“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
In sports or any competition really, defeat is something than no one truly handles well, nor should they.
Unlike baseball or football where one loss doesn’t necessarily mean the entire season is over, in MMA one loss can mean the difference between a title shot or being forced to climb back up the ladder. One loss can mean the end of your UFC career. One loss feels like being shot to the stomach because for most fighters after spending 2 or 3 months preparing for just one moment, to have it go so wrong feels like the end of the world.
These are the thoughts and quotes from the fighters who competed at UFC 144 and came up short in their efforts for victory:
“I don’t want to take anything away from Ben. He did a great job, but I do feel I won that fight. He came hard. I knew it was going to be a tough fight, but I thought I did enough to win those rounds. I’m not trying to shoot anybody out of anything they deserve, but I had to do two immediate rematches, so what’s right?”
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson:
“I know I’m getting to the end of my career cause I said I don’t want to fight past 35, but honestly, before I hurt my knee, you guys should have seen how I was training. I was looking like a superstar, then I hurt my knee. Now I know what I can do if I come in at 100 percent. I think I got a lot of years and I’m ready to put on more shows. I heal up fast; I’m like a werewolf. I wasn’t even supposed to fight here. I heal up really fast. I’ll be back soon.”
“He caught me with a hard shot in the 1st round and that was that. I’ll go back to training my overall skills.”
“I guess this is the level that I’m at right now. One of my strategies was to guard against his take downs and find his weak points. As far as whether I will continue to fight in the welterweight division, I need some time to evaluate my options going forward.”
“I couldn’t do what I wanted to do on the ground this fight. The plan was to keep it on the feet and the one round we stayed up he got beat up. I guess it’s back to the drawing board to work on certain things and get better. He was the better man tonight, if you’re going to fight like that.”
“Obviously it didn’t go well, I got kicked in the face. My game plan was to go in there and take him to the ground, but nothing went right. Next step is to go home, rest and recharge.”
Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto:
“I wanted to avoid the ground but I ended up there. That was a basic mistake, but it happed. I need to practice my overall skills and keep getting better for the next time.”
“I feel like my victory was stolen. I was on the top position for a long time and there was some good pounding. I can’t find a reason why I lost the fight.”