3 Jun 2010 13:28:05 PM
Losing isn’t always the end of the world. Sometimes, taking an ass-kicking — or getting screwed out of a well-deserved victory — can be the best thing for a fighter’s career. Don’t believe us? We’ll start with one that should still be fresh in your minds…
What happened: Lil’ Nog was originally supposed to face Forrest Griffin at UFC 114, until Griff was struck down by a shoulder injury three-and-a-half weeks before the event. The UFC had to book a replacement, and fast, so they called up wrestling specialist Jason Brilz. Like a true warrior, Brilz put down his beer, blew off his 10-year wedding anniversary, and stepped up to the plate. On paper, he should have been destroyed by the sharp hands and top-flight experience of Nogueira. Instead, Brilz nearly choked Nog out with a guillotine in the second round, wobbled him with strikes, out-wrestled him, and arguably controlled the majority of the fight. But after the last horn sounded and the scores were added up, only one judge saw it his way.
Victory in defeat: If you didn’t know who Jason Brilz was before last weekend’s show, you do now. Brilz picked up even more classy-points by not bitching about the decision: "I’m not upset. Sure, I’d have liked to win. Everybody likes to win. I think I went out there and I proved to people, but more importantly I proved to myself, that I can compete with the top dogs. That’s sort of what I’ve been aiming for my whole career.” We don’t know exactly what Jason’s future holds, but it’s looking a lot brighter now. The $65,000 bonus check probably doesn’t hurt either.