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Losing is a part of every sport and something that will happen to 99.9% of the athletes. But, losses are not that bad if you know how to go along with them. You see, many great athletes look at losses as a chance to get better and grow. But when it comes to MMA, it’s very hard to embrace the loss mainly because of huge ego disturbance.
Just imagine yourself preparing for months, trash-talking the opponent, predicting how you will knocked them out cold. And then, lose a fight in front of millions of fans watching. That’s a tough pill to swallow.
So, what do MMA fighters do when they can’t accept the loss? Yes, they usually start coming up with excuses we all don’t want to hear. These excuses just irritate the fans and disrespect the rival who won the fight fair and square.
In spite of all this, we can always hear fighters making excuses and looking like sour losers. In most cases, it is their ego speaking out of their mouth in a hope to downplay their loss. But in reality, no-one buys these excuses and they only make the fighter look even worse in the eyes of the fans. Once you accept the fight; you lose the right to make excuses after it’s over.
So let’s look at some of the worst excuses MMA fighters make after losing a fight but nobody believes these excuses anymore.
10. I didn’t follow the game plan
This may sound like the loser is simply admitting a mistake of not following the game plan that cost him a victory. They usually follow this up by giving the opponent full credits for winning the fight.
But when you look deep into it, this is just another lame excuse. The loser is trying to say that he/she had the winning strategy, but they didn’t use it and that is the only reason why they lost. Also, they would go on to follow with similar excuses like I couldn’t find my rhythm or pull the trigger.
The thing is, the secret behind winning an MMA match is to execute a perfect game plan. This means that you must neutralize the opponent’s strengths and capitalize on their weaknesses. So, “I didn’t follow my game plan” means that your rival used a good strategy to neutralize your game. It was the opponent who stopped you from pulling a trigger or finding a rhythm.
9. I had a bad weight cut
As we know, MMA fighters cut a lot of weight and this can affect their performance in the fight. But this is a part of the game and nobody forces the fighters to cut weight and compete in the weight class far below their natural size.
The thing is, some fighters have an easier time cutting weight than others. Fighters who have a hard time cutting weight may fatigue faster in a fight or feel weak. Although this can be the cause of the loss, it can’t be used as an excuse. This is because weight cutting is an optional thing. It is the fighter’s choice to drop weight and compete in a lower division.
Instead of blaming it on a weight cut, these fighters should move up in the weight and join a higher division where they have no pressure of cutting massive weight to perform better. We have seen many fighters moving up in weight after a couple of losses and performing better.
8. It wasn’t my night
We are not sure why, but you can often hear fighters coming up with abstract excuses and this one of them. Clearly, this excuse means that a losing fighter could win a fight on any other night. But he/she simply had an off night that stopped them from performing to the best of their abilities. Even after the loss, these fighters still believe they are more skilled and would win 9/10 bouts against the rival who just beat them.
But for the fans, this fighter is so hurt by the loss that he/she can’t even come up with a reasonable explanation for it. Instead, they will say “It wasn’t my night” which doesn’t mean anything and only shows how terribly their ego is hurt.
7. I had some personal issues
You can often hear fighters pointing out that they couldn’t prepare or perform because they were going through some tough time. What’s more, they usually don’t even say what the issue was.
The thing is, we all go through tough times. Whether it’s an emotional problem in a relationship or something else, we all have to show up at work and give our best. And most of us don’t use personal issues as an excuse for our mistakes at work.
Like all humans, all great athletes have gone through tough times at some point in their careers. But what separates the great fighters from average ones is the ability to put personal issues to the side and maintain high focus.
For instance, Cody Stamann came into his bout at UFC 250 just a week after his brother’s death. This is perhaps the worst personal issue a fighter can carry inside the cage. But Cody managed to put his personal issues to the side, and pull off one of the most inspirational wins in history.
6. I was injured but didn’t tell anyone
MMA is a brutal sport and fighters are getting injured all the time. But some fighters use injuries as an excuse for their bad performance and losses. Giving to them, they couldn’t train properly or the injury stopped them from using their best weapon in a fight. But MMA fans are not buying this excuse simply because the fighter was healthy enough to show up and perform.
Ask any fighter and they will all tell you the stories about injuries in the fight camps. Even Daniel Cormier once said that almost every fighter comes into the fight carrying some injury. This is because MMA fight camps are brutal and the fighter’s bodies are going through huge stresses on a daily basis.
The thing is, fighters can always pull out of the fight in case they can’t prepare for a fight. Nobody forces them to step inside the octagon at all costs. So even if they were carrying some injuries, it was their decision to show up on the fight night and they shouldn’t use it as an explanation for the loss.
5. I underestimated my opponent
Underestimating the opponent is never good idea regardless of the sport. This is especially true for MMA where there are so many ways you can lose a fight and where everybody has a chance. So using the fact you underestimated the opponent as an excuse is horrible in many ways.
The loser wants everybody to know that he/she thought the fight was going to be a walk in the park. So, they didn’t train as hard as they usually do and they didn’t take seriously the opponent’s skills. That’s silly, and it only makes a loser look worse in the eyes of the fans.
This is not just a terrible excuse; it actually speaks a lot about the fighter’s approach to the game. Underestimating the rival means that you got taken over by your own ego. And you became arrogant enough to not give your rivals any chances.
As a skilled fighter, you must always respect your rivals. You see, anybody can beat anyone in MMA. It takes only one punch for you to go from the highest heights to the lowest lows and all fighters need to respect that fact.
4. I took the fight on short notice
This excuse may sound reasonable at first. But, it is still not something you want to hear from a loser after the fight. Fighters usually use this excuse to point out that they didn’t have enough time to prepare. If they were to have a full training camp, they would have likely won the fight.
Yet, this is just a lame excuse. These fighters didn’t have any complaints when the promotion offered them a short notice fight. They took it knowing they would not have a full training camp and time to prepare. Finally, these fighters believed they could win despite all the issues that come with short notice fights. So when they lose, it is 100% their fault and they should have not taken the fight.
In the fighting business, not all opportunities come under ideal circumstances. In the leading promotions like UFC, fighters can expect the call to step in, sometimes on a 24h notice. This is the opportunity that can often change their lives for better and if somebody thinks they are not ready for it, they shouldn’t accept it. Maybe some other fighter is ready for such a moment.
3. I was gassed out/feeling weak
The excuses like “I was gassed out” or “I was feeling weak” are actually funny because they don’t explain or justify anything. It’s perhaps easier for a loser to put blame on poor conditioning than lack of skills that actually caused them to lose a fight.
This is perhaps the worst excuse a fighter can make simply because it sounds odd and there is no logic behind it. I mean, they probably gassed out because the opponent was pushing a high pace. They also might feel weak inside because of the body punches they have absorbed. Or they simply didn’t train enough to be in top shape. Whatever the cause is, it is 100% their fault for losing a fight and there is no point in saying stuff like that.
2. I got caught
This is one of the worst excuses a fighter can make after experiencing a knockout or submission loss. In translation, “I got caught” means the opponent knocked them out with the punch or kick they didn’t see coming. And they will say the same thing for submissions.
But this excuse is just a desperate attempt from a losing fighter to downplay the terrible loss. It easier for them to believe the opponent got lucky and that their win doesn’t have anything to do with the technique or skill. They would often go even further saying they dominated the fight up to the point they got “caught”.
The problem with this excuse, however, is that the point of knocking/submitting someone out is to hit them with the strike they won’t see. So in the mind of a losing fighter, “lucky punch” may not be based on skill. But in reality, it represents a perfect execution of the technique.
I mean, this is not just a terrible excuse; it is also the worst way to disrespect the winner.
* Honorable Mention *
Fighters making excuses when they win
Ironically, fighters often make excuses when they win, and those are just the worst ones. I mean, that is the next level of arrogance that only makes a winner look bad. As much as a fighter should stay humble in defeat, they should do the same when they win.
But it seems like some fighters can’t feed their ego by just winning a fight. Instead of being humble, they will make various excuses to brag even more and praise their win. For instance, they love to say they came into the fight injured and talk about how they couldn’t perform at their best.
This means they could have fought much better even though they just knocked out their opponent en route to win. I mean, just imagine how a defeated fighter feels listening to this nonsense.
1. Blaming the judges/referees
You can hear fighters blaming the judges or referees for their losses after almost every MMA event. Like in any sport, both judges and referees can make mistakes. But this doesn’t mean that all close decisions or stoppages are bad. In fact, MMA judges and referees are professionals who make the right decisions in most of the fights.
What some losers can’t realize is that, as skilled fighters, it is their job to finish the fight or be dominant enough to secure a decision. If a fighter fails to do this and leaves it in the hands of the judges, then they simply lose a right to argue against the judge’s decision.
The same stands for the fighters who blame the referees for stopping the fight too soon. Despite the fact they were in serious trouble or even knocked/submitted out, these fighters simply can’t accept the loss. Things get even worse when you realize the cameras clearly show them being out and unable to continue. So blaming the referee, who by the way saved your life, only makes you look like a fool in front of millions of fans watching.
Even if they were not out, it was their fault for ending up in a situation in which the referee had to intervene.