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Tag: heart

Has Forrest Griffin Lost the Heart to Fight?


Forrest Griffin circa 2005 had the heart of a lion (and the face of a gremlin).

Forrest Griffin became a household MMA name after his run through the original Ultimate Fighter show. Goofily charming, Griffin had already amassed a record fitting a UFC fighter before appearing the show, with names like Dan Severn, Travis Fulton, Jeff Monson, Jermey Horn, and Chael Sonnen on his record. But it was Griffin’s gritty determination to fight and win that so impressed audiences back in 2005 that made him a fan favorite. His three round finale win over Stephan Bonnar, hailed as one of the most important fights in MMA history, was an instant classic not because Griffin thoroughly outclassed Bonnar, but because both fighters showed so much tenacity and desire in the fight. If you don’t mind me throwing the term around, Forrest Griffin won over fans because he showed a great deal of heart.  It was clear just by watching him that Griffin wanted to fight, more than anything.

Six years later, Griffin is still with us and still somewhere in the top tier of light heavyweights, with a rematch against Shogun Rua to prove that Griffin belongs in that tier. Griffin said in interviews prior to the fight that a second win over Shogun would “validate” him as an elite light heavyweight.

And then he lost.

Leading up to the fight, Griffin had been a bit less sanguine about his fight than usual. Oh, Griffin still had jokes — he’s always a guy that will crack off a one-liner at any given time — but reading between the lines, some wondered whether Griffin still had the competitive fire that once burned so brightly in him. And after a loss to Shogun in which he looked slow and disinterested, some have begun to seriously ask: has Griffin lost the heart to fight?

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Make It, Take It: Heart is Awesome

So”heart of a champion” is just a meaningless phrase?     PicProps: Esther Lin

Heart is awesome. Guts are more important to cage fighting than Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Balls sell more tickets than Olympic medals. Heart is an intangible, an ethereal quality that fighters seem to either have in abundance, or sorely lack. And while intangibles may offend the sensibilities of those who would analyze fights like they’re backward engineering a damn nuclear centrifuge, it’s that very quality that motivates fans to buy tickets, buy shirts, buy pay per views, buy hotel rooms.  It isn’t simply some writer’s trope that we use to fill space; this is an attribute that, however hard to pin down, has a demonstrable effect.

There is something about competition in sports that speaks directly to primal emotions in all of us. Ok, apparently not all of us, but still. Fans tend to be emotional people, and not always rational. So a non-tangible quality like “heart” is important, if for nothing but a fighter’s popularity.

Guys like Ox Wheeler or Leonard Garcia or Scott Smith that seem to just go out there and wing it, wind up getting in a war with some guy and they beat the piss out of one another and everybody in the crowd goes bonkers and throws their hotdogs in the air and the collective cry is a noise like the damn building is yelling–that’s why that happens. And everyone goes home horny and it’s generally a good time had by all. It’s a purely emotional response, and base, and uneducated…and it’s totally valid.

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CagePotato Ban: Giving It Up for ‘Heart’

Junior Dos Santos Shane Carwin
(Shane may have had heart, balls, guts, and a chin, but they were no match for Junior’s elite-level anatomical-metaphor defense.)

We’re almost a week removed from the magnificent beatdown that Junior dos Santos laid on Shane Carwin, and it’s probably safe to assume that all of the post-fight articles have been written about the main event at UFC 131. Well, all but one.

This article is not specifically about UFC 131 or Shane Carwin — it’s about a certain phrase that has been tied to Carwin’s performance following his three-round beating, and that phrase is “He showed a lot of heart.”

Do a Google search on MMA “showed heart” and look at the names associated with the term: Shane Carwin, Paul Daley, Roy Nelson, and Andrei Arlovski, just to name a few. Any fighter that stood in there and took a beating, yup, he “showed a lot of heart.”

It’s time to retire that phrase, and here’s why…

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