(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.