Don’t leave it in the hands of the judges; anything can happen with four-ounce gloves. These are sayings, repeated over and over, to package an easy-to-follow narrative for new fans jumping on board with mixed martial arts, the world’s fastest growing sport.
Other reasoning regularly recycled: A fighter would prefer to receive a bonus by virtue of Performance of the Night (POTN), rather than Fight of the Night (FOTN). During Episode 11 of the MMAGOLD Podcast (link here), ‘Super’ Sam Toomer (10-1) cut off the life supply to this loose line of thought woven throughout conversations in MMA’s community.
When a fighter plumps their purse with a Fight of the Night (FOTN) payout, they, as the award was intended, were in a back-and-forth war, absorbing and delivering nearly equivalent parts of abuse. Contrastive to FOTN, POTN includes either a slick submission or a devastating knockout, suggesting a spectacular tale of an individual’s dominance. A POTN, from the perspective of pundits and patrons of MMA, sure seems like a great way to pay a few extra bills, but Toomer argued: it’s not ‘Super.’
“Those [FOTN] are the fights I prepare for. If I knock you out super fast, great; if I submit you super fast, great, but I prepare to go the full three rounds.”
Toomer’s response, to anyone who can’t conceptualize the warrior spirit needed to willingly wear wounds from a FOTN enc0unter, sheds better light on the mindset required to become an elite cage fighter:
“Of course, the body feels the battle, but then, it helps you respect it [MMA] even more.”
Global Knockout (GKO) 7, the last time Toomer filled a cage, a FOTN bonus was handed over, deservedly so, to Toomer and his opponent, Adrian Diaz (9-4-1), the reigning featherweight champ at Tachi Palace Fights. For fifteen minutes, the night sky canopying GKO’s outdoor proving ground witnessed two future stars of the sport swinging heavy leather and surviving moments of setback that would overwhelm a majority of other opposition at 145-pounds. Not only do exchanges such as these develop a deep appreciation for MMA, as previously declared by Toomer, but there’s also a considerable fondness shared between the martial artists who are done mixing it up,
“I’ve got nothing but respect for that guy [Diaz]. We went to battle; we threw everyone we had at one another, and the best man won.”
Even though fighters are chasing prizes of cold, hard cash, many, like MMAGOLD’s Toomer, train for a full night’s work to claim the glory of FOTN, instead of banking on the chance to cash-in on a POTN lottery ticket. Be sure to follow Toomer (link here) as he prepares to return to GKO, GKO 9, for another FOTN against Anthony Avila (13-4) on March 18, 2017.