And save the verbal bashing for the people who think they need it ...
If a fighter is signing a bout agreement and sees the name Josh Koscheck on the dotted line as an opponent, aside from having to prepare for a tough fight, he also best be prepared for a heavy dosage of pre-fight trash talk leading up to fight night.
"Kos," who is no stranger to mixing it up in the verbal warfare department, is one of the best when it comes to hyping up or selling a fight with his "bad boy" persona and knack for turning a few simple words into heavy artillery to get into an opponent's head.
Johny Hendricks, on the other hand, not so much.
Hendricks and Koscheck are set to collide at UFC on Fox 3 on May 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and though "Big Rigg" says he can trash talk with the best of them if the situation calls for it, for the most part, he will just let his fighting do the talking for him and would rather bash an opponent with his fists than with his words.
Speaking to MMA Weekly, Hendricks says that he is looking to avoid all trash talk leading up to his bout with Koscheck because at the end of the day, all the fans really want to see is a good fight.
"Yeah he (Koscheck) has said some things, but I don't ever listen to it. That's why I'm not on Twitter that much this time is because it doesn't bother me, but I don't want to get into a talking war, you know what I mean? It does nothing, it does nothing to sit there and bash your opponent with your mouth, I want to do it with my fists. I want my fighting to be my words. That is what I think the fans want to see. They want to see an exciting fight and a fighter who is going to go out there and do everything he can to win and that's what I want to do. I don't want to sit here and say, "Oh, he's this and he's that," and then go out there and not put on a performance because I got so caught up into the trash talking, know what I mean?"
In a day and age where trash talking for selling a fight has reached new heights (see Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans) Hendricks says that he will continue to model his demeanor after two of the best mixed martial artists (MMA) to ever step inside the Octagon:
"I feel like am good at promoting a fight. Two of the people that I always refer to and mention are Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell. They didn't say all these bad things about their opponent. They said, "Hey, I am going to go out there and I am going to fight you, I'm going to put on a battle." And that's what they did and people loved them. I love the sport, I don't want it to be where everybody just has to talk trash to hype a fight. It's a sport to me, I love the sport and I love everything about it and I don't want to have to sit there and say he is this and that to get the fans excited about it. I want the fans to know that whenever I fight it's going to be a war and I am going to do my best to get my hand raised. If I have to say a little bit, I will say what I need to, but for the most part, I just like to train and workout. But If I have to start doing that, then I can, I can talk trash with the best of them."
The former NCAA Division-1 wrestling champion may not want to channel his inner Chael Sonnen when it comes to selling a fight, but he sure has what it takes to get it done inside the cage, as evidenced by his current three fight win streak which includes a 12-second knockout of Koscheck's training partner and perennial top Welterweight contender Jon Fitch at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem this past December.
Ronda Rousey's sharp tongue seems to be working out for her, garnering much attention leading up to her Strikeforce Bantamweight title fight against Miesha Tate. Of course, "Rowdy" backed up all her talk with a first round destruction of "Takedown" at Strikeforce: "Tate vs. Rousey" just last month.
Whats your take, do you feel that trash talking is a necessary evil in MMA, or any combat sport for that matter? Or would you rather like to see athletes take the high road much like Hendricks opts to do?