to function/adjust their career in order to facilitate our "wants" as fans.

In other words, they owe us nothing.




Wow, you wrote all that stuff and you're still wrong.

If it wasn't for us, there would be no sport and the fighter's wouldn't be getting that nice paycheck after their fights.

They owe us because we pay their fee's. Indirrectly? yes, but we still pay their fee's.



Please, elaborate. If you are capable of stringing together enough sentences to form a paragraph I would love to hear what it is exactly you think the fighters owe us.
Art_Jimmerson
8/7/09 12:46:54AM

Posted by RNC


Posted by Art_Jimmerson


Posted by Rush


Posted by Art_Jimmerson

Yes, it is correct.

You proved me right in your post.



How so?


The fighters are paid money, from the UFC, to fight. Beyond fulfilling their obligation in that manner, they owe us nothing. The money you pay (or may not pay) to watch PPVs goes to the UFC. The UFC invests money to set up venues and outlets for us to watch these guys compete. Primarily athletes are interested in competition (not entertaining people). The fact that we are entertained by their competion does not require them to function/adjust their career in order to facilitate our "wants" as fans.

In other words, they owe us nothing.




Wow, you wrote all that stuff and you're still wrong.

If it wasn't for us, there would be no sport and the fighter's wouldn't be getting that nice paycheck after their fights.

They owe us because we pay their fee's. Indirrectly? yes, but we still pay their fee's.



Please, elaborate. If you are capable of stringing together enough sentences to form a paragraph I would love to hear what it is exactly you think the fighters owe us.



You can't teach a blind person to see.
RNC
8/7/09 2:08:17AM

Posted by Art_Jimmerson


Posted by RNC


Posted by Art_Jimmerson


Posted by Rush


Posted by Art_Jimmerson

Yes, it is correct.

You proved me right in your post.



How so?


The fighters are paid money, from the UFC, to fight. Beyond fulfilling their obligation in that manner, they owe us nothing. The money you pay (or may not pay) to watch PPVs goes to the UFC. The UFC invests money to set up venues and outlets for us to watch these guys compete. Primarily athletes are interested in competition (not entertaining people). The fact that we are entertained by their competion does not require them to function/adjust their career in order to facilitate our "wants" as fans.

In other words, they owe us nothing.




Wow, you wrote all that stuff and you're still wrong.

If it wasn't for us, there would be no sport and the fighter's wouldn't be getting that nice paycheck after their fights.

They owe us because we pay their fee's. Indirrectly? yes, but we still pay their fee's.



Please, elaborate. If you are capable of stringing together enough sentences to form a paragraph I would love to hear what it is exactly you think the fighters owe us.



You can't teach a blind person to see.



Okay. Apparently you're not capable.
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