Sunday, March 31, 2013

Good Fights vs. Exciting Fight

A few weeks ago on of our team members was involved in one of the most exciting fights that I can remember seeing live or televised. It was an amateur fight between two good amateur fighters,both ready to go pro very soon.  The fight featured multiple knock downs, a saved-by-the-bell near submission and a few "asleep on his feet" near KO's.  The video of this fight has gone viral.  It's been posted on every mma website of note (including, and and was also featured on Inside MMA with hosts Bas Rutten and Kenny (the living dead) Rice. Seriously have you seen that guy?  Somebody get him a vitamin drink.  You can watch the fight here. 

This was, no doubt, a super exciting fight.  Problem is, it wasn't a good fight.  Is a hockey game "good" when  both teams have shitty defense and a terrible goalie?  Nope, it's sloppy, and so was this fight.  I've had tons of people in the last few weeks talk to me about what an "awesome" fight it was.  I always respond by saying that "it sure was exciting".  Unfortunately our fighter, Owen, put on a good show, but didn't show how well he has developed as a fighter over the last little while.  He has made a lot of technical improvements in his game and improved his skill set tremendously.  All of that went out the window after the first punch landed. He didn't show his improved wrestling, ground game and much more technical and striking.  He slung leather with bad intentions.  And, while the crowd loved it, he left the cage without the belt he came with, having taken much more punishment than he needed to.

The "be exciting" vs "just win" argument pops up at all levels of mma, and this fight highlights the struggle to find a balance between the two sides.  Our fighter got a lot of attention and press for a fight where he didn't perform particularly well and eventually lost.  Is that attention and notoriety worth the lost brain cells and a championship belt?  I don't think so.  As a fighter I believe that job #1 is win. Job #2 is be exciting.

Additional Info
  • Owen Martin is a 7-2 amateur Welterweight from Garden River, Ontario who fights out of Steel City MMA in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario
  • This event was "Rumble on the Border 2" presented by Big John's MMA and Berserker MMA.  It was a pro-am event headlined by former SCMMA fighter Adrian Vilaca who now lives and trains in Toronto, Ontario. Vilcaca improved his pro record to 2-0 (after a 6-0 amateur career) by defeating Extreme Couture Las Vegas fighter Kyosuke Yokoyama.  
  • SCMMA fighter Josh Fryia won his flyweight matchup against Joe Julio by TKO
  • Independent fighter Dalton Macfarlane, who trained with SCMMA leading up to this fight won his fight via 2nd round KO