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Complaining about fighters who don’t finish fights

E. Spencer Kyte over at Heavy.com has a decent think-piece that takes fans to task for complaining when a fighter doesn’t finish a fight, as Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard failed to do at last week’s UFC 118.

While I had no problem with either fighter’s performance, especially Edgar’s five-round tooling of former champ BJ Penn, which was a thing of absolute beauty, I’ve been known to complain now and then when an obviously superior fighter lets a fight go to a decision. I’m thinking Georges St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy, specifically. But reading Kyte’s story does make me wonder whether we’ve set our expectations too high, that so many spectacular finishes have made us spoiled and now we whine like Penn when things don’t go our way. As Kyte says:

Finishes don’t come as easily in the cage as we would hope from the crowd or the couch, but not for a lack of trying. Every fighter wants to end their fight with a finish. You don’t hear anyone in the pre-fight promotion of their bout discussing how much they’re looking forward to getting into the cage and riding out a win; they all want to knock out or tap out their opponent, and they’re always trying to do just that. So too is their opponent.

Obviously, he’s right. Every fighter is trying to do the same thing – finish the fight, submit or knock out their opponent so they can go home early and spare themselves the pain and strain and injuries that comes with fighting. Still, though, when you see a guy like GSP tooling up Hardy, controlling the fight at every moment in every aspect, it just doesn’t seem quite right that it goes to the scorecards. And that’s not to take anything away from Hardy. It’s just what we expect to happen.

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