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Thursday Throwdown: Perseverance Edition

By on June 20, 2013

anthony pettisFightmaniacs, I don’t have to tell you fine ladies and gentlemen that perseverance is important in MMA. Of course, perseverance comes in many forms, as a look at current news in our crazy sport easily illustrates. Examples? Of course I’ve got them!

Persevering Through Injuries

Anthony Pettis knows a thing or two about having to be patient, and now he’s going to be waiting even longer to get his first UFC title shot after a knee injury knocked him out of his featherweight title fight with Jose Aldo. Fortunately, Pettis won’t need surgery to fix his torn meniscus, but even with just a six-week recovery time, he won’t have time to be ready for either Aldo (UFC 163 in early August) or UFC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson, who fights at UFC 164 in late August.

Persevering Through Intimidation

In MMA, everyone is going to try to intimidate you. Take Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal, for example. Here’s a guy with Olympic wrestling credentials who has fists like cinder blocks, and to top it all off, he’s looking to put his next opponent into retirement. “I’m going to whoop his ass so bad I’m going to retire him,” King Mo said of Jacob Noe in the post-fight press conference following Bellator 96. Noe will have to be brave indeed to get in there and summon the courage to make Mo eat his words.

Persevering Through…Girly Punches?

Sometimes, as a top-level fighter, you’ll face an opponent who has the bizarre ability to lump up your face until you look like “Sloth” from The Goonies, even though he punches like a little girl. Such was the plight of Junior dos Santos, who has revealed to the world that although “my face was completely deformed” after his UFC 155 title fight with Cain Velasquez, his rival “hits like a girl.” Perhaps to persevere through adversity, it’s sometimes best to simply lie to yourself.

Persevering Through All the Other Weird Shit That Happens

Let’s say you’re getting ready for your next big fight, and you’re just cutting weight while you focus on getting that win bonus. Well, plenty of things can still happen, even if you’re just a day away. You can slip on the sweaty floor while stepping out of the sauna. You might still be jet-lagged. You could get a cold. Or, if you’re like Jacob Volkmann, you could have a seizure less than 24 hours before your fight. As Volkmann told Sherdog Radio, “I didn’t tell anybody, because I didn’t want them to say I couldn’t fight because I just had a seizure. I had bills to pay, so I really didn’t have a choice.” Volkmann, who has also persevered through the challenge of giving himself an awful nickname recently (“Dr. Feelgood”), managed to beat Lyle Beerbohm by a wrestle-heavy decision the next day.

…But Sometimes, You Have to Know When to Quit

Despite everything we’ve discussed, it’s important to know when to say when. Renato “Babalu” Sobral does, as he has called it a career after losing to Jacob Noe at Bellator 96. Babalu was one of the better light heavyweights of the mid-2000s, racking up wins over such opponents as Maurice Smith, Tsuyoshi Kosaka, Cyrille Diabate, Chael Sonnen, and Robbie Lawler in his career. Without question, the highlight of his career was a one-night tournament in IFC on September 6, 2003. That night, Babalu defeated UFC veterans Trevor Prangley, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and Jeremy Horn. Good luck to Babalu in his post-fighting endeavors.

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