As the sport grows the landscape of MMA is continuing to change and evolve, and not just in a physical sense, but rather a verbal business/media sense.
If there’s one thing 2012 has shown us, it’s that with the right amount of social skill and slick self-promotion any fighter can create opportunities for themselves. A prime example of this genius formula succeeding, is the truly amazing feats of opportunity that Chael Sonnen has managed to land for himself. Talking his way into not one, not two, but three different titles matches, all via the power of his brain and his mouth.
Ok maybe not all. I mean after all, he did have to prove himself in the octagon in order for his words to hold any relevance or substance. But nonetheless, Sonnen proved that with a few good performances, the gift of gab, and enough pestering, name calling and insults, you can practically make anything you want to happen, finally come to fruition.
One person who hasn’t seemed to like this recent development of the fight game is none other than UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. On a conference call for his upcoming super-fight title defense against Frankie Edgar at UFC-156-conference-call-live-updates-aldo-vs-edgar-mma">UFC 156, Aldo had the following to say:
"Fighters calling people out or trash talking doesn't bother me. I don't think it's correct. Each person has a way to promote a fight to get an opportunity for their career. I don't like it, but it doesn't make me mad. Everybody should go up there and fight and go through opponents and earn their opportunity at the title, not talk their way to the title."
Luckily for Aldo, Frankie Edgar is most definitely not the kind of fighter who will ever be categorized as a “Talker”. Edgar like many other fighters, is very deserving of the opportunity he’s been given, and in the eyes of many is still be considered the reigning UFC Lightweight World Champion.
With the 17th season of TUF just begun, we’ll stay tuned to see if Sonnen utilizes his gifts to benefit his situation any further. It will also be interesting to see which fighters have realized the possibilities and potential of creating their own opportunities via an over-abundance of pointed fingers, self-promotion and hype.
But regardless of Jose Aldo, many other fighters and even the fans may feel, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more and more fighters attempting to better their situation and position themselves and their careers in the best way imaginable via their verbal skills outside of the octagon.
Stay tuned to LowKick for all UFC 156 news, and be sure to comeback post fight to check out the Aldo vs. Edgar fight video highlights right here.