(Actually, make that the “9 MMA Fights That Were Over Before They Started.”)
By Cage Potato contributor Chris Colemon
Your average Mixed Martial Artist devotes three months of his life to preparing for a fight. That’s ninety days of rigorous training and dieting; ninety days of mental preparation and time spent away from friends and family. That great sacrifice becomes worthwhile the moment the bell rings and he gets to show the world what ninety days of commitment can bring. There are few better ways of displaying your hard work than to shut down your opponent in the blink of an eye. After months of speculation, hype, and anticipation, you could say that such fights were over before they even began. You could say that, but you’d be wrong. That ignoble distinction belongs to a whole other category of fights. Fights that didn’t end with a winner and a loser. Fights that didn’t make the sacrifice of training worthwhile. Fights that were truly over before they began.
Check them out after the jump.
Matt Serra vs. Johil de Oliveira (PRIDE 9: New Blood)
(Who knew the fiery background of Oliveira’s PRIDE photo would actually predict his fate that night?)
MMA in itself is purely a sport, but every promotion walks a line somewhere between sport and entertainment; where that line is drawn is up to each organization. While some fans prefer the more straightforward, professional production values of the UFC, others long for the rich pageantry and theatrics of Pride. No matter where you stand, everyone likes a fight full of fireworks. Well, everyone other than Johil de Oliveira. A victim of Pride’s WWF-esque walkouts, de Oliveira was warming up backstage for his Pride 9 bout with Matt Serra when he stepped on part of the pyrotechnic display, setting it off like a landmine. He was rushed to the hospital with serious burns, setting a record for ‘most baked fighter’ that would stand until Pride 33. Johil would recover and fight again just six months later, though he still suffers the inability to shave frequently or sunbathe – a fate worse than death for a Brazilian.