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Tag: Hypetrain

UFC on FOX 10 Results: Sergio Pettis Is a Victim of His Last Name


(A crestfallen Sergio Pettis. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Sergio Pettis isn’t ready for the UFC.

This opinion might be unpopular, but it’s true. UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis‘ younger brother just isn’t ready.

Sergio Pettis is talented, of that there is no doubt. While most 20-somethings were complaining about trivial social justice issues on Thought Catalog or watching Girls, Sergio Pettis was kicking ass en route to the UFC, showing that he has ample technique and a bright future. The hype wanted us to believe Pettis’ future was now. Fuck the Super Mario Brothers, it was time for the Super Pettis Brothers.

Alas, like with nearly every young, buzzworthy prospect, Pettis faltered. The hype train managed to steamroll over his pedestrian UFC debut, but not so for his follow-up fight against Alex Caceres at UFC on FOX 10. Pettis lost via submission in the third round. Even though the fight was close and well-fought up until the submission, a loss is still a loss.

“He’s just not as good as his brother,” some will say. Others will be harsher, citing Alexander Emelianenko syndrome. “If it wasn’t for his last name, you’d have never heard him; he’s nothing special.”

They’ll be right, but only about the “if it wasn’t for his last name” part.

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Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson: The Positive Side of Hype


(Gustafsson was indeed taller, but that’s not what made UFC 165′s main event so memorable. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.)

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.

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