5 Tragic Moments in MMA
5 Tragic Moments in MMA
Tragedy and sorrow go hand in hand and are relative to everything in nature. Most instances of tragedy yields sorrow. Unfortunately emotions are relative, more of an explanation for biological responses to a given stimulus. Since everyone’s biological and psychological makeup is different, it is impossible for everyone to empathize with other people’s tragedies. Fortunately, since empathy is an evolutionary advantage, a majority can find the pain and sadness in moments of tragedy.
Everyone at some point in their lives has been the victim of tragic circumstances, either by their own devices or unwanted fate. It is unavoidable and should be welcomed with bravery, perseverance and even appreciation. Tragedy is nature’s painful, but necessary reminder that we need to appreciate the immeasurable value of life.
We come across the dark parts of reality in every aspect of life. We find these moments in our daily routines, in the news, in a book. And sometimes we come across tragedy in places we try to find some form of escape.
In the world of sports, triumph and tragedy are ever present. There is something poetic in the thought that in sports; one man’s tragedy is another man’s triumph. Learn to appreciate both sides of that coin and you’ll strangely always be at peace with the outcome of the given event.
I’ve always found MMA to be a source of tragedy. How beautifully sad it can be to see the once unstoppable champion descend from his decadent tower to a sad world of failure, or a fighter who could’ve been something, but lost his way and never was to be. MMA has brought us the greatest moments of human bravery and sacrifice, but also brought us those heart wrenching moments we will never forget. .
These are five of the most tragic moments in MMA
Chuck Liddell’s Downfall
The Iceman came, he saw and he conquered. Chuck Liddell was a living legend and one of the greatest champions the UFC had ever seen. Liddell defeated every man in his path and seemed unstoppable.
The downfall all started when Liddell was almost beaten instantly by the younger, stronger, Rampage Jackson. Liddell was a changed fighter after that brutal loss. He was not the champ we once knew, but he still gave it his all. After suffering three consecutive KO’s, Liddell called it quits.
It was a case of triumph followed by tragedy that fighters know and experience every day. Liddell was one of the greatest champions the UFC has ever had; let’s not let this be shadowed by his decline.
The Death of Evan Tanner
There is no greater tragedy when a man is the instrument of his own downfall. It’s as though no matter how hard the world tried to stop their downfall, it still happened because they were the ultimate deciding factor of their fate.
Many remember Evan Tanner for a lot of things; his fighting prowess, his philosophy and the unusual circumstances of his death. In August of 2008, Tanner took a trip to the deserts of Southern California and subsequently died of heat stroke.
The events that led to Tanner’s death, at the hands of mother nature’s unforgiving grip, were just as if not more tragic. Like all star athletes, Tanner was becoming an unavoidable victim of time. Tanner was losing matches; he had failed to set up gym enterprises and was struggling with alcoholism. It was a dark time for Tanner, so he sought sunshine in the desert.
Despite friends and families pleas not to go, he went. Tanner died of heat exposure and dehydration. It was a sad day for MMA and for Tanner’s family and friends. Tanner will be remembered as a champion and philosopher, cut down too soon in life.
Mark Kerr’s addiction to Pain Killers
It’s never easy to see someone you regard as something beyond humanity, fall victim to the commonality of addiction. Mark Kerr was a god amongst men in the cage. Kerr’s titan like strength was something to marvel at, as well as something to be feared. However a lifetime of fighting caused pain and made Kerr a man hungry for relief. Kerr found that relief in pain medication.
Inevitably Kerr became addicted to pain killers and the titanic of a fighter we once knew was sinking in the cold waters of addiction. Kerr’s addiction almost cost him his life. In October of 1999, he overdosed and nearly died. But through the encouragement of friends and his own personal strength, Kerr went cold turkey and got help.
Kerr overcame his addiction to narcotics and painkillers and resumed his career as a fighter. Kerr experienced tragedy but overcame it and triumphed.
BJ Penn’s Loss to Rory MacDonald
It was a match between two prodigies, BJ Penn and Rory MacDonald. Penn was hungry to prove to the world that he was still one of the best. Penn looked ready and dangerous for MacDonald, but that could be further from the truth.
MacDonald tore apart Penn, making him look like an amateur. Penn managed to put up a good fight, none the less. Watching Penn getting destroyed by the younger, aggressive MacDonald, reminded us what Penn use to be, not what he is now. Penn is not the prodigy he once was, the sport needs to make room for MacDonald.
Penn’s career stands in question. Can Penn overcome this loss and reassert himself as the rightful MMA prodigy? Or will he lie down quietly and let the spot go to MacDonald
The Death of Ryan Gracie
The Gracie dynasty is built on a foundation made of blood and sacrifice, years and years of pioneering. The result of those years is a deadly and comprehensible martial art and legions of champion, quality fighters.
However not every Gracie can be a champion. Ryan Gracie had the potential to be a great fighter, but he chose a different path. Gracie had a hard time staying out of trouble and it got him nowhere ideal. Gracie stole and crashed a car, while fleeing from the police, he tried to steal a motorcycle. The owner of the motorcycle and several other cyclists detained him. While in prison, Gracie’s psychiatrist over prescribed him with medication, the end result was Gracie’s death.
They found Gracie dead the very next day in his cell. With his potential, Gracie could have been one of the greats, yet he’s just another story of tragedy.