No one likes to lose, especially when it’s a UFC loss. Understandably so, on the biggest stage of them all, having trained for weeks on end, sacrificed so much all just to come out as second best. Some fighters accept these losses extremely well, some don’t.
Handling a UFC loss well
Notably, when Dominick Cruz lost his belt to Cody Garbrandt, he handled his loss with class. In the fight, he was outclassed and the outcome was never in doubt. He simply stated ‘I lost and I’ll take my loss like a man.‘. He made no excuses and attended the post-fight press conference, answered all questions and did so will class.
Conor McGregor handled two of his losses extremely well also. In his first fight with Nate Diaz, he told the crowd that he was inefficient with his energy but accepted his loss. Similarly, against Dustin Poirier in their second bout, McGregor was very humble following his loss.
"I'm gutted." Conor McGregor reacts after his #UFC257 loss. pic.twitter.com/CJN7a2FuZg
— UFC (@ufc) January 24, 2021
One of the ‘good guys’ of the sport handled his most recent UFC loss brilliantly. Stephen Thompson was knocked out, brutally, by Anthony Pettis via superman punch back in 2019. In classic Thompson style, dropping the word ‘golly’, he reacted on Facebook to his loss. Since then, he has comedically looked back on it with humour and has been extremely humble in loss.
Fighters who haven’t handled a UFC loss well
There’s no denying that Sean O’Malley had an impressive rise. After an amazing performance on the contender series, O’Malley started his UFC career with four wins, including two knockouts. During this time, he was suspended by USADA, but people tend to forget about this.
He suffered his first loss to Marlon Vera at UFC 252 via knockout in the first round. He appeared to have an injury to his leg, but it was arguably as a result of the leg kicks that Vera landed. Vera caused the injury to O’Malley. On a video, ‘Suga’ stated:
“Did he win? Yes. Am I undefeated? Yes. Mentally, I’m undefeated. I felt superior in there until my foot gave out.”
“I probably sound stupid. That’s OK because look at me. I’m a little not that smart, eh, but I am that smart because you’re watching this video. And guess what, I get paid to make videos. So you guys commenting, hating, you’re getting me paid, so thank you.”
During the fight, O’Malley found himself on his back receiving brutal ground and pound. Irrespective of a leg injury, O’Malley was not intelligently defending himself, seemingly being knocked out momentarily as a result of an elbow from Vera.
O’Malley didn’t handle his first UFC loss well, claiming that he is still better than Vera despite being finished in the first round. Let’s hope that if O’Malley sufferers a UFC loss again in the future, that he handles it better.
Paulo Costa had a scary rise in the UFC. After going 5-0 with five knockouts to start his UFC career, he found himself in a title bout with Israel Adesanya. Unfortunately for Costa, he suffered a second-round TKO loss.
Since his loss, there has been multiple excuses as to why Costa lost the title bout. Most recently and possibly most damningly is that Costa had drank a bottle of wine the night prior to his UFC 253 headliner. Suffering with a hangover in the fight, Costa also claimed that he had leg cramps, affecting his performance.
This is a major issue as Costa claimed in the video on his Youtube channel that; ‘I was kind of drunk (when) I fought, maybe, on a hangover.’.
This, aside from not handling his first UFC loss well and making excuses (which were all brought on by himself it’s worth noting), asks major questions. Why would a fighter be allowed to enter the octagon, potentially suffering the effects of alcohol, making it unsafe for them to fight. Does this happen often? Should there not be more testing the day of the fight to check for this and eradicate it in the future? All of these questions need to be addressed as it doesn’t paint a good light on the UFC testing protocol. This is supposed to be the highest level fighters competing against each other, yet one turns up ‘half drunk’ for a world title bout.
Alexander Hernandez has experienced a UFC loss on three separate occasions. Firstly at the hands of Donald Cerrone, then Drew Dober and most recently, Thiago Moises. It is his most recent UFC loss that he hasn’t handled well.
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He claims to have won ‘2 1/2’ of the scheduled three rounds, despite dropping a decision, 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28. This is why the saying goes ‘don’t leave it in the hands of the judges’. If Hernandez was sure that he’d dominated as he stated, why not look for a finish and leave no questions. Clearly, in the eyes of the octagon side judges, Moises did enough to get the nod.
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