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Even After Gruesome Arm Injury, Razak Al-Hassan Still Thinks Tapping Out Is For Bitches

If the name Razak Al-Hassan means anything to you at all as an MMA fan, there can only be one reason.  He’s the guy who, when locked up in a tight armbar against Steve Cantwell at last December’s UFC Fight For The Troops, decided to go ahead and let his arm get popped on national TV by an enthusiastic sadist.  It was grotesque, it was sort of dumb, and it was a learning experience.  Maybe.  At least, you’d think that after suffering an injury that sidelined him for several months Al-Hassan would have a healthy appreciation for the necessity of the tapout.  Talking with the Las Vegas Sun (via Cage Writer) that does not appear to be the case:

Although the injury kept him out of training for four months, Al-Hassan says that he wouldn’t have done a thing differently looking back on the fight.

“At this level, with this kind of opportunity, I want to make sure that I do everything in my power to win,” he said. “I’m pretty infamous for the injury now, but I’d rather go out like that, than to not be remembered at all.  At least fans know that I’m going to bring it and I’ll go out on my shield any day of the week.”

As much as we love the never-say-die mentality, there are times when it’s better to be the guy who taps than the guy who can’t train for the next four months.  While no one’s questioning his tough bastard credentials, Al-Hassan still lost that fight.  He just got an injury thrown in as a bonus prize.

It’s one thing if you get hurt in the process of attempting an escape, but when his elbow lost its structural integrity Al-Hassan wasn’t even moving.  Perhaps he was hoping Cantwell would get bored?

The story goes that Al-Hassan is now with some competent trainers and is ready to make sure he’s known for something other than a gruesome injury when he faces Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 104 this weekend.  The money has to be on Kingsbury, who’s a big light heavyweight training out of AKA.  If he grabs a heel hook on Al-Hassan I hope the referee is listening for the sound of his knee ligaments snapping.  

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phaderlanx- October 22, 2009 at 11:50 am
That last line was gruesome.
LAS- October 21, 2009 at 9:40 pm
I guess I really don't believe that "tapping isn't an option" under any circumstance, even your promotional debut. I sincerely doubt him not tapping was the difference between getting a second fight and getting cut. Also, and I can't believe no one has pointed this out, he didn't just spend 4 months out with an injury, he also will have gone over 10 months without a fighting payday; barring injury, he could easily have had another 3 fights over that same span.
steampunk22- October 21, 2009 at 9:18 pm
he just made a bad, (albeit forgivable?) choice. For some reason I reacted to your comment LAS in a defensive sort of way, i'm way, way over tired.
Sneaky Pete- October 21, 2009 at 9:11 pm
@ Steam:
Point taken. Ben Henderson resisted like an SOB and you have to give a ton of credit for doing so. I think it's very much a matter of how successful you are. If you hold out and win, you're a hero; if you hold out and get a ligament torn out of place, you're a crazy SOB. But both of these outcomes are born from the same tough-as-hell resolve that we all look for in a true competitor.

I look forward to seeing Razak fight again. I saw a lot of talent in him. Nevertheless, for the love of Pete, tap next time bro.
steampunk22- October 21, 2009 at 8:59 pm
I agree that it is retarded, nowhere do I say that it isnt. I'm just saying I can just see how it makes sense "at the time". First appearance in a seriously legit promotion, in fact, pretty much the top end of it right now with the UFC's level of exposure, first chance on a seriously televised event. He could've also needed the extra five grand.

I understand it was retarded, I just think that under a certain set of circumstances maybe tapping wasn't really an option?
LAS- October 21, 2009 at 8:22 pm
I think people seeing Al-Hassan's side in this issue are missing the forest for the trees, so to speak. He was on his back, caught in a straight armbar, he wasn't doing anything to escape. I'm pretty sure I've never seen Roger Huerta lay there and get his elbow violently dislocated. All the after the fact justification in the world about "going out on your shield" doesn't change the fact that it was totally retarded.
Old_Bald_and_Irish- October 21, 2009 at 6:41 pm
"While no one’s questioning his tough bastard credentials, Al-Hassan still lost that fight. He just got an injury thrown in as a bonus prize."

L O FUCKIN' L at that!
Sakuraba3900- October 21, 2009 at 6:26 pm
I like how they were like "oooooooohhhhh WHOOOOAOAAAAAAAA". shits funny
numbnuts- October 21, 2009 at 6:22 pm
What a dumbass.
steampunk22- October 21, 2009 at 6:11 pm
I still think its a tough call, though. Its all in how the fighter conveys there situation. Forrest Griffin fought with a broken hand, sure it broke during the fight, but he didnt feel the need to mention it to the ref or anyone else until after because it couldve led to an arguably early stoppage. Some fighters break something, and quit right away. Its also partially on the ref to stop a fighter from sustaining any unnecessary damage, which is not obvious, if the fighter is not obviously bothered by being in a certain position.

Sure no fighter wants to get injured, but no fighter wants to lose in the UFC either. Considering sometimes back to back losses will get your three fight contract shredded, I think its pretty forgiveable to not tap if thats your motivation, and you're literally fighting at the time you have to make that decision. Its not like he was screaming and freaking out and didnt tap, he was pretty calm and collected. I think that anyone who is not a fan of MMA, but sees that clip, will shudder at first but its not blood and guts violent, and I don't think it even really lends to a 'disgusting' reputation all that much. Boxers sustain broken ribs all the time, that isn't much better, it sort of falls under accepted risk I think and most people can deal with that. If his arm burst through his socket, spraying blood everywhere and then Cantwell ate some of his fingers, yeah it lends to a pretty bad image. But thats not the case.

Sure, its not the smarted move in the world, to not tap, have your arm totally wrecked, not be able to train, etc. But in the world of the UFC, its not that smart to lose either.
ijustcreatedanaccounttocrackwise- October 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm
Smooth was in a completely different situation from Razor's. Henderson was fighting to get free. Al-Hassan was wondering where he left his parking validation or something. He sure didn't have his mind on the fight.
for the love of mma- October 21, 2009 at 5:41 pm
i agree with toughing it out but look what happen to ben henderson. he has to sit back and watch cerrone fight varner cause he's injured. tap and fight in another month or two. dont get sidelined like that for huge amounts of time. not everyone is randy couture. plus it keeps mma out of the mainstream with a disgusting reputation
ijustcreatedanaccounttocrackwise- October 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm
A second reason to remember him:

Joe Rogan's semi-jealous, semi-lustful appraisal of his hairstyle.
steampunk22- October 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm
There's a lot of pressure on these guys, I actually agree with him trying his best just to outlast it. Roger Huerta has done this many times, where it looks like anyone elses shoulder would've totally popped out, he refused to tap. Look at Couture in the Big Nog fight, that was some serious tolerance for some seriously tight submissions.

Better to be remembered as never quitting, than not remembered at all I guess. Although there is something to be said for prolonging your career by being careful, its a tough call in the heat of the moment.
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