Victor Bachmann

June 25, 2010

Picking Fights and Building a Career

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Professor @ 12:38 pm

In university, one of my first wrestling matches was against Junior Pan Am champ Jeff Adamson. I had wrestled for 3 months, maybe less. It was one of the easiest matches I’ve had; he pinned me before I realized the match had started. That’s the way it was with wrestling. You wrestled the guys you drew, even if they had 8 years on you.

When I was getting ready for my first fight, and next few fights, my coaches would come to me with different opponents. “This guy from this club. He’s good at this. Has such and such record. What do you think?” Sure, whatever. I had spent the last few years wrestling who ever was in front of me, why would MMA be any different.

I’d see team mates turn down opponents, opponents would turn me down, guys would want fights against guys with losing records or assured wins. It all seemed odd to me. I didn’t care who I fought, I would just train the best I could and fight my best. If I lost, learn. Do better next time.

Smart fighters, who want to build a career, will be more decisive in picking opponents. Most sports have a season over which a team can develop skills, athletic ability, mindset, etc. The aim is playoffs or championships at the end of the season. No team is going to play championship level every game. It’s not how you develop any athelete or team.

In MMA there is no season. So deciding on a career plan is left to the fighter, or their management. Each fight and opponent is important to challenge and train a fighter against specific skills, type of fights, training needs, etc. One fight might be against a technical boxer, and they would have to train to defeat against those challenges. The next might be a tireless brawler.

Most successful fighters have a only a few truly challenging fights over the course of a career. Some will have a few tough fights in a row, then have a ‘warm up’ fight after a break.

The trick is picking fights that will challenge a fighter in ways they need it. I’ve known a few fighters build a winning record without challenging and building their skills. They can either go unrecognized, or make it to the big show ill-prepared and get washed out.

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