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Fighters today face a difficult challenge of balancing fighting to win versus fighting to entertain. The sport and competition have risen to a point that a simple mistake in preparation or competition can cost a fighter a title or title pursuit. Losing even one fight can put a fighter a year or more away from another championship bout. When you consider that a fighter typically has a 3-5 year peak in their career, one loss effectively cuts 50% of their career chance to be a peak champion.

Exciting fighters may get the cheers come fight night but the differences in pay for champions versus contenders are staggering and that is not accounting for sponsorships. Understanding what is at stake, should a fighter put the priority on fighting to win or to entertain? The UFC is a promotion and makes their money from entertainment. They reward exciting fighters who win with money and accolades. Machida took the long road to his title due to his lack of marketability. Lesnar got his title shot quickly due to his fame. Quinton Jackson got his title shot quickly due to his exciting fights.

What are you thoughts? Would you rather your favorite fighters put their priority on winning by fighting consistently or risk their careers for a more entertaining bout?

The ‘Risk vs Reward’ of MMA has made it my favorite sport of all time.

Discuss!
 

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Return Of The North Star
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rather see em win then entertain, and i would really like them to balance it out but if i was fighting i'd try my best to win
 

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Sleepy
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To be honest, anyone should understand fighters like Fitch and GSP from their perspective, may not be pretty but damn they get the job done.

I love ground games, Stevenson vs Sotiropoulos was amazing, I just hate lay'n'pray, as long as fighters are working it's fine by me and I would say it is entertaining. Most fights on the feet are generally good *cough* not Kimbo Houston *cough* and if both fighters are active on the ground they are good too, I just love watching MMA.

As a fan my heart says entertain, but through the eyes of the fighters hell yeah it's all about winning, some are just entertaining whilst they win is all.
 

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Forum "Superhero"
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can't they do both?

fighters who fight only to win safely end up falling eventually. tim silvia comes to mind. if you fight to win in a combat sport most likely your gonna ko or sub your opponent in some fashion. if you just look to avoid damage and get the decision you will eventaully lose. hendo did a lot of that back in pride-not saying he's a bad fighter but thats what he did back then to notorious levels.

look at fitch, it took a ten fight win streak for him to get a shot at gsp while swick was guaranteed one if he won vs hardy after what, 2 wins at ww? if you can be exiting youll get the shot faster as long as mma focusses on the entertainment side of things. if it goes like boxing....not so much.

if you cant do both (which i doubt) then you of course play it safe to win, just dont be surprised if the more exciting guy flies ahead of you and gets better chances to get the title.
 

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Yeah right tell me one fighter who rather puts up a show rather than winning.

It's plain stupid.
 

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I Finish Threads
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Fighters today face a difficult challenge of balancing fighting to win versus fighting to entertain. The sport and competition have risen to a point that a simple mistake in preparation or competition can cost a fighter a title or title pursuit. Losing even one fight can put a fighter a year or more away from another championship bout. When you consider that a fighter typically has a 3-5 year peak in their career, one loss effectively cuts 50% of their career chance to be a peak champion.

Exciting fighters may get the cheers come fight night but the differences in pay for champions versus contenders are staggering and that is not accounting for sponsorships. Understanding what is at stake, should a fighter put the priority on fighting to win or to entertain? The UFC is a promotion and makes their money from entertainment. They reward exciting fighters who win with money and accolades. Machida took the long road to his title due to his lack of marketability. Lesnar got his title shot quickly due to his fame. Quinton Jackson got his title shot quickly due to his exciting fights.

What are you thoughts? Would you rather your favorite fighters put their priority on winning by fighting consistently or risk their careers for a more entertaining bout?

The ‘Risk vs Reward’ of MMA has made it my favorite sport of all time.

Discuss!
If a fighter can strike a balance wherein he fights to entertain and still wins, more power to him, but more often than not, the guys who say they fight entertain (like K Shamrock or Baroni for example) are doing it because they can't win reliably, and they need SOME reason to stay relevant with the org and fans.
 

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Yeah the more exciting fighters getting the title shots faster does seem to be the case.

I think most fans just aren't that smart and don't see the beauty in skill and intelligence. Like with kenflos last fight, alot of people said it was boring. I thought it was a beautiful performance. Same as the GSP fight.

People are different though. Some people don't like to see golfer "lay-up" shots, some like to see bballers do 360 under the leg jams, to see quarterbacks throw hailmarrys. I myself would rather see a skilled competitor compete intelligently. To me a very technical fighter dominating the match, but getting a desicion, is more exciting than a lucky knockout punch.

I want to see figthers fight to win, not to entertain the fans. They are there to see who is the best, who can better the other. If they are fighting just to give some dumb fans a boner, they won't probably be known as one of the bests but an exciting fighter. To some fighters thats all the want, but it's usually the ones that would never make the top anyways that I see that in.
 

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Forum "Superhero"
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entertaining fighters can win its just a matter of being entertaining within the gameplan. anderson silva is pretty entertaining, deliberately puting his hands down and allowing his opponnent to try and hit him during fights. i dont think you can call that fighting to win because most people will tell you puting your hands down in a fight is not a recipe for sucess.
 

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entertaining fighters can win its just a matter of being entertaining within the gameplan. anderson silva is pretty entertaining, deliberately puting his hands down and allowing his opponnent to try and hit him during fights. i dont think you can call that fighting to win because most people will tell you puting your hands down in a fight is not a recipe for sucess.
I think he mainly does that to make fighters try and push a strike in, like he did to Forrest Griffen. I dont think he does that just for the fans, it has its benefits. Not everyone can do that though, hes just so good at striking and quick that hes hardly ever hit with a good one while he does that.
 

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Exactly. So which do you prefer? One failure from risky/entertaining fighting can seriously impact a fighter's career.
Fighting to win. Not that I don't enjoy watching "fight to entertain" matches. But I want to see fighters reach their true potential.

There's always enough entertaining fights amongst the up & comers anyway.

Wanderlei was a good example of fighting to entertain. I bet he'd have fewer losses if he fought to win. A personal fave fighter, BTW.
 

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Forum "Superhero"
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actually now that i think about it this argument is difficult because most associate entertainment with striking, understandably so(i do as well).so any fighter that stands will be exciting as they have a good chance of knocking out their opponent and will still be fighting to win if they keep it standing. Anderson,BJ,JDS,rampage,wanderlei,alves,kos,diaz there all fun to watch and fight to win.
 

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Not all fighters can be like Anderson, and even he has had a boring fight. The problem is people deem any decision that doesn't involve a slugfest a boring fight.

People are so fickle and critical that standup fights of low quality get more praise than a ground fight of high quality, so long as someone is getting hurt. Why? I pay to watch top class MMA not just to see people get messed up.

Fighters should fight to win and if they want to please the fans then make a balance. They need to remember though that they are MMA fighters and the obsession with standup to the point where a standup decision is fine, and a ground decision is not, could cost them losses and brain cells.

It's a given that some fighters will be more entertaining than others, especially the strikers because it's the most fan pleasing way for a fight to go. But just because not all fighters want to stand and trade shouldn't mean they get criticised to high heaven.

Why is it that standup gets acceptance as long as contact is being made, yet a dominant bjj based fight like GSP vs Hardy gets criticised? Do people have to see damage to be entertained? What about slick takedowns, transitions and sub attempts, is that not beautiful MMA? I'm sure some people don't think it is, and unless the fight gets finished or someone is getting punched in the face they piss and moan.

Fight to win all day long.
 

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no one likes an entertaining loser!
Otherwise james thompson would be the highest paid star ever
 

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Forum "Superhero"
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Not all fighters can be like Anderson, and even he has had a boring fight. The problem is people deem any decision that doesn't involve a slugfest a boring fight.

People are so fickle and critical that standup fights of low quality get more praise than a ground fight of high quality, so long as someone is getting hurt. Why? I pay to watch top class MMA not just to see people get messed up.

Fighters should fight to win and if they want to please the fans then make a balance. They need to remember though that they are MMA fighters and the obsession with standup to the point where a standup decision is fine, and a ground decision is not, could cost them losses and brain cells.

It's a given that some fighters will be more entertaining than others, especially the strikers because it's the most fan pleasing way for a fight to go. But just because not all fighters want to stand and trade shouldn't mean they get criticised to high heaven.

Why is it that standup gets acceptance as long as contact is being made, yet a dominant bjj based fight like GSP vs Hardy gets criticised? Do people have to see damage to be entertained? What about slick takedowns, transitions and sub attempts, is that not beautiful MMA? I'm sure some people don't think it is, and unless the fight gets finished or someone is getting punched in the face they piss and moan.

Fight to win all day long.
as expected someone brought up gsp:confused05:.here we go lol. in that paragraph you answered your own gripe, people want to see damage done or a finish. when demian mia subs guys that is exciting-matter of fact when the fight goes to the ground with mia the fight gets exciting because somebody is most likely gonna get subbed. did people say sotoropolis/stevensen was not exciting? the most entertaining fights are the ones that are competitive, if not then damage will make a non competitive fight entertaining. see: penn/sanchez,silva/forest....
 

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Fight to win. I'd rather watch Machida methodically picking someone apart on the feet on the way to a decision than Chris Lytle swinging for the fences and getting a KO or getting KO'd himself in the process.
 
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