The thin line between tough and dumb

by Ben Fowlkes | source:

After he accepted a fight in a division that he hasn't competed in for years, and against a champion who he'll have less than a month to prepare for, Vitor Belfort took to Twitter to mention that he thought a lot of other fighters were acting like "divas."

Whether he meant Lyoto Machida and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, who had turned down the same opportunity he embraced, or whether he meant Jon Jones, who had already declined one fight with far-reaching implications, seemed unclear. What remained perfectly clear was that Belfort, the 35-year-old "Phenom," was anything but a diva, since he had stepped up to take what oddsmakers regard as an almost unwinnable fight.

But that's not what seems important right now. What's important is that he answered the call and took the fight. He said yes when others said no, thus proving to fans and to UFC President Dana White that he really does want to be a [expletive] fighter. Even the people who don't like his chances of staying conscious against Jones can't wait to tell you how much they respect that, as if Belfort is throwing himself into a volcano as a human sacrifice intended to save the village. It all makes me wonder if we aren't idolizing some of the wrong things in MMA, or at least celebrating the right ideas in a pretty weird way.

For instance, when Chael Sonnen was on his impromptu media tour last week, he told me that he'd been brought up to believe that a fighter was someone who'd throw down with "anyone, anywhere, anytime."

"Some guys love to put that on t-shirts and walk around like tough guys, but some of us actually live by that rule," he added.

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tags: Vitor Belfort (detail)  Leonard Garcia (detail)  Jamie Varner (detail)  Joe Lauzon (detail)  Nam Phan (detail)  


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SQUEEZIE site profile image  

8/29/12 9:08 PM by SQUEEZIE

<blockquote>KingofBJJ - What a dumb premise for a thread.<br /><br />Anywho...<br /><br />I think that there is a language barrier here, because "Diva", is a term that African American women call themselves, as a form of self-respect and empowerment.<br /><br />I am pretty sure Vitor is neither a female or African American.</blockquote><br /> i think that u dont know what u are talking about...ever really. christina and brittany were divas years ago also,and they are not black. shit joe namath was some what a diva bac in the days and he is not black or a female

Fabefromfort site profile image  

8/29/12 4:37 PM by Fabefromfort

The more people that turn down fights right now the better, for the long run. It will force the UFC to impose fights on fighters based on rules, and rankings, and will have time frames involved. For instance at one point awhile back, Anderson Silva was probably ranked number one challenger having come up from MW as champion then KOing both Griffins with ease. Under a perfect system, in a perfect world of combat sports, He would be named as the next title defense for Machida, and they would have to make the fight in say 6, maybe 8 months depending on circumstances, but something reasonable. Rua, Machida, and Jones all did the correct thing by turning down their respective fights. This is anarchy, there is no system in the UFC. Why take any chances when its a free for all in the saying no to Dana sweepstakes. That was started by Silva BTW. I think turning down fights wont happen too much more in the near future other than the prima donnas ( Silva, Jones ). Simply because fans, the UFC, Dana are genuinely a little angry at that facet of the UFC at the moment. Personally, I've been pissed, the greats, namely Silva, and Jones don't fight each other for Epic extravaganzas like they use to have in Boxing. C'mon fighters just say no, to Dana. Maybe then they'll implement a system. I am happy that Chris Weidman showed up, but now Silva wont fight HIM ? Hopefully, Jones does. Now, I just need George St. Pierre to say no to Silva. I do not want that fight, and George doesn't need it. Silva's far too big. Silva knows George can't hurt him, and Jones, Machida, and Rua could kill him, and will hurt him. Belfort is no 13-1 underdog. He has some impressive KOs, in 4 of the last 5 fights. If he takes this against Jones I'd like to see him in with Silva again. The UFC is popular, but, really not legit yet. They have to impose definite rules, of who will fight who, and how you attain fights ( Climb the Ladder ). Then fans can follw the fight game easier, and will better know who will be fighting next, and that the fight stands a good chance of being made, based on merit, and ranking. This has to be done if the UFC wants to become mainstream. Right now its like a three ring circus with fights made arbitrarily, kind of, based on achievement, and merit. And when that falls through, everything disintegrates, like it did in the Jones-Hendo debacle. In a proper system, you would go down the list for a replacement until you get an acceptance. In this case the card was so weak you were about to bail at any moment anyway.

OnlyTheStrongSurvive site profile image  

8/29/12 3:54 PM by OnlyTheStrongSurvive

Oh no!

UGCTT_BlahBreh site profile image  

8/29/12 3:51 PM by UGCTT_BlahBreh


dakotajudo site profile image  

8/29/12 3:50 PM by dakotajudo

"Diva" is a term that derives from opera, denoting a talented woman singer. It derives from the Italian word for Goddess. "Divo" would be the masculine form in Italian. In popular culture, it's applied to women performers who are talented, but difficult or demanding to work with and frequently self-absorbed. African-American women may have more recently co-opted the meaning, but in it's traditional usage, it's appropriate (aside from the female part, of course).

Burt Reynoldz site profile image  

8/29/12 2:05 PM by Burt Reynoldz

You both got trolled.

BaraoKix site profile image  

8/29/12 2:00 PM by BaraoKix

Hmmmm, pot meet kettle...

KingofBJJ site profile image  

8/29/12 1:53 PM by KingofBJJ

What a dumb premise for a thread.Anywho...I think that there is a language barrier here, because "Diva", is a term that African American women call themselves, as a form of self-respect and empowerment.I am pretty sure Vitor is neither a female or African American.

Jumbocrunch site profile image  

8/29/12 12:57 PM by Jumbocrunch

Dear Vitor; please get back on the juice.

The Swinging Richard site profile image  

8/29/12 12:45 PM by The Swinging Richard

I laughed two.