The most redundant, noncommittal, ambiguous and overused phrase of the 2ist Century is quickly being beaten to death by members of the UFC.
When Dana White reaches an impasse during one of his spirited rants about the Nevada Athletic Commission and an explanation for a slippery situation that is difficult to explain eludes him, he will shrug his shoulders and mutter “it is what it is.”
When Dan Henderson is asked about his plan for finding a legal replacement for TRT so that he can stay healthy enough to fight, he will offer a vague outline of his approach, wait a beat, and then say “it is what it is.”
Athletes like Nick Diaz, Robbie Lawler and even guys who speak English as a second language like Georges St. Pierre frequently spit these words out like a mouthpiece dipped in vinegar when they can’t quite explain what they are thinking.
The interesting thing is that the phrase is almost like journalist repellent. It wields the power to silence even the most prying reporters. An answer that means nothing can magically shut up a person who is trained not to take “nothing” for an answer.
Perhaps it is fitting that a phrase that essentially means nothing whatsoever is having the non-meaning beaten out of it by a bunch of people focused on pulverization. Like the Jon Jones hook punch that gets modified into an elbow, the phrase should simply be shortened to “it is.” For all intents and purposes, that says the same thing as “it is what it is.” The only difference being three words and the fact that the speaker is no longer a philosopher but just a lazy dude who can’t express himself.
Once this verbal pariah has been vanquished from the modern vernacular by this lovable horde of muttering jocks, perhaps the world of MMA can go to work on some other tapped out phrases like “what are you gonna do”, “here we go”, “it’s all over” and “just like that.”