For MMA fighters, caring about public opinion is part of the job

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thevoodooninja
9/9/12 10:52:08AM
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Nearly 2,000 years ago, back when the Romans were still walking around in bathrobes and sandals, conquering and plundering and doing their best to spread the gospel of bathrobes and sandals to the rest of the known world, the emperor Marcus Aurelius paused in his relentless empire-ing long enough to observe: "I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others."



They may not have had Twitter or Internet forums back then (instead they settled for actual physical forums), but if the good emperor were alive today, I have to think he'd find humanity much the same as he left it. We're still very concerned with what others think, still pretending that we aren't, and still powerless to do much about it.

This seems especially true for pro fighters, who – almost as a condition of their employment – have to concern themselves with what people think of them, even if what those people think is often far out of their control.

Fighters are just like the rest of us in that they can decide what to say, how to act, and which version of themselves to present to the world, but they don't get to decide how that person is perceived. None of us do. It's just that, when you do your job inside a cage and on TV, there's a lot more perceiving going on. It's easy to take Aurelius's advice when "the opinion of others" represents a limited group consisting only of a dozen coworkers and the jerks on your flag-football team. When it's an audience of millions, and when there are serious financial consequences, it gets a lot tougher.
jae_1833
9/10/12 1:39:03AM
Just growing pains, all major sports go through this....the only reason it is highlighted right now is because of Jones, Silva and Sonnen.