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Posted by Mika Frankl
Your perception of my opinion in this article will definitely depend on how you view MMA. If you view Mixed Martial Arts as just the words that were slapped on fighting to make it sound more legal or if you believe that MMA is a competitive form of combat sport.
It has long been made a huge deal about teammates facing each other for people see it as a betrayal to the friendship and there’s a huge argument to be made that it is total nonsense. Being put in the position to fight a friend would be a huge deal, but to say your fighting a friend is making the situation out to be more than what it is. Don’t teammates spar and beat each other up all the time in the name of preparation or just in everyday training. Why not get paid for it? Many fighters have said I would only step in the cage against a teammate for a title. A fighter wouldn’t fight their teammate just because it’s their job but for a title they will fight but for you or your teammate to have your biggest dream smashed even in the situation of a number 1 contenders match would leave the loser feeling worse about taking a teammates big shot away them compared to a normal we both get paid situation. For fighters, every training camp brings its own stresses and the thought of ever facing a teammate is added stress of how the rest of the team reacts to the situation and the possibility of one or both of you having to relocate or find new times to train (however that is handled). So, with those situations and that teammate vs. teammate only comes up when you’re on an elite level I think it would be better to have that match with less pressure then the stress it already causes.
Growing up kids roughhouse and brothers beat each other up but in the end they get over it, but this is not a fight. This is MMA where elements of fighting and combat are used in sport. This isn’t on the playground, you tried to steal my lunch money, even though some guys try to act like it is. This is a sport! In sports you compete when you are asked against who ever. Jon Jones pro football playing brothers, Arthur and Chandler, play on different teams in the NFL and many other brothers have. In the NBA Lebron James and Kevin Durant are two of the best players in the league who play on opposite teams and the two men train together to get better in the off season and still play hard against each other when it counts. MMA is a sport you should be able to compete against anybody no matter how close you are to the person across the cage from you.
It all comes down to how you view MMA and how you handle the emotions of the processes leading to the competition and after all there can only be one Champion at a time.
Follow Mika Frankl on twitter @cagedmindsmma