Monday, August 24, 2015

Social Media Fighters

Do you want to be a fighter or do you want to appear to be a fighter? Another phenomenon that crosses over all fighting sports. It used to be a rarity in Muay Thai but with the ever growing popularity of the sport I see it happening more and more. Michael "Chase" Corley coined the term 'social media fighters' and I couldn't agree more. These people have their trainers set up a fight for them, they then go above and beyond to make sure everyone knows that they are a fighter and that they have a fight coming up, that they will obviously dominate. They put the gym time in, all be it minimal, sell lots of tickets, get shirts and banners made and then out of the blue something magical happens. They either get 'injured', get the wrong medicals done or 'lose' paperwork. They suddenly can't get off work ( one of my personal favorites), or maybe they have a stomach cramp. Whatever the case may be they find a way not to fight, yet try and pass it off as somehow not being their fault.
Back in the day, when I was still fighting in smokers, I remember a particular time I got to the fights, weighed in, along with my opponent, then come fight time he was nowhere to be found. Apparently he and his team decided this was a bad idea...I was left speechless, I didn't even know that was a thing people did. Another time I remember Ryan Schmall was fighting on the amateur card on one of Toddy's shows at The Stardust in Vegas, I had fought on it as well. He was literally standing in the ring waiting, they announced his opponents name, played the music and nothing...we wait. A minute goes by and again they announce his name...silence. "WTF is going on?", we are all thinking, can't even imagine what was going through Ryan's mind. We come to find out later that his opponent and their whole team had packed up and driven home. It just amazed me that people would drive all that way, I believe they were from New Mexico, only to tuck tail and run come fight time. Who does that? More people then you'd think actually.
Now if you want to be a coward then go for it, you clearly have no honor and it means nothing to you. The problem however is the countless other people that this negatively affects. The other fighter and their team, the promoter, all the fans. Your opponent did everything that they were supposed to. They put in the grueling hours of killing themselves in the gym, along with everything else, they showed up to fight and are now left with nothing. This is even worse in the pros, which rarely happens as most of these sissies are weeded out in the amateurs, because not only are they out a fight but they are also out a paycheck, unless the promoter is nice enough to kick them down some money. So they basically did 99% of their job only to not get paid for it. The promoter put you on their card, believed in you and now they are left stranded more than likely with one less fight, unless they are lucky enough to find someone to replace you at the last minute.
Listen, the fight game isn't for everyone and there's nothing wrong with that, but don't leave others in the wake of your bitchassness. Be a 'gym fighter' or hell don't fight at all. Just get yourself a Tapout shirt, some tribal tattoos and whenever there is a fight on TV make sure and let everyone whose around know what you would be doing in there and what the ones actually in there are doing wrong.
The majority of the blame I put on the 'fighter' but their gym and teammates share some of the responsibility. You know who you have in your gym, you know who the real and the fake are. I'm not saying kick these people out but when you allow them to fight you are allowing them to represent your gym. The problem is that most of these people are trained by cowards just like them and the downward cycle just perpetuates itself, getting worse or worse as the years go on.
Fortunately these days, with social media and the world being a lot smaller because of it, it's a lot more difficult for these people to get away with this behavior, especially more than once. It's like the airport security motto "If you see something say something" ha. Listen, things happen, people do get sick, they do get called into work, things happen and I understand this, but the ones using these excuses time and time again to cover up their cowardice need to be exposed and weeded out of the fight game. 'The More You Know', 'Only you can prevent Forrest fires', 'Now you know, and knowing is half the battle, Go Joe!'...ok enough slogans from my childhood...just stop being a bitch!!!! Ok I'm done.
Btw if you think this blog is about you it more than likely isn't, but feel free to apply it to yourself as I'm sure it fits!
-The End
"Face your fears, live your dreams"
-El Presidente'

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