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

This Is Why You Shouldn’t Fight Twice In One Weekend


(Mike Ciesnolevicz covers his nipples for the sake of decency.)

All the talk about Drew Fickett‘s MFC/Strikeforce debacle raises the issue of whether fighters should be free to take bouts that are close together but in different organizations. Of course, breach of contract is a separate issue, but Mike Ciesnolevicz recently tested his durability by fighting twice in one weekend, in two different weight classes and in two different states.

Initially, that sounds impressive. Ciesnolevicz must be a very tough bastard or a very poor bastard to agree to that. First he beat Andrew Force in Decatur, Ill. in the Courage Fighting Championship on Friday night, then went up to heavyweight to beat Matt Anderson in Extreme Challenge 100 in Iowa on Saturday.

But check out what Ciesnolevicz had to say about his strategy after Friday night:

“I was trying to throw no punches, because I didn’t want to hurt my hands for (Saturday’s fight). (Saturday) I can go all out.”

Now, I don’t want to pick on Ciesnolevicz for doing something that few fighters would even attempt, but maybe he’s unwittingly hit upon the reason people don’t normally fight twice in two days. By saying he was saving himself for Saturday, when he could go all out, he’s essentially saying that the people who paid to see him fight on Friday got less than their money’s worth.

It’s not so much that you can’t have an exciting fight if one guy is trying not to throw punches. Ciesnolevicz won by submission, so he must have known what he was doing. It’s just that when fans pay for a ticket they expect to see each fighter giving it everything he’s got. Whether they’re skilled or not, that’s the baseline requirement that fans typically show up with.

If Ciesnolevicz was trying to “fight safe” as he put it, that means he wasn’t giving the fans what they had paid for. It’s not that this is necessarily wrong, it’s just not a good idea.

It illustrates one of the many reasons why fighters don’t usually attempt this and why promoters try to keep them from even thinking about it. There are just so many things that can go wrong, and even when it goes right it’s not a recipe for a great show.

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Brendan Timmons- July 1, 2008 at 12:33 am
I really don't have a problem with fighters taking fights that are close together. I have a feeling that at any point in time during his first match if he were getting beat then he would have let go with his hands. As long as he was healthy to compete let him compete. What he did is very impressive in this day and age of the sport.
For those of us who train and have competed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, No-Gi grappling, Muay Thai, Boxing we know what it is like to possibly have 8 matches in one day especially for a BJJ and no-gi tourney and competing in different divisions and sports. So to go easy once you start winning a match so you still have some gas for your next one is only smart.
Big Shafty- June 30, 2008 at 10:19 pm
It's a risky move to save himself til the next fight. Anybody can win on any given night and by not going all out, he has higher risk for injury and most likely wouldn't be able to fight on saturday. Either that or he's so beaten up and he becomes a punching bag for the next guy. Point is, no matter the sport, you're going to get yourself hurt if you don't go all out. Props to him winning both matches but it was a risky move.
Clue-by-Four- June 30, 2008 at 6:40 pm
"By saying he was saving himself for Saturday, when he could go all out, he’s essentially saying that the people who paid to see him fight on Friday got less than their money’s worth."

Nonsense. It would be different if all he did was LnP for the whole fight and won by decision but no one with a brain should feel shortchanged with a 1st round sub.
Aaron from alaska- June 30, 2008 at 6:30 pm
Ok so I am not sure how people feel about this but this is my take, not knowing the whole story I can imagine people would be upset but this guy took a major risk and for him to come out on top I say congrats, yes he may have "shorted" the people who came to see his first fight but knowing he went out and put his plan into motion and did what he wanted to do says a lot about himself as a fighter I give him props for that but again this was a major RISK and I would not recommend
Ken shamrock- June 30, 2008 at 6:28 pm
It's His or her own risk
Russell- June 30, 2008 at 6:09 pm
I don't understand what your trying to argue. Let them fight as much as they want.. Especially if they are still winning by something that isn't a decision.
Kevin Marshall- June 30, 2008 at 5:28 pm
"Let them fight as much as they want… If it was a tournament style format like the good ol’ days this probably wouldn’t even be an issue."

The good ol' days also didn't have Commissions giving mandatory medical suspensions.
T-Rev- June 30, 2008 at 5:21 pm
Let them fight as much as they want... If it was a tournament style format like the good ol' days this probably wouldn't even be an issue.
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