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 411mania » MMA » Columns

Fabio Maldonado Showed The MMA World You Can Lose With Class and Personal Accountability
Posted by Jack McGee on 06.05.2014

"I'd like to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ…"

"My dream came true tonight…"

"I was just doing my job out there…"

"I have to thank my coaches and teammates for making this all possible…"

"I was in the best shape of my career…"

If you're an avid sports fan, you will recognize those above quotes as variations of the clichéd post event victory. Whenever a team wins the big game, you can be pretty sure that you are going to hear some of these phrases in some form or another. They are safe, fans recognize them and it is honestly what most expect when the big game is over. You never hear anyone blame Jesus for losing and they never discuss the nightmare they had growing up about choking in the big game. But they will play it off as it is a game instead of a job. Or they will have the audacity to blame their teammates and coaches. Or they will tell you they were injured going into the game, and gutted it out for the fans. It's a convenient thing to say in order to save face, but the lack of personal accountability with athletes is quite honestly pathetic.

Since we're all here, let me lay some other quotes on you…

"That was the worst result possible. I lost in the worst way possible."

"If I got tired after four or five rounds, I could blame the fact that I only trained two weeks for this fight, but that was not the case. It couldn't have been worse"

"I could have done better, fighting smarter. I don't know what I was thinking. I wanted to show that I was calm and he caught me"

" I have no excuses"

Those are the words of UFC fighter Fabio Maldonado. At the TUF Brazil e event, Fabio Maldonado lost to Stipe Miocic in the first round, via TKO. To be exact, he lasted 35-seconds with Miocic. Unlike 99% of MMA fighters, Fabio Maldonado made no excuses when he lost. He did not give an interview and complain about being injured going into the fight. He didn't have a convenient story of a bad weight cut. He didn't get food poisoning because he was stupid and ate some tartare (sup Diego Sanchez) post weigh-ins. He did not claim that Miocic scored with a lucky punch. Fabio Maldonado gave an interview following what sounds to be the worst loss of his career, what sounds like a completely humiliating loss, and he made no excuses. As a man, I could understand if he wanted to try and sugarcoat the loss but he didn't. He didn't whine or cry because he got exactly what he wanted. He begged the UFC for more fights. He begged the UFC for a shot at heavyweight, and when Junior Dos Santos went down, Fabio Maldonado stepped up for the fight with Miococ. The UFC gave him everything he wanted, and he gave them the fight they needed for the card. It's a fair trade, and Maldonado knew this. Win, lose or draw, Maldonado was scoring brownie points with the UFC for taking the fight on short notice. He knew if he acted like a professional that he would be rewarded, and this loss will not hurt him within the company.

Let me be honest with you, Miocic destroyed Maldonado; hell he made him look like he did not belong in the same cage with him. We all know this if we watched the fight. It is no great revelation. But in my opinion, he was the biggest winner of the weekend. The man was destroyed, humiliated and made no excuses about it. He wanted a heavyweight fight, he took that fight on short notice; he knew what could happen. Instead of making excuses for the loss, he took personal accountability and he was honest about the fight. He admitted what happened, he discussed his flaws, and never once thought about blaming anyone but himself. He acted like a professional, hell he acted like an adult. To me, this was a completely refreshing reaction to a loss of this magnitude. He could have bitched and moaned, he had a list of excuses to use but never did.

All too often in MMA, when someone loses, we get to hear a laundry list of reasons that they lost. They got injured in training, they got a divorce, the dog died, training went wrong, there was drama in their team; but rarely do we hear the truth. I could have done better, the better man won. I have no excuses. Maldonado embodied professionalism and showed that you can take personal accountability for a loss without looking bad. I wish others would follow his lead. I for one have more respect for Fabio Maldonado following this loss due to the fact of how he handled it. If more fighters carried themselves and acted like Fabio Maldonado, I think that MMA would be a much better sport for it.

Jack McGee is an aspiring investigative journalist with interests covering TV, Movies, Wrestling, MMA and Sports. When not hunting the Incredible Hulk, Jack works on his surfing, his Johnny Utah like throwing motion and origami.


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