Pick'em Leagues: THE BIG SHOW CASUAL BEST OF THE REST Single Event PvP: FANTASY POOLS Betting Leagues: THE BIG SHOW BEST OF THE REST

Sacrificing the Young

Print  
  Page 1 of 2     1     2  
Posted By Message

ncordless

MODulation

ncordless Avatar
12
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:4,856
Career:1,916-1,093
Joined:Apr 2007
Camp: The Ringers
Chips:
1,102
At UFC 99, I watched a worthwhile prospect in Ben Saunders outmatched in a pointless bout designed to trick and fool spectators. I watched a great prospect in Cain Velasquez diligently work on his craft in the cage, but with a sense of finitude for that luxury. Needless to say, I was a sad purist panda.

As verbose as I am, I'd like to write a 4000-word tome on all the inane ideas people have about developing prospects in MMA. However, because my editors think you're all ADHD-addled adolescents whose brains melt after 1200 words, I can't. So, let us stick to the more specific and pointed question of whether or not it's feasible for Zuffa to allow blue chippers to blossom in the UFC.

I've already dedicated radio hours and column inches to the fact that as a sport, MMA maims, rapes and kills its young. However, prospect development is an extremely foxy issue for Zuffa specifically. Because regional MMA is still a work in progress, prospects who can draw a major audience as a local star -- like Eddie Alvarez in his early career -- are few and far in between, and limited by the lack of stalwart promoters. Therefore, it's often attractive for sterling young fighters and their managers to get them big show deals, because it represents not only adequate purses but also a level of competition that can foster their development -- or, of course, completely railroad them.

However, the design for the UFC (or WEC for that matter) is at odds with the true development of prospects because the entire business is built around funneling fighters toward the top to fight for titles. Fans are already debating how Velasquez fares against elite heavyweights. Worse for fighters, it's often in Zuffa's interest to risk pushing prospects quickly in the off-chance they're able to develop like as B.J. Penn, Georges St. Pierre or Brock Lesnar, which gives the promotion another star.

This structure exists only to support itself. It holds any average prospect to an unrealistic standard: We all acknowledge that Penn, St. Pierre, Lesnar and others like them are freakish anomalies and that their ability to adapt to the sport is virtually without parallel. How then can this be the standard? How can we expect any 5-0 kid out of the Midwest with some game to do exactly as Penn, St. Pierre or Lesnar have done? Imagine taking a test on which your professional livelihood hinged, and because a select group of brilliant individuals had previously tested so well, the passing mark was now a 95.

Some fighters -- notably Roger Huerta -- have gotten the proper treatment as developing fighters. However, these instances are the exception rather than the rule, and worse, it tends to be the up-and-comers who’ve shown flashes of brilliance that get victimized.

The most bizarre truth about prospects developing within the UFC is that early mediocrity is a blessing in disguise. If you impress fans and the brass from jump street, you're going to get fast-tracked, and likely to your detriment. If you can manage to win as sterilely as possible, you'll actually get to face a greater number of opponents, different stylistic tests and you'll evolve into a better fighter because of it. (cont'd)

link

_______________________________________
Flame Not, Lest Ye Be Flamed Yourself.

Post #1   6/14/09 4:15:34PM   

kopower

Heavyweight Champ

kopower Avatar
14
 
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:5,664
Career:2,297-1,230
Joined:Jul 2007
Camp: Dark Horse
Chips:
1,395
I managed to get through half of that before something else caught my attention

Good read. It does seem like if an up and comer finishes a fight or two in dramatic fashion, they are immediately elevated to another level. Reminds me of the 36 chambers. Taking 1 step at a time will ultimately make a more complete fighter.

_______________________________________
Billy Madison-

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in the playground is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no props, and may the mods have mercy on your soul.


Post #2   6/14/09 4:52:48PM   

tberg420

Standup Guy

tberg420 Avatar
13
 
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:466
Career:1,578-861
Joined:Jan 2007
Chips:
69
It's funny that this article is posted on Sherdog as they picked Saunders to win against Swick. I realize that Thomas Rios wrote the Preview and Breen wrote this article and they are two different people but a little cohesion would be nice. So for the most part this makes Sherdog look like huge hypocrites which is nothing new. They do it all the time with the UFC. They love the UFC when Zuffa gives them access to the events and then they slam them like the horrible Hunt/White backstage article and this one. Terrible choice of words when they compared throwing young talent out there to rape. Apparently Jordan doesn't understand that to make stars sometimes you have to take the risk on young guys. Who knew who dos Santos was before he was thrown to the wolves? This is another thing that Sherdog could be called on. They often criticized the UFC for protecting Huerta and then in this article they say that the UFC was right in the upbringing of Huerta. Correct me, if I'm wrong here but Huerta has all the intentions of quitting MMA and trying to become the next Brad Pitt so the UFC basically wasted a couple years on marketing and "bringing up" Roger. Fighters have the shelf life of a gallon of milk and I can't believe that Sherdog doesn't understand this. There will always be a fighter that you haven't heard of waiting to take your spot. Rants to Sherdog for another piece of journalistic crap!

Post #3   6/14/09 4:57:19PM   

MMAcca

Heavyweight Champ

MMAcca Avatar
5




 
 
 


 
 
Posts:8,123
Career:1,928-1,113
Joined:Apr 2007
Camp: Dark Horse
Chips:
802
Good read. The man speaks a lot of truth.

Post #4   6/14/09 5:01:39PM   

ncordless

MODulation

ncordless Avatar
12
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:4,856
Career:1,916-1,093
Joined:Apr 2007
Camp: The Ringers
Chips:
1,102

Posted by tberg420

It's funny that this article is posted on Sherdog as they picked Saunders to win against Swick. I realize that Thomas Rios wrote the Preview and Breen wrote this article and they are two different people but a little cohesion would be nice. So for the most part this makes Sherdog look like huge hypocrites which is nothing new. They do it all the time with the UFC. They love the UFC when Zuffa gives them access to the events and then they slam them like the horrible Hunt/White backstage article and this one. Terrible choice of words when they compared throwing young talent out there to rape. Apparently Jordan doesn't understand that to make stars sometimes you have to take the risk on young guys. Who knew who dos Santos was before he was thrown to the wolves? This is another thing that Sherdog could be called on. They often criticized the UFC for protecting Huerta and then in this article they say that the UFC was right in the upbringing of Huerta. Correct me, if I'm wrong here but Huerta has all the intentions of quitting MMA and trying to become the next Brad Pitt so the UFC basically wasted a couple years on marketing and "bringing up" Roger. Fighters have the shelf life of a gallon of milk and I can't believe that Sherdog doesn't understand this. There will always be a fighter that you haven't heard of waiting to take your spot. Rants to Sherdog for another piece of journalistic crap!



So you would have the editor (Hunt or previously Gross) silence any opinions that would not be consistent with the "official message"? It is pretty ignorant to complain about what other writers have written on the same site. I would be pretty sad if people judged me on what you write. A good media site allows for a diversity of opinion.

_______________________________________
Flame Not, Lest Ye Be Flamed Yourself.

Post #5   6/14/09 5:16:32PM   

tberg420

Standup Guy

tberg420 Avatar
13
 
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:466
Career:1,578-861
Joined:Jan 2007
Chips:
69

Posted by ncordless


Posted by tberg420

It's funny that this article is posted on Sherdog as they picked Saunders to win against Swick. I realize that Thomas Rios wrote the Preview and Breen wrote this article and they are two different people but a little cohesion would be nice. So for the most part this makes Sherdog look like huge hypocrites which is nothing new. They do it all the time with the UFC. They love the UFC when Zuffa gives them access to the events and then they slam them like the horrible Hunt/White backstage article and this one. Terrible choice of words when they compared throwing young talent out there to rape. Apparently Jordan doesn't understand that to make stars sometimes you have to take the risk on young guys. Who knew who dos Santos was before he was thrown to the wolves? This is another thing that Sherdog could be called on. They often criticized the UFC for protecting Huerta and then in this article they say that the UFC was right in the upbringing of Huerta. Correct me, if I'm wrong here but Huerta has all the intentions of quitting MMA and trying to become the next Brad Pitt so the UFC basically wasted a couple years on marketing and "bringing up" Roger. Fighters have the shelf life of a gallon of milk and I can't believe that Sherdog doesn't understand this. There will always be a fighter that you haven't heard of waiting to take your spot. Rants to Sherdog for another piece of journalistic crap!



So you would have the editor (Hunt or previously Gross) silence any opinions that would not be consistent with the "official message"? It is pretty ignorant to complain about what other writers have written on the same site. I would be pretty sad if people judged me on what you write. A good media site allows for a diversity of opinion.



I understand this point to a t. The site that I write for has a lot of different opinions but to not acknowledge the fact that the man feature of your site predicted Saunders over Swick, and then claim that Saunders was up against the world in that fight is ridiculous. It's like adding a false reality to make your article seem more logical. Saunders was the big upset favorite on the card and this guy makes it out like no one picked him or spoke highly of him. What's lost in this article is how MMA isn't that talent enriched to be able to protect fighters on a regular basis. Why was Huerta protected so much? At the time, he was the UFC's key to the Latin American audience and a possible venture to Mexico. That quickly changed with Cain Velasquez showing up. Just goes to show you the short life span in MMA. A mention of something like that would've been nice instead we get an article in which the author wants MMA to be more like Pro Wrestling in building fighters.

Post #6   6/14/09 5:37:00PM   

TimW001

MMA Sensei

TimW001 Avatar
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:1,535
Career:724-436
Joined:Mar 2007
Chips:
206

good article, man has some good thoughts.

Post #7   6/14/09 5:42:43PM   

TNPanther78

Banned

TNPanther78 Avatar
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:215
Career:42-35
Joined:May 2009
Camp: Rage In The Cage
Chips:
6
Very nice article indeed.

Post #8   6/14/09 5:48:27PM   

TimW001

MMA Sensei

TimW001 Avatar
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:1,535
Career:724-436
Joined:Mar 2007
Chips:
206

Posted by tberg420


Posted by ncordless


Posted by tberg420

It's funny that this article is posted on Sherdog as they picked Saunders to win against Swick. I realize that Thomas Rios wrote the Preview and Breen wrote this article and they are two different people but a little cohesion would be nice. So for the most part this makes Sherdog look like huge hypocrites which is nothing new. They do it all the time with the UFC. They love the UFC when Zuffa gives them access to the events and then they slam them like the horrible Hunt/White backstage article and this one. Terrible choice of words when they compared throwing young talent out there to rape. Apparently Jordan doesn't understand that to make stars sometimes you have to take the risk on young guys. Who knew who dos Santos was before he was thrown to the wolves? This is another thing that Sherdog could be called on. They often criticized the UFC for protecting Huerta and then in this article they say that the UFC was right in the upbringing of Huerta. Correct me, if I'm wrong here but Huerta has all the intentions of quitting MMA and trying to become the next Brad Pitt so the UFC basically wasted a couple years on marketing and "bringing up" Roger. Fighters have the shelf life of a gallon of milk and I can't believe that Sherdog doesn't understand this. There will always be a fighter that you haven't heard of waiting to take your spot. Rants to Sherdog for another piece of journalistic crap!



So you would have the editor (Hunt or previously Gross) silence any opinions that would not be consistent with the "official message"? It is pretty ignorant to complain about what other writers have written on the same site. I would be pretty sad if people judged me on what you write. A good media site allows for a diversity of opinion.



I understand this point to a t. The site that I write for has a lot of different opinions but to not acknowledge the fact that the man feature of your site predicted Saunders over Swick, and then claim that Saunders was up against the world in that fight is ridiculous. It's like adding a false reality to make your article seem more logical. Saunders was the big upset favorite on the card and this guy makes it out like no one picked him or spoke highly of him. What's lost in this article is how MMA isn't that talent enriched to be able to protect fighters on a regular basis. Why was Huerta protected so much? At the time, he was the UFC's key to the Latin American audience and a possible venture to Mexico. That quickly changed with Cain Velasquez showing up. Just goes to show you the short life span in MMA. A mention of something like that would've been nice instead we get an article in which the author wants MMA to be more like Pro Wrestling in building fighters.



Cains trainer, not Bob Cook, has said that Cain should have more ring time before fighting the top tens. Ring time really does develop fighters more than anything else. Ben Saunders really shouldn't have been fighting Mike Swick. Ben should be fighting someone at his level because he's a good prospect, and him getting beaten down by someone on a different level isn't helping him develop a heck of a lot. And I don't know what you're talking about, I'm pretty sure most guys on the round table picked Swick to win.

Yea I actually went back and listened to the round table and TJ De Santis, Jordan Breen, both picked Swick. Lotfie adn Greg Savage picked Saunders.

Last edited 6/14/09 6:22PM server time by TimW001
Edit note/reason: n/a
2 total post edits

Post #9   6/14/09 6:11:11PM   

Kpro

I STAB WATERBEDS!

Kpro Avatar
17
 
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:7,140
Career:2,573-1,315
Joined:Jan 2007
Camp: The Ringers
Chips:
1,875
Saunders/Swick was a horrible analogy to use for the beginning of the article and got it started out on the wrong foot IMO.

Last edited 6/14/09 6:54PM server time by kpro
Edit note/reason: n/a
2 total post edits

_______________________________________
If I was 50 years younger I'd kick your ass!

Post #10   6/14/09 6:25:17PM   

ncordless

MODulation

ncordless Avatar
12
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:4,856
Career:1,916-1,093
Joined:Apr 2007
Camp: The Ringers
Chips:
1,102

Why was Huerta protected so much? At the time, he was the UFC's key to the Latin American audience and a possible venture to Mexico. That quickly changed with Cain Velasquez showing up.
It is hard to argue with logic like that.

_______________________________________
Flame Not, Lest Ye Be Flamed Yourself.

Post #11   6/14/09 6:34:23PM   

scobac

BANNED

scobac Avatar
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:406
Career:165-137
Joined:Sep 2007
Chips:
42
bringing up prospects works in multiple ways and I dont think anyone can predict which way is the best way for each individual fighter. Lets not forget how short the average mma career is, having 30 meaningless fights to bring a guy up might be 20 fights to many, and thats it for his career and we would never know were he peaked talent wise and how good he would have been. I think you have to throw these guys in there with good competition to see were they are talent wise and let them learn from top fighters, you can only learn so much from sub par fighters, fighting better competition makes a fighter better, just as they say you are only as good as the guys you train with. Lets face it the swick-saunders fight wasnt that lop sided, it's not like he was thrown in against gsp or penn. Im willing to bet that the loss for saunders does him better than the win does for swick. Same with Cain, I bet he learned alot about himself as a fighter against kongo, he got hurt and was able to change his gameplan to pull off the win. Chuck liddell, Randy Couture, Hendo, and the list goes on and on and on all fought the best their entire careers and were (are) better fighters for it. This is all just my opinion and im not saying you shouldnt let guys develope, what I am saying is that there is a fine line between helping or hurting a fighter when bringing them up through the ranks and no one person can predict whats going to be best for a certain fighter, you only know after it happens.

Post #12   6/14/09 6:42:20PM   

Kpro

I STAB WATERBEDS!

Kpro Avatar
17
 
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:7,140
Career:2,573-1,315
Joined:Jan 2007
Camp: The Ringers
Chips:
1,875

Posted by scobac

bringing up prospects works in multiple ways and I dont think anyone can predict which way is the best way for each individual fighter. Lets not forget how short the average mma career is, having 30 meaningless fights to bring a guy up might be 20 fights to many, and thats it for his career and we would never know were he peaked talent wise and how good he would have been. I think you have to throw these guys in there with good competition to see were they are talent wise and let them learn from top fighters, you can only learn so much from sub par fighters, fighting better competition makes a fighter better, just as they say you are only as good as the guys you train with. Lets face it the swick-saunders fight wasnt that lop sided, it's not like he was thrown in against gsp or penn. Im willing to bet that the loss for saunders does him better than the win does for swick. Same with Cain, I bet he learned alot about himself as a fighter against kongo, he got hurt and was able to change his gameplan to pull off the win. Chuck liddell, Randy Couture, Hendo, and the list goes on and on and on all fought the best their entire careers and were (are) better fighters for it. This is all just my opinion and im not saying you shouldnt let guys develope, what I am saying is that there is a fine line between helping or hurting a fighter when bringing them up through the ranks and no one person can predict whats going to be best for a certain fighter, you only know after it happens.



I agree with this post more than the orginal article.

No one wants a boxing scenario where fighters are held from fighting each other until promoters or journalists feel they are at their peaks or it is a 50/50 fight; it would rob the fans of great fights, and the ability of the underdog to actually make the name for themselves by getting an early win over a top dog. This article suggests Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop should have never happened without coming out and saying it.

_______________________________________
If I was 50 years younger I'd kick your ass!

Post #13   6/14/09 6:48:27PM   

warglory

Heavyweight Champ

warglory Avatar
1
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:4,023
Career:535-344
Joined:Feb 2007
Chips:
776
This is such a ridiculous article. This is a professional sport, and the UFC is at the top, meaning there should be no coddling for prospects! International soccers regularly brings in 17 and 18 year olds to play as "prospects," do you think those guys get special treatment just because they are young? No, they are tossed into the field to mold them into players that fit their teams. It's a baptism of fire, as it should be at the professional level.

In MMA there is a farm system in a sense, with many local and regional events all over the world to compete in. Therefore, if you get a call to compete in Strikeforce, DREAM, WVR, or the UFC, then they are expecting a certain level of performance from you, especially in the case of the UFC. If you are 5-0, brought into the UFC, and you lose 1 or 2 matches, then it should be no surprise when you get the boot, but that also doesn't mean you are forbidden from ever entering the UFC again, it just means you aren't prepared to benefit the UFC, it's a smart business decision, and should be a wake up call that you either get better to compete at the highest levels, wallow as a B level fighter, or find a new profession. This kill or be killed mentality is the same in every single professional sport, and that's the way it should be so that us fans know we are truly getting the best of the best for our money.

Last edited 6/14/09 7:18PM server time by warglory
Edit note/reason: n/a

Post #14   6/14/09 7:16:55PM   

tberg420

Standup Guy

tberg420 Avatar
13
 
 
 
 


 
 
Posts:466
Career:1,578-861
Joined:Jan 2007
Chips:
69

Posted by warglory

This is such a ridiculous article. This is a professional sport, and the UFC is at the top, meaning there should be no coddling for prospects! International soccers regularly brings in 17 and 18 year olds to play as "prospects," do you think those guys get special treatment just because they are young? No, they are tossed into the field to mold them into players that fit their teams. It's a baptism of fire, as it should be at the professional level.

In MMA there is a farm system in a sense, with many local and regional events all over the world to compete in. Therefore, if you get a call to compete in Strikeforce, DREAM, WVR, or the UFC, then they are expecting a certain level of performance from you, especially in the case of the UFC. If you are 5-0, brought into the UFC, and you lose 1 or 2 matches, then it should be no surprise when you get the boot, but that also doesn't mean you are forbidden from ever entering the UFC again, it just means you aren't prepared to benefit the UFC, it's a smart business decision, and should be a wake up call that you either get better to compete at the highest levels, wallow as a B level fighter, or find a new profession. This kill or be killed mentality is the same in every single professional sport, and that's the way it should be so that us fans know we are truly getting the best of the best for our money.



This is what I've been saying and everyone has been crapping on me. I realize that Breen and such picked Swick, however the sites main preview listed Saunders as the victor. I think that you (TimW) didn't get what I was saying. The article made it seem as if Saunders was given zero chance to win when almost everything that I read was saying that Saunders would dominate Swick with his Muay Thai.

Post #15   6/14/09 7:23:57PM   
 
  Page 1 of 2     1     2