MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Destiny

On Jones & Destiny: An Interview With Sports Psychologist Brian Cain

Jon Jones force feeding his destiny to Brandon Vera.

It’s crazy that so many people are looking past champion Mauricio Rua, fully anointing Jon Jones the future of the light heavyweight division before they even step in the cage. Crazy, but kind of understandable. Jones is incredibly athletic, innovative, and unpredictable, and it looks like he has all of the physical tools to take out anyone in his path. The bookmakers know it, and it’s become painfully obvious over the last couple of weeks that “Bones” does as well.

Jones has displayed no shortage of confidence in recent interviews, stating that he’s already won the fight and that he’s currently signing autographs as “Champ 2011”, leading some to question whether he’s lost touch with reality. Hearing Jones—who’s greatest accomplishment in the sport to date was his recent victory over Ryan Bader—already discussing his legacy and the impact he wants to make on the world is enough to make you question if he is really focused on the task at hand or if he’s taking his opponent too lightly and setting himself up for failure. Believing in yourself is a must to succeed in this sport, but can Jones’s over-abundance of self-confidence actually work against him in this fight? Hell if I know. That’s why I got in touch with Brian Cain, the famed sports psychologist who has worked with MMA standouts like Georges St. Pierre, Rashad Evans, and Rich Franklin. My feeble attempts at arm-chair psychology and Cain’s insightful answers await you after the jump.

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Kalib Starnes is Still an MMA Fighter? Huh…

Kalib Starnes Nate Quarry running
(It’s funny the way a moment can haunt a man. Really funny.)

After the last time we saw Kalib Starnes in the Octagon, running in circles even as Nate Quarry mocked him, I naturally assumed that was it for him. The UFC dropped him almost immediately, as expected, and in my imagination he changed his name and went off to work at a public library somewhere, living in a studio apartment above a pawn shop and eating his microwaved dinners alone each night. Occasionally someone might come into the library and recognize him, asking, ‘Hey, aren’t you that long distance runner guy from the UFC?’ Then Starnes would shake his head and tell them they have him confused for someone else before disappearing to cry in the reference section.

Turns out I’m totally wrong. Starnes is still a pro fighter and he’s even got a fight coming up, against the very respectable “Kolohe” Hose in Hawaii’s Destiny organization. It seems like no matter what he does, though, Starnes will always be remembered for the performance that got him dismissed from the UFC. As he told Sherdog recently, there are still plenty of people who haven’t forgotten:

“People like to be on the side that’s winning, said Starnes. “They’re supportive when you’re winning and critical when you’re losing. I still get some sweet hate mails pretty regularly. There are some gyms with guys who begged me to come in there and train and do seminars before that fight and who wouldn’t return my calls or talk to me afterwards.”

That’s just plain sad. Starnes is right about one thing: people do like to be on the side that’s winning. But even he has got to know that the backlash wasn’t about winning or losing, it was about how he chose to lose and the justification he offered for it afterwards. In case you forgot, he broke his foot early on against Quarry and then opted to avoid fighting for the rest of the bout, explaining that he wasn’t getting paid enough to risk a knockout or more severe injury.

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