Soul stealing in MMA, and boxing
There’s a lot of talk about a fighter “taking someone’s soul” after defeating his opponent. After their dates with Fedor Emelianenko, for example, Tim Sylvia, Brett Rogers and Andrei Arlovski have never been the same.
Sylvia was knocked flat in eight seconds by an old, overweight boxer Ray Mercer. Rogers was manhandled by Alistair Overeem, which is forgivable, and then barely squeaked by Reuben “Warpath” Villareal, which is unforgivable. And Arlovski lost three straight after being put on Queer Street by the wily Russian. Poor, poor “Pitbull.”
Other examples are plentiful such as Sergei Kharitonov beating Murilo “Ninja” Rua’s brain to a pulp at “Total Elimination,” basically ending the promising Brazilian’s hopes to be a contender … forever. Gabriel Gonzaga teaching Mirko Cro Cop the definition of irony back at UFC 70 in 2007 is also proof positive that the Grim MMA Career Reaper does indeed exist.
In MMA, I’ve seen “the fire” beaten out of people. I’ve seen chins beaten out of people.
But I’ve never seen someone’s career beaten out of them in a single night.
In 2003 HBO put together an awesome documentary detailing Meldrick Taylor’s rise to fame and his sudden fall from grace after a loss to Julio Cesar Chavez. Taylor never put five straight wins together for the rest of his career. Today, his speech is slurred as to be indecipherable (Part III, 4:50 mark).