At first glance, the terms Outcome and Result appear to be nearly identical. In most cases, these synonyms can be easily substituted for one another and never given a second thought. But the events of this past year have led me to take a closer look at just what these two ordinary words mean to the world of Mixed Martial Arts.
A rudimentary internet search of these terms returns a plethora of definitions, more often than not, closely resembling one another:
To come about as a consequence. To end in a particular way.
out·come : n.
Something that follows from an action, dispute, or situation.
As events and fight cards continue to come and go, it seems that this has truly been the year of upsets and unexpected performances. Accordingly, every exceptional display and inconceivable resolution brings with it a flood of consequences. As these byproducts continue to mount, I find more and more that Outcomes and Results seem to lie not jointly, but in opposing positions.
Case #1: Machida vs Shogun
The build-up up for this fight was incredible. Machida was the newly crowned king at 205, and seemed to be an unsolvable mystery for anyone at LHW. Shogun was surging, finally starting to resemble the Pride juggernaut once thought to be the very best in the world. What took place on Oct 24th, was a closely contested strategic match-up in which leg kicks and counter attacks were the weapons of choice. In the end, it would go down as the most controversial decision in UFC history.
- The Result: Lyoto Machida was declared the winner via unanimous decision.
- The Outcome: Shogun punished the legs and body of Machida with pinpoint accuracy. When the decision was read, no one looked more surprised than the night’s winner, Lyoto Machida. The vast majority of the capacity crowd, along with that of the MMA community cried foul, believing that Shogun had done enough to earn the title. Nonetheless, Rua had effectively solved the puzzle of Machida. While his performance did not earn him the title, Shogun was awarded an immediate re-match. Fate would see to it that his second opportunity end in a much more favorable and convincing manner.
Case #2: Lesnar vs Carwin
Billed as the biggest fight in HW history, the biggest question surrounding Lesnar vs Carwin seemed to be whether a manmade structure could contain the sheer power of these two behemoths without imploding. The two biggest, strongest monsters in the division promised a show, and a show is what they delivered.
- The Result: Brock Lesnar wins via arm triangle submission in Round 2.
- The Outcome: Previously believed to be a modern day Neanderthal, with superhuman strength and uncanny speed and agility, Lesnar entered the match as perhaps the most intimidating figure in the sport and was thought by many to be nearly invincible. Carwin was unimpressed. The opening stanza saw Shane completely dominate Brock. Lesnar was clearly out of his element on the feet and Carwin showed no mercy nor restrain, immediately taking the fight to the champion rocking him early and nearly ending the fight with heavy handed G’n’P. But with each dropping of the hammer, Carwin visibly slowed. Lesnar continued to moved and defend just enough to avoid the stoppage, and eventually made it back to his feet by the end of the round. Round 2 would see the coin flipped, as a resurgent Lesnar quickly secured a takedown of the exhausted challenger. It was only a matter of time from there. While Brock showed grit and heart by weathering a storm which had capsized 12 men before him, he also showed that his rudimentary striking ability and failure to react properly to being hit could very well be the key to his dethroning. HW hitters Cain Velasquez and JDS surely took note.
Case #3: Silva vs Sonnen
"I know you are but what am I?" In a classic display of schoolyard trash talking, Chael Sonnen single handily sold this fight to the MMA community, the sports world, and damn near anyone who would listen. Funny thing is, almost no one gave him a chance in hell. Guess the real joke was on us.
- The Result: Anderson Silva wins via triangle choke in round 5.
- The Outcome: Domination… Plain and simple. For 23 minutes and 10 seconds, Chael Sonnen backed up every single word of the epic trash talk which he had been spouting since February 2010. It wasn’t even close. Going into the final frame, Sonnen led on the cards to the tune of 40-34, 40-35, and 40-36. He had completely taken Silva out of his game, and even managed to rock the champion several times on the feet. Undoubtedly, Sonnen was poised to pull off what would have surely been the biggest upset in UFC history, and in the most dominate way imaginable. But with less than 2 minutes remaining in the fight, Anderson Silva decided to throw a wrench in the gears. A momentary lapse in judgment was all that the spider needed, he threw up a triangle attempt, and in an instant, 23 minutes of an inconceivable one-sided ass whooping disappeared into thin air. In the end, Anderson retained his title. But Sonnen proved that anyone can be beaten at any time. The Spider is still the champion, but his aura of invincibility is all but gone. All thanks to an Oregon Real Estate Agent…
As events like those above continue to unfold, I am convinced now more than ever that although words are defined in writing, they can easily be rewritten by actions…