MMA Fighters of a Devastationg Loss

Not all losses are of the same breed in MMA. This is unique in the world of sports. Sure, landslide losers of tennis matches, football games, or skiing competitions suffer to a certain degree after a demoralizing loss. But in MMA, such a loss results in being rendered unconscious. It’s a setback of a different ilk than being on a football team that lost 48-7. Being completely removed from your senses while you’re half-naked with all eyes on you takes the word “lose” to a completely different level.

For many of us it’s unfathomable. We can think of a million other bad things we would rather have happen than being knocked out cold in an arena full of people. In some of the more devastating knockout losses you will see in MMA, the victims are not as far from actual death as you would imagine. Losing consciousness as a result of blunt head trauma is no joke.

You get desensitized after seeing it happen so many times without much averse affect. No fighter has ever died on a major MMA card that immediately comes to mind. At the same time, the sport is perhaps not old enough for us to really internalize the true affects of being rendered near-comatose on numerous occasions. In boxing, the casualties are apparent. Punchy fighters are a readily-accepted concept, with many examples that we can see to clarify our understanding of the dangers of that sport. What condition will MMA fighters who took ungodly punishment be in when they’re 60 or 70 years old? Well, we don’t know yet.

How this all pertains to betting is that you should exercise caution betting on fighters coming off a truly smashing loss. Is Michael Bisping probably a bigger force at middleweight than Wanderlei Silva at this point? (This article written in 2013) Sure, but after getting knocked spark out in graphic fashion by Dan Henderson, he was perhaps a little leery of the “Axe Murderer.” Even though he had won a fight since losing to Henderson, Bisping was very likely a bit spooked by the reputation of the once-fearsome Silva.

What happened to Bisping can play mind games on a fighter. He seemed to shake off that defeat pretty well as put more fights between him and that loss. But what happened to Bisping is not atypical of fighters coming off what is surely the most demoralizing sporting outcome in all of sports. We see fighters bounce back from this all the time, but styles also figure into it. A fighter who suffered a scary-looking knockout can still thrive against fighters who might not be known as strikers. But if they face a noted smasher of faces shortly after a harrowing knockout defeat, they might not represent the ideal bet. A lot of times, they’ll be more concerned about not getting blasted than focusing on what they need to do in order to win. Who can blame them?

The Ring Versus The Octagon

It’s difficult to say how much of a role it plays in fights when fighters switch from the ring to the octagon. There is a school of thought that says superior fighting techniques will hold up regardless of whether it takes place in a ring or an octagon. Sure, there is an adjustment to be made, but the difference in the long run is negligible. But it’s difficult to ignore the general lack of success of fighters moving from the ring to the octagon.

Unfortunately for our purposes, it’s hard to fully determine if the issue facing fighters coming to fight in the UFC was the change in ring to octagon or simply age. By the time a fighter was good enough to come to the UFC and when the big shows in Asia lessened, a lot of those guys were at the relative end of their careers. I’m sure if fighters like Wanderlei Silva, Fedor Emilianenko, and Crocop came to the U.S. in their primes, it could throw this analysis into a new light.

It’s hard to deny that there isn’t a significant difference. Some fighters make the transition seamlessly while other do not. It could be that fighters are unaccustomed to being pinned against the fence. It could just be the different look, going from an open-air ring to the confines of a cage. But when a fighter starts fighting in an octagon for the first time, it merits some consideration in your wagering. The style of the fighter could play a role, especially if the new arrival to octagon fighting is facing someone who makes copious use of the fence.