If Dana White is the controversial heart of Mixed Martial Arts, manager Alex Davis is the sport's conscience. In what is now a must-read continuing series for MMAJunkie, Davis turns his attention towards the cancellation of UFC 151, and the chaos inherent in MMA.
Unpredictability is part of this sport starting from the fight inside the ring, where we have all seen time after time that absolutely anything can happen. How many times have we seen guys that were complete underdogs come out and war – and even win? I don't think there is another sport out there where stories like that happen as much as they do in MMA.
But the unpredictable nature of MMA goes beyond what happens in the ring. It seems the whole sport is like that. I have slowly become accustomed to this, and I am always ready for a different turn in what was planned and supposed to happen versus what actually transpires.
This week, I am watching and living the effects of the cancellation of UFC 151, and I'm dealing with all of the fallout for everyone involved. This is a difficult sport to manage and handle. Guys sometimes get hurt, and recently that seems to happen all the time. But not only that, fighters are fighters, and they have certain characteristics which are just part of who they are, and on a daily basis that spills into what is supposed to happen and what actually happens.
When you work as a manager in MMA, what you are doing essentially is managing risk. Looking at it in that way, I think it was very unfortunate that Jon Jones elected not to fight Chael Sonnen. It's been well-documented that Sonnen was not training for a fight, and Jones' risk in fighting Sonnen would seem smaller than he would have faced fighting Dan Henderson. And you simply can't deny the negative effects that Jones' decision to decline Sonnen had on a lot of other people. Taking that into account, I really think he should have fought.
Risk and unpredictability will always loom large over every moment of a fighter's career. It's only his heart that can carry a fighter through his most difficult tests.
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