(Props: MMA Scraps)
Those of you who had your FightPicker pools ruined by Rich Clementi’s second-round TKO loss at King of the Cage on Saturday night may have found yourselves drinking stale coffee in your squalid apartments on Sunday morning, staring out the dirty window at the stray cats stalking the dumpsters in the alley and wondering aloud, ‘How the hell did Clementi get beat by Quinn Mulhern? Who the hell is Quinn Mulhern, anyway? And why is my life so horribly depressing?’
The answer to at least one of those questions can be found in a UG post by “No Love” himself, who explained his sub-par performance thusly:
I just want to apologize for such a shitty performance at King of the Cage last weekend. I went into the fight with a minor sinus infection but had no idea what was in store. The day of the fight I was warming up in the cage for a few minutes felt decent and ready to go. Me and Travis were called in the back to see the doc and I spit up some flem but it was a handful of blood. I thought it was due to my sinus infection and just blew it off. I have never been so CRIPPLED IN A FIGHT in my life! I could not even move in the second round. My chest felt like it was going to explode. I came home Sunday and seen my physician today and he said I had altitude sickness. I have never even heard of this before and had no idea. This was the worst fight of my career and I truly feel embarrassed.
The fight took place at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in Mescalero, New Mexico, so you could argue that Clementi should have been able to look at the name of the joint and figure out that high altitudes would be involved. Honestly, no self-respecting Mountain God would call any place lower than six thousand feet home, and we all know it.
But if Clementi is to be believed, he somehow made it to his mid-thirties without ever hearing about the existence of altitude sickness. The fight took place at about 9,000 feet, which is about 8,997 feet higher than Clementi’s hometown of Slidell, Louisiana. His opponent trains at around 7,000 feet in Sante Fe, New Mexico. One of these men was prepared for the conditions on Saturday night, and the other was Rich Clementi.
As much as we’d like to extend some sympathy to Clementi for what was obviously and unpleasant and embarrassing night in his career, how do you not know about the effects of altitude on the body? Anyone who has ever heard about high-altitude training should have at least wondered what that was all about, particularly if that person is a professional athlete, and particularly if they had just agreed to a fight at a casino called the Inn of the Mountain Gods. Sometimes even just a little bit of intellectual curiosity goes a long way.