Thursday, September 13, 2012
Chael Sonnen's quotes attract attention and produce what people demand. As martial artists or fighters sell self-skill, people demand "strong" and "tough" images. It is natural in the history of the fight scene.
Fighters often adopt different kinds of characters when they are in different countries. They react to market demand and change their character in individual countries because the market differs from place to place.
The idea of "Sports for sports" and "Martial arts for martial arts" only exists when fighters or trainers don't demand money or seek investors who don't want security. When speaking of pure sport without money, vision and a system of blame, it is problematic and such discussions often ignore awareness of that point.
"Sports for sports" is a totally new idea among the middle class. When people are very poor, sports can't exist. Organizations like Shooto, which pursued this concept, existed for Japan because of the country's economy. In other countries, the focus has been more on producing fighters for big events that lead to fame and financial gain.
Of course, sometimes people misunderstand things with the contradictions between sports and money, but whether trash talking is worth paying attention to or not is a totally different subject.
Chael Sonnen talked trash about Brazil and Anderson Silva, but often we found that he didn't believe what he was saying. Sonnen said his remarks were clearly inspired by pro wrestling and designed to try to sell PPVs. Do you believe Sonnen's excessive expressions destroyed Brazil and Silva's public images?
Regardless, certain people enjoyed it. Moreover, people miss the importance of position and stature in this sport.
For example, there is a huge difference between the income of a UFC champion and that of other fighters. Therefore, fighters like Sonnen and Frankie Edgar jumped at their recent chances to compete for titles, while Jon Jones was more defensive about defending his championship. Their positions are different.
When I interview fighters, I do so whether they've just had a dominant win, a tough decision win, a loss, become a champion or lost a belt. All positions affect how fighters comment through their quotes, so it can be difficult to find out a fighter's real personality when their position at the time affects how they respond.
That point is no different anywhere in the world, but that does not mean that the fighters have personality problems. Rather, it means that fans and journalists should try to find common beliefs from.
Big thanks to Robert Sargent (from MMA Rising) for English editing and Chris Nelson (from Sherdog) for English editing advise.