One Thing That MMA Does Better Than Boxing

Winning is easy. Can you turn a loss into a lesson?

It is one of my favorite things about MMA. The sport is so unpredictable, a loss is bound to happen eventually. I don’t feel that boxing treats losses the same way and it’s really a shame.

Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal, Conor McGregor, Michael Chandler, and Charles Oliveira have all suffered an L along the way.

On December 11th of 2010, Charles Oliveira suffered a submission defeat to Jim Miller. Oliveira would go 8-8 in his next 16 fights. People questioned whether or not he could hang with the elite competition of the UFC. But then, things changed.

Oliveira went on an eight-fight win streak and challenge for the lightweight belt. Last Saturday, after a shaky first round where he was clearly hurt and knocked down, Oliveira knocked out Michael Chandler in the second round and captured UFC gold. This wasn’t a superstar getting a big “push.” This wasn’t even an underdog story. This was the story of a fighter.

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The joy on Oliveira’s face was unmatched. It was a decade’s worth of work all coming together.

Even Drake knows that it is not about the W’s and L’s.

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Over the year’s it seems that we have seen a change in how fighters immediately respond to losses. McGregor infamously says, “gracious in victory and defeat.” Dustin Poirier was written off after losses to McGregor and Michael Johnson.

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I talked with Randy Costa this week about his teammate, Michael Chandler. We discussed how gracious Chandler was after being knocked out.

Again. Winning is easy. Losing is hard. But turning that loss into a lesson… a chance for growth… is what really matters.

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