22 Sep 2013 11:58:37 AM
By Matt Saccaro
MMA history is awash with hundreds of “prospects” and “next big things” who never panned out, who fell flat on their faces and were either mocked constantly or worse, forgotten. Names like Denis Kang, Ulysses Gomez, Rameau Sokoudjou, Hector Lombard and Uriah Hall evoke thoughts like “failure.” But are these men at fault for being considered wastes of talent, or is it the fault of the fans and the media who took flesh and bone and sculpted it into something divine? Who took men and, through words, made them into gods?
That’s the dark side of hype, a topic I’ve written about in the past. Fans and the media ascribe almost superhuman abilities to certain fighters, abilities that they can’t consistently live up to, if they can live up to them at all. Denis Kang, for example, was this mythical creature from outside the UFC and one of many Guys to Beat Anderson Silva™, yet he went 1-2 in the UFC, only beating Xavier Foupa-Pokam. Silva, himself, was another fighter who had an ungodly amount of hype. Silva’s was, in part, deserved because he was able to make some of the most dangerous men in the world look like nerdy high school kids. But the hype got too far. When he fought Chris Weidman, people thought Anderson Silva was a real-life Neo who would dispose of Weidman with no effort. Then Weidman humiliated Silva. Suddenly, Silva was “done,” “too old” and “needed to retire” because he lost to a guy that everyone had just said was no threat to him at all.
The lesson? Hype cometh before the fall. Too much hype can ruin a fighter. If a hyped fighter loses, the derailment of their hype-train looks like something out of Back to the Future III. They go from a stellar talent to a bum who got lucky a few times.
But there’s also a positive side, and we saw it at UFC 165.Read More DIGG THIS