How to win and still look like a loser

Opening up a can of dumbass on the crowd

Opening up a can of dumbass in the closing moments of my fight

The good news: I won my debut MMA fight at Untamed 27 in Westport, Massachusetts.

The bad news: I had a bit of a “Hello Japan” moment and ended up looking like a jackass.

I ended up tapping my opponent about halfway through the second round. In the final moments of the fight, I was mounted on him and had thrown about ten unanswered punches. Inexplicably, I stopped and took a couple of seconds to raise my arms and look out at the crowd. Thus satisfied in my supreme douchebaggery, I returned to the pummeling.

Some people might think this is a pretty fine thing. But those who read my blog know I take a spiritual approach to fighting. I got into this as a way to hone my mind and my body. I’m not doing this to win, I’m doing it to become a better person. It would have been better to lose honorably than to look like a shithead winning. If you disagree, look at the picture above. I look like a real butthead! There are a lot of better photos from the fight, photos where I actually look good, and you can see  good technique in action. Unfortunately, this is the photo that’s going to exemplify what I take away from the experience.

Everyone at my school is congratulating me for my win, and I’d rather not talk about it. I just finished posting the following on my school’s message board:

Hey all,

I’m not sure if/when video is going to go up of last weekend’s fights. But when you see my fight, you’re going to see me prematurely celebrating before the fight is over. This was a big mistake on my part. When you compete and fight for the Academy you represent all of us. I let myself and the school down, and you all have my sincere apologies for this.

Yeah, it was my debut fight, and it was a momentary lapse. But it’s a serious matter because the Academy places a high value on honor and sportsmanship. I’ve always thought of myself as being in alignment with these values, too. I don’t know what came over me.

Anyway, like I said, my actions didn’t represent the Academy’s values. Please keep this in mind when you see the video. In retrospect, I would prefer to have lost the fight honorably than to win this way.


It’s true, too: I really haven’t tracked down exactly what it is that caused me to behave this way. It’s very much out of character for me. I do know I spent a lot of energy before the fight preparing to look tough and full of fight, no matter how bad it got in the cage. I hadn’t paid much thought to what would happen if I ended up winning decisively. I found myself in a situation I hadn’t  prepared for. Of course, this doesn’t excuse me in any way.

In the end, I did end up finding something out about myself, and that is this: As much shit as I talk about being an enlightened warrior (or at least a dude who is using this cliché as a guiding star in his training), I’m just as capable of behaving like a cocky jackass as anyone else. No matter how far you go with martial arts, and with MMA especially, it seems you’re always going to get sat down and shown just how much you have to learn about yourself.

To come: More pictures and video of the fight, and more about what I went through before and after. Despite my “Hello Japan” moment, I think I did a good job with being mentally prepared. I didn’t feel as nervous, or as weak from the adrenaline dump as I was worried I was going to.


3 thoughts on “How to win and still look like a loser

  1. Pingback: epicrisis « epicrisis

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