I just had an interesting debate concerning Anderson Silva's most recent performance and what I'd like to do as a result is generalize this question and poll the Maniacs on the subject.
Is it a fighters responsibility to entertain the fans, or is winning the only thing that matters? Can fighters still have a successful carreer without fan support?
Granted, most fighters that go undefeated for a long period of time garner interest regardless of the performances; as the record itself seems to command attention from the fans, but does a conservative fighter run the risk of not being marketable? Do you look forward to the next Jon Fitch fight in rapt anticipation of seeing 3, 5 minute rounds of wrestling and top control? Or is it the next Chan Sung Jung fight that really gets you worked up? Do the fans opinions really matter at all in the grand scheme of things?
In my opinion, yes the fighters do carry a certain responsibility to give the people what they've paid for, and that's a fight. I've seen a fighter benefit much more from losing a back and forth war and earning fight of the night honors than from winning a conservative somewhat "boring" fight. Chris Lytle for example takes home a $65,000 bonus for every fight of the night he's involved in. Win or lose, the crowd is always chomping at the bit to see this guy fight. Who isn't looking forward to Chris Lytle vs Matt Brown?
On the other hand you have a winning fighter like Yushin Okami, who at one time was considered the #1 or #2 MW contender. Almost EVERY fight he was involved in while working his way up the MW ladder wasn't televised. The UFC was ready to fast track any other fighter they could market to the head of the line to keep Okami out of the title picture, just for the fact that he may not have been as exciting, or as marketable as some of his peers.
On the other hand, regardless of performance a winning fighter may be destined for the belt. Can you really deny someone a shot at the title when they're undefeated, racking up win after win, even if they aren't the most exciting fights?
Now I'll leave it to you guys....
Does a fighter have a responsibility to entertain the fans, or is winning all that really matters?
Nothing matters but the win, there is nothing more important to a fighter. (16 votes)
A fighter needs to win, but I think they need to take risks and at least try to be exciting. (18 votes)
In the end it really doesn't matter, if a fighter consistently lays it all on the line and puts on a good show, the fans will demand their return. (13 votes)
Nothing is more important than keeping the fans entertained; fighters need to worry less about their precious record and more about catering to the fans. (2 votes)
49 total votes