The changing of the guard is a painful inconvenience in nature in social hierarchies. In the hot African Savannas, young lions challenge the old guard all the time. A younger, stronger, more ferocious lion will challenge the older, yet more experienced pack leader. In some cases, experience prevails, but in most cases, it’s no match for youth. In the end, the young lion savagely beats the senior out of the pack where he is forced to die alone in the wilderness. And the cycle will continue; nature can be a beautiful, cruel, elegant mistress.
Last night on UFC on Fox; that truth about nature couldn’t be more evident. Last night in Seattle, we saw the changing of the guard in two fights: Rory MacDonald VS B.J. Penn and Alexander Gustafsson VS Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. The younger fighters, MacDonald and Gustafsson dominated the older, more experienced fighters. However, I do feel Rua held his ground better that Penn did. I do give a lot of credit to Penn; he rode that painful ride of a fight to the end.
The truth remains; Penn and Rua lost to stronger, faster, younger opponents. I believe this is a sign of the times and the guard is changing again in the UFC. The changing of the guard comes and goes with each passing generation. It’s law of nature. Sadly, the end of the old guard means retirement for some. There is talk of the looming possibility of Penn’s retirement from MMA. But where one door closes another one opens. Last night we witnessed the rise of two very young and talented fighters.
I’m very excited to see how this new crop of young fighters will fair against the old guard and how they will forever change the sport.