Saturday, January 26, 2013

A mixed bag

For a specific mixed martial arts gym or fight team, there are fewer things more satisfying than a clean sweep by several of its fighters on the same card. When fighters from the same team all win during the same event, it gives both the fighters and the team a tremendous boost of confidence and some bragging rights, which is never a bad thing.

Evolve Academy in Gaithersburg has a well-known stable of fighters who routinely compete at local and regional events, and often when having multiple fighters on the same card, the gym finds itself with aces across the board.

A group of its fighters competed at the Revolution Fights event Jan. 19 in Winchester, Va., according to Evolve's recent e-newsletter. Evolve's night started out on a high note with its fighter Samy Elrahimy securing a dominant unanimous decision victory. Unfortunately, two of his colleagues could not share in his good fortune as Dameron Kirby and Rosanna Garcia came up short in two contests that were under some controversy, for different reasons.

Kirby lost a decision that the fans in attendance clearly thought he won, according to Evolve's e-newsletter. Garcia chose to compete against an opponent 15 pounds heavier than her, for which she should be highly, highly commended, after her original opponent could not make the show. Nothing is ever a sure thing for MMA and for Kirby and Garcia, they had to deal with that unfortunate fact. Hopefully Kirby gets a chance to avenge his controversial loss and Garcia's next fight will be on a more even playing field.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

(No Subject)

I'm watching Strikeforce's last card on Showtime and tweeting about the event when I saw this link posted by MMA Fight! Magazine:

According to the story, two students from Team Lloyd Irvin in Camp Springs allegedly sexually assaulted one of their teammates on New Year's Eve. The gym issued a statement expressing support for the victim and emphasizing that the alleged incident had nothing to do with the gym or anyone who works there, according to the article.

While we have due process in this country and according to our legal system, all accused parties are innocent until proven guilty, this is an incredibly tragic event and I can't even begin to imagine what the victim is going through right now. With some of the events going on in the world related to violence against women, specifically the events in India and Steubenville, Ohio, it's sad, infuriating, worrying, tragic, problematic, terrible and just wrong that incidents like this still happen in today's society. I share my deepest sympathies and thoughts to the victim.

Taking the long road

It's a new year and finally, I'm back to posting on here. I'm hopeful that in 2013 I can give this much more attention than I did towards the end of 2012. That said, let's get back to business.

One of the challenges of being a full-time mixed martial artist is simply that if you don't fight, you don't get paid. There are no hourly wages or annual salaries in MMA, and unless your name is Georges St. Pierre or Anderson Silva, you can't afford to pick and choose your fights. For the vast majority of fighters, their income is directly tied to how often they fight.

That was the case for Roya Darvishian, a fighter with Bowie MMA. She offered to step in and replace a fighter who pulled out of a card in Michigan, including being willing to drive from Maryland to Michigan (which is not a trip down the road, obviously) for the fight.

Unfortunately, her opponent declined the fight, which means Darvishian has to wait another month to fight in Pennsylvania. Fighters pulling out of fights is unfortunately a common refrain in MMA, whether it be because of injury, not having enough time to train or other circumstances.

Such is the great paradox of MMA. If you want to be a full-time fighter and excel in the sport, you have to devote 100 percent of your time, energy, effort and attention the sport. MMA becomes your job. Unfortunately, unlike other jobs, there's no bi-weekly paycheck coming. If you devote all of your time and attention to it, you're still at the mercy of others for whether or not those efforts are compensated.