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The psychology of epic losses

split decision2010-05-17 15:00:43 +0000 #1
I'm wondering where Faber's mind will be after being thoroughly dismantled by Aldo last night.

He did suffer two losses to MTB before this -- the first by knockout, the second going the distance after Faber sustained a broken hand early -- but he didn't seem to lose confidence or his heart.

Will that change after last night?

Is he just going to be resigned to being a gatekeeper at featherweight so long as Aldo is around? Will he move to another weight class?

If you look at Diego Sanchez, he moved down to lightweight after back-to-back losses to Koscheck and Fitch. He was brutalized by B.J. Penn and now is returning to welterweight to take on up-and-comer John Hathaway at UFC 114.

Lots of fighters talk about going back and training harder and drawing up a new gameplan.

Sanchez is 28 years old. Faber turns 31 next month.

They still have some good years ahead of them, but will their mental game ever allow them to reach the top (let the Sanchez "Yes, yes, yes," jokes start now...)
BruceLee2010-05-17 15:15:42 +0000 #2
Quote:

Originally Posted by split decision

I'm wondering where Faber's mind will be after being thoroughly dismantled by Aldo last night.

He did suffer two losses to MTB before this -- the first by knockout, the second going the distance after Faber sustained a broken hand early -- but he didn't seem to lose confidence or his heart.

Will that change after last night?

Is he just going to be resigned to being a gatekeeper at featherweight so long as Aldo is around? Will he move to another weight class?

If you look at Diego Sanchez, he moved down to lightweight after back-to-back losses to Koscheck and Fitch. He was brutalized by B.J. Penn and now is returning to welterweight to take on up-and-comer John Hathaway at UFC 114.

Lots of fighters talk about going back and training harder and drawing up a new gameplan.

Sanchez is 28 years old. Faber turns 31 next month.

They still have some good years ahead of them, but will their mental game ever allow them to reach the top (let the Sanchez "Yes, yes, yes," jokes start now...)

It's simply the case, like Miguel Torres of Faber dominating in a non competitive, relatively new division. The quality of his opponents have gone up (either by people like MTB dropping down) or superior opponents like Aldo have come into the WEC because it's more money now.

In the past most of the better 145ers/155er go to the UFC. (Tyson Griffin, Edgar) but some are starting to go down to 145 (Gamburyan, MTB).

I don't think he will ever dominate again like he did in the early non competitive years of the WEC but if he changes his style to go back to his wrestling he might be more competitive.
Cbear2010-05-17 15:14:34 +0000 #3
Great topic. We have seen fighters ruined by an epic loss and they were never the same again.

I suspect Diego Sanchez will be a different fighter after the massive ass whupping BJ Penn laid on him.

Mike Brown certainly seems different.

GSP while still winning is certainly not the same go for broke fighter he was before Lil Joisey turned his lights out.

Crocop hasn't been the same since....well a decade ago.

With Faber, I don't think Aldo destroyed his fighting spirit so much as it being a reality check and Faber isn't top dog anymore.
tpnurdle2010-05-17 15:40:38 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by BruceLee

It's simply the case, like Miguel Torres of Faber dominating in a non competitive, relatively new division. The quality of his opponents have gone up (either by people like MTB dropping down) or superior opponents like Aldo have come into the WEC because it's more money now.

In the past most of the better 145ers/155er go to the UFC. (Tyson Griffin, Edgar) but some are starting to go down to 145 (Gamburyan, MTB).

I don't think he will ever dominate again like he did in the early non competitive years of the WEC but if he changes his style to go back to his wrestling he might be more competitive.

Totally agree with this. Spot on. He is getting older, the level of competition is better, and yes, he has abandoned his wrestling a bit. He is like a mini me to Matt Hughes. He is a lot less conventional than Matt, but I think Fabers wrestling is way better than his striking. He just could be the worlds most talented gatekeeper now.
Skinny2010-05-17 16:26:21 +0000 #5
It's really hard to know for sure what will happen. Lots of variables. Some fighters spiral down and never comeback. Others have little moments of light like Mark Coleman's effort against Shogun or his dominating win over The American Psycho. Some guys really comeback strong like Randy Couture after 2 KO losses to Chuck. So you never know.
Jester2010-05-17 15:23:58 +0000 #6
I think Faber has definitely had his reality check(s) but I don't see him becoming a resigned paycheck gatekeeper just yet. He's got too much scrap in him. He seems to me like a guy who will go back to the drawing board and work on adding elements to his game and strengthening the existing ones. There are guys who know they have no chance anymore and they show up and do the work. They recognize what they are and don't realistically hold out hope for the belt anymore. I don't see Faber there yet. Compare him to Ace Franklin saying he's going to "make a run" at the title. No you're not, man. Who is he kidding? I think Faber is in a position to actually do that. He'll have to wait a while, and maybe he can't win, but I think he's good enough to make it back to a title shot if things work out right. Still though if he can't win, you reach that classic conundrum of what do do with the guy, and he has to ask himself what he's doing. The sport discards people in that weird way. Ace mentioned how nobody wants to see Franklin-Silva III and he's right. At some point you hit a dead end and if you're not shooting for the belt, what are you doing?

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