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3/23/10 4:50 PM
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Kirik
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Mixed Martial Arts LLC, President
 

Wikipedia says a Genius is a person of surpassing excellence. More than just originality, creativity, or intelligence, genius is associated with achievement of insight which has transformational power. A work of genius fundamentally alters the expectations of its audience. Although difficult to quantify, genius is to a level of aptitude, capability, or achievement which exceeds even that of most other exceptional contemporaries in the same field. The normal distribution suggests that the term might be applied to phenomena ranked in the top 0.1%, i.e. three standard deviations or greater, among peers.

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I read that FRAT twice and still don’t know what it all means - I am not a genius. But to me, a genius is someone who does what no one else can, so exceedingly well that you can’t even tell how they do it. Our sport has two geniuses.

George St-Pierre is as close to a perfect Mixed Martial Artist as exists. But when I watch him, I know what he is doing. He took the blueprint set by Pat Miletich (having skills in BJJ, in wrestling, and in kickboxing good enough to hang with say national level guys) and then he perfected it, notably defining wrestling as the most important skill, determining as it does where the game happens. But GSP is not a genius.

I asked Renzo once was Rickson as good as everyone says? He thought for a moment and then replied solemnly “He’s perfect.” Rickson famously never lost a match in BJJ, tapping out everyone he faced. That record will never be equaled, but I don’t think even perfect is genius.

BJ Penn amazes, with a record unequalled across BJJ and MMA  – won the Mundials at white, blue, purple, and brown, before becoming the first American to win at Black Belt. Then he tore through the UFC, where he stands with no credible opponent. He even gave the current champ a run, the current champ three divisions up. That is the equivalent in boxing across six divisions, at the same fighting weight. Muhammad Ali was a genius, but it took Joe Frazier to cement it. Maybe BJ is a genius, but he doesn’t have the Smokin’ Joe that would let the world know it.

Fedor never lost a fight. In this sport, where anything can happen, that is almost inhuman. I was a couple of feet from him as he was walking out to face Rogers in December. He was so intensely focused and coiled I was startled – he looked like a predator in the bush, about to eat. Then I saw a human again. Occasionally he has a hit a throw on world class fighters that looked like it was out of a Steven Segal movie (one of the good ones, either of them) but mostly, as fearsome and fearless as he is, you can see what Fedor is doing, mostly.

I don’t know what Anderson Silva is doing. When he had Rich Franklin in what looked like a loose plumm and kneed his nose West, I didn’t know what he was doing. When he tapped out Dan Henderson, who would give God a run, I don’t know what he was doing. When he did that Stop-Time thing with Forrest Griffin and then knocked him down, and then gently helped him up, I didn’t know what he was doing.

Does Anderson Silva sprinkle magic sleepy dust in their cornflakes? Can he bench 1000 pounds and run the 100 meters in 6 seconds?  I don’t know. All I know is that Anderson Silva is a genius, the only fighter genius in our sport.

If you disagree with my choice, that is kind of why I wrote this. I am a donkey, not a genius, and am interested in what you think. And if you think the Anderson Silva choice is wrong, get ready to pile on, as the only other living genius in our sport is Dana Fuckin’ White.

How do I know? Well, for one thing, he said it: “I’m a fuckin’ genius at this.”

I had breakfast with DFW months after he acquired the UFC from SEG, beating out several  competitors, at least one of whom would have resulted in something out of Back to the Future, where the guy everyone hates the most is having sex with your beloved mother.

Dana laid out in the time it takes to have a coffee what was going to happen. I thought he was completely sincere, thought he had  a winning smile, I thought it would be really nice. But I thought that the sport would have to build from the ground up, from the gyms and little shows, maybe get it into the punlic school system,and that it would take 30-50 years, if all went well. I was game for that. But then it all happened, just like Dana said it would.

If you had told me that last Friday I would land at McCarran airport and there would be a TapouT store in the airport, I would have thought you were that type of hapless, dreamy person who spends laundry money on lottery tickets, who doesn’t have a career because one world tour - just one- and you can become a millionaire. Mixed Martial Arts has arrived to a level I never imagined.

I have been involved in Mixed Martial Arts on a professional basis every day of my life since 1994 or so. And I don’t know how it got there.

Other promotions put on colorful, exciting fights with colorful, exciting fighters. But it isn’t the same. For one thing, the other big shows lose tens of millions of dollars, and then go under. Meantime the UFC grows from a two million dollar investment to a two billion dollar company spearheading the world’s fastest growing sport.

And the growth has barely scratched the surface.

Dana often attributes the rise of the UFC to human fascination with fighting. He says if you take four street corners, where on one they are playing baseball, on another they are playing basketball, on the third street hockey, and on the fourth corner a fight breaks out, where does the crowd go? They all go to the fight. Dana is wrong though.  I have been to dozens of UFCs live, and if a fight breaks out in the stands, a fight at the fights, everyone looks.

The reason the UFC is so successful is Dana White, at the look and feel that he created over months and years. What is that look and feel? I don’t know.

Dana says he is going to make the UFC bigger than the NFL. He will. How? I don’t know. And that is what makes him a genius.

 

3/23/10 5:18 PM
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humphrey sphinctermuscle
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So the fertitas didn't have anything to do with it? since it was dana.
3/23/10 5:21 PM
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AlbertEinstein
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nice read. who wrote it?
3/23/10 5:23 PM
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SomethingFunny
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 Would you consider someone like Greg Jackson (or any of the other world-class trainers in the sport) a genius too? A fighter/athlete is nothing without a team/trainer i would think.
3/23/10 5:23 PM
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TexV2
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3/23/10 5:23 PM
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2JupitersTooMany
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AlbertEinstein - nice read. who wrote it?


A genius?
3/23/10 5:26 PM
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HardTimes
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irishrottie - Anderson is a thinker. But its clear what he is doing. Using range and footwork like no other. Thats what makes him stand out. I didnt see a genius when he fought Cote and Leites.

Fedor imo, is what you have described. But it is not in his techniques I see genius. Its in his composure, his ability to stay calm when anyone else would panic, his ability to win everytime and his ability to beat the best at what they do best.


THIS THIS and THIS^^^
3/23/10 5:26 PM
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Posty Magee
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 I think the sport has a third genius.

When the  man pictured below took internet mma forum trolling to the national media, i didn't know what he was doing. 


(1:1 actual size)
3/23/10 5:26 PM
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BlueFlamer
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irishrottie - 

Fedor imo, is what you have described. But it is not in his techniques I see genius. Its in his composure, his ability to stay calm when anyone else would panic, his ability to win everytime and his ability to beat the best at what they do best. 
Right on.
 
3/23/10 5:28 PM
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2JupitersTooMany
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Edited: 03/23/10 5:28 PM
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The irony about "genius" to me is that the best fighters are capable of huge loads of muscle memory. So when they're out there executing a well-thought plan, thinking gets replaced by degrees of unconscious, reflexive movement. I don't know WTF Fedor is doing because he's out there snapping off reactions that are just burrowed into his synapses so deeply that he's burning people down like a robot, without appearing to be doing all that much strained thinking.

For me, MMA "genius" is measured by what happens before the fight, and I think about the great coaches out there who are innovating before I think of fighters.
3/23/10 5:36 PM
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da Vinci 81
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To me, GSP is the guy in the sport who I would qualify as a genius. He's taking all of the important skillsets in MMA, and learning them faster than everyone else as well as applying them better than anyone else.

From bell to bell, no fighter has the ability to be more dominant at every moment of the fight.

When he wants to stand, he outsrikes guys who are supposed to outstrike him. When he wants to wrestle, he outwrestles guys who are supposed to out wrestler him. On the gound, he easily passes the guards of guys who are supposed to be better BJJ'ers.

And anytime he's made a mistake in the past, he learns from it and comes back better than ever. The 3 fighters who gave him trouble in the past: Hughes, Serra, BJ, were all surpassed greatly in the rematches because GSP learned and adapted at a far greater rate than them.
3/23/10 5:37 PM
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BobAsh
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 Totally agree on the Dana White assessment.  Mr. SIlva is debateable, but I get where you're coming from.

Great thread, Kirik.
3/23/10 5:38 PM
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DKielbasa
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Sorry I dont see fighters a genius's. I the upper echelon of fighters as highly intelligent but not genius. Steven Hawking is genius. To be able to stay calm in the heat of battle may take a degree of genius in the form of mind and body control but to call GSP a genius is a stretch in my opinion. Nothing he is doing is going to affect people 400 years from now in my opinion. The real geniuses are talked about 1000's of years after there demise. GSP will not be.
3/23/10 5:40 PM
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DKielbasa
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FYI: You could put a hot chick getting fucked on the fifth corner and most people STILL choose the fight.
3/23/10 5:43 PM
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DW
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 great post and I agree wholeheartedly
3/23/10 5:53 PM
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joshclaudevanlydell
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agree with special K on silva. he is functioning on a level most people will only ever read about in penthouse forum.

agree with irishrottie on fedor too. i get suckered into the occasional troll conversation about him because i think we have only seen about 60% of what he's capable of. every single time someone has had him in a serious spot of trouble, he steps it up and ends the fight. key examples being the fujita and randleman fights.

and hell...i may not LIKE dana white all the time...but i LOVE what he's done so far.
3/23/10 5:58 PM
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TapouT24
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genius = the gza
3/23/10 6:05 PM
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jdindiana
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 Kirik creating a thread on his own forums that will be pages and pages long and get a ton of traffic....genius imo
3/23/10 6:12 PM
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lordbreakdown
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Edited: 03/23/10 6:14 PM
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"Dana says he is going to make the UFC bigger than the NFL. He will. How? I don't know. And that is what makes him a genius".


people getting sick of the NFL will help it along. cool read. 


edit.. and hopefully DW pays close attention to why people will get sick of it.
3/23/10 6:14 PM
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eqard 1
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genius to me is most displayed ( mma) when .... the fighter stops good opponents that are much bigger than he is . he doesnt just decision them , he stops them cold , by ko , sub or any means neccessary in the most crazy of circumstances ( like after being stunned or hurt himself )
fedor in mma fits this description to a tee in mma ...

marcelo garcia is a genius in bjj / submission


ali was great before getting older .... but as he got older he showed how brave / tuf and smart he was by displaying genius against bigger harder punching opponents


anderson silva is super great .... but i wont give him the genius level for a couple of good reasons ( yet )

1) hes usually the biggest guy in the cage .... i cant remember him fighting anyone bigger than himself

2) his standup is fit for professional level ( k1 or boxing ) , where he would be one of many .... in mma his hi level standup vs guys who really arent at or anywhere near pro level gives him the ability to clown good mma fighters .hes basically doing his pro standup against amateurs .

his ground work is also super , the way he strikes from the bottom is as good as it gets ..... + his clinch phase is devastating .... but again hes always the bigger guy . let me see how he fares vs a great standup fighter , who forces him to go for a takedown ....i remember yves edwards , chuck lidell and many others were top of the heap until other fighters caught up with their standup level

weve seen fedor vs bigger , better standup , better wrestling , better jiujitsu > we have seen him in serious trouble and hurt . we know what hes made of . silve reminds me a little of roy jones jr .... great guy but maybe will never be tested .....
3/23/10 6:17 PM
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BKViper
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irishrottie - Anderson is a thinker. But its clear what he is doing. Using range and footwork like no other. Thats what makes him stand out. I didnt see a genius when he fought Cote and Leites.
Fedor imo, is what you have described. But it is not in his techniques I see genius. Its in his composure, his ability to stay calm when anyone else would panic, his ability to win everytime and his ability to beat the best at what they do best.

Winner
 
3/23/10 6:18 PM
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RickStorm
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This thread has way too much genius for me.... Leaving now

Sorry gang carry on

3/23/10 6:27 PM
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JayRoc
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Holy Facking FRAT Kirik!
3/23/10 6:29 PM
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eqard 1
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dana white genius ? .... he has vision , deep pockets ( fertita billionares ) , worked to get it on tv .

the brand UFC was already known as one of two biggest productions in the world , before they bought it wholesale.... not only were his friends billionares , but one of the billionares was part of the las vegas boxing commision , wasnt he ? WOW how fortunate was that ?



+ wasnt dana already managing chuck and tito to start off with ?

dana was as lucky as a man could get with friends like he has + he had a vision to get it on tv and make it huge ... he has got a great work ethic ..... combination of all 3 has been great !

genius ? NO
3/23/10 6:30 PM
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ABE FROMAN
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Edited: 03/23/10 6:31 PM
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ANDERSON SILVA IS THE GREATEST MIXED MARTIAL ARTIST WHO HAS EVER LIVED. I AGREE 1000%.

THIS IS THE BEST POST YOU HAVE EVER MADE.
 

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