The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 coach Chael Sonnen gave an inspirational speech regarding failure on the most recent episode of TUF 17. Sonnen's speech had many in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community talking and if you happened to miss it, a word-for-word transcription is available below.
"When doubt seeps in you got two roads you can take either road. You can go to the left or you can go to the right and believe me, they'll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times, but it's a choice. You can choose to fail or you can choose to succeed. And if we can plant seeds and let him know, ‘Move your feet, keep your hands up, stay off the bottom.' That is the road to victory, or self-doubt and negative talk, and that is the road to failure. But failure is always there, and it's okay to recognize that. If I can leave you with anything today, in my long journey through this is, one, it's okay. Two, it's normal. And as athletes and especially as men, as male athletes we hate to admit weakness to ourselves, and when you're dealing with something and you got some kind of a hiccup, yeah, first thing is acknowledge it."
-- Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight No. 1 contender Chael Sonnen dished out some knowledge in regards to failure in athletics on Tuesday's (Feb. 5, 2013) episode of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17. Sonnen's inspirational speech, directed towards his team member Uriah Hall who was struggling with his confidence, explained how failure is always an easy option for athletes when the going gets tough, but those who do not allow failure to be an option are the ones who admit to their shortcomings and strive for improvement. With all due respect to Sonnen, he knows a thing or two about failure after coming up short in several major athletic competitions throughout his lifetime. His history with failure, though, added to his ability to rise back up to the top is what makes the speech so impactful. Sonnen is speaking from a point of experience, which arguably makes him the best mentor to fighters like Hall who have never experienced being in that spot. Sonnen will get the chance to avoid failure when he challenges Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 159: "Jones vs. Sonnen" on April 27, 2013.