Let's define a fighter's "prime"

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Rationality, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Rationality

    Rationality Blue Belt

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    There are constant debates about "prime" fighters and who they would've/could've beat. In these debates usually a fighter is defined as in his prime when he was on a win streak and then classified as past his prime when the streak ends. This leaves out the possibility that his competition got better, or that the fighter stopped training as hard, or that the fighter made harmful lifestyle choices, quit using PEDs, or that his fighting style evolved. Even age isn't the defining factor since we see fighters like DC and Romero fighting at an elite level well into their late 30s.

    I think a prime fighter is one whose skillset, octagon experience, coaching, and overall fitness are all near the peak that the fighter ever reached. Let's say they are at least 8 out of 10 everywhere with 10 being the best they ever attained. By this definition many fan favorites were clearly in their prime when they started getting beat, while others like Bisping, didn't reach their prime until later in their career when some of these factors like coaching and skillset really peaked for them.

    Frankly I think many Sherdog favorites were absolutely in their prime when they started losing. They had tons of experience, were in great shape and had as good of coaching and skillset as they ever achieved -- and still they lost. Wins and Losses fighter-to-fighter mean more than any theory about "prime" this or that because in an actual fight all of these factors come into play.
     
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  2. 3sumrock

    3sumrock Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card Yellow Card Banned

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    The sherdog definition of fighter “prime” is before fighter starts losing Or just anytime when he/she look bad against a better fighter
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  3. moreorless87

    moreorless87 In The Zone

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    Sorry but that reads like UFC "nobody declines there just exposed" hype to me, the ususal suspects will probably be along quickly to parrot it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  4. Frode Falch

    Frode Falch Gold Belt Professional Fighter

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    Hard to do. So much that differs from person to person.

    Fighting style, body type, clean vs unclean lifestyle, how many wars in the ring and gym, training method, mental State (staying hungry), ect
     
  5. Matty da Ranga

    Matty da Ranga Banned Banned

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    I define 'prime' as a period of a few years where the fighter in question strongly resembles his peak form.
    Example: Fedor's prime, in my opinion, was between 2002 and 2008.

    'Absolute prime' is different; I consider this around a 1 year stretch of time when the fighter was at his absolute best.
    Example: Fedor's 'absolute prime' was the year 2005.

    I think too many MMA fans confuse these two terms and like to make excuses for their favourite fighters by claiming that they were nowhere near their prime when they start losing, and point out a specific year as proof of the fighter's prime.
     
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  6. One MMA Fan

    One MMA Fan #1

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    Prime is a mix of this factors = age, wear and tear (damage, injuries), hungriness, will, skill peak, development, genetics, fighting style, physicality, how he takes care of himself, mental, etc.

    It affects fighters differently some can peak earlier others later and some can go downhill fast while others can drag it out longer.
     
  7. Rationality

    Rationality Blue Belt

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    I would rule out mental state simply because that is part of what makes you a good or bad fighter. A fighter with a stronger mind is often simply a better fighter than someone with a weaker mindset and it has nothing to do with either one being in their prime.
     
  8. sabretitan

    sabretitan Black Belt

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    Gsp ufc 100
     
  9. Rationality

    Rationality Blue Belt

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    Another way of making my point is: what makes one person a better fighter than another one involves one set of factors and whether or not a fighter is in their "prime" is a different set of factors.
     
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  10. One MMA Fan

    One MMA Fan #1

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    Nope you missed the point.

    If you get to be on top of the mountain in anything there is this sense of accomplishment, of content, of I made it.. some suffer after getting there by losing focus and will and that fire, extreme cases even depression.

    So when you get to be happy with yourself and your position it's a lot harder to have the same drive like the young angry lion doing an extra practice a day and waking up early morning while the champ isn't even out of the bed.
     
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  11. wilKO

    wilKO Green, White & Gold belt

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    Fedor right up until the Werdum fight. Was night and day. Different fighter that night.

    Anderson after Chonan and before Weidman. Again looked like a different fighter that night. Like he was fed up and didn't care.

    Aldo after his first loss right up until 12 seconds into the Conor fight. After that it was all down hill.

    Chuck after the first Rampage fight and right up until just before the 2nd Rampage fight.

    Cro Cop after the Randleman loss up to the Eddie Sanchez win. It was like watching an imposter. Zero credit to anyone who beat Cro Cop after the Sanchez fight.
     
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  12. One MMA Fan

    One MMA Fan #1

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    I would argue that the last time we saw Prime Fedor was in mid 2008 vs Tim.

    Not sure with Anderson was it before the Chris or after the second fight with him. Well the second fight ended anything close to the best of his form, that was it.

    Andy had some stinkers and his lack of interest is up and down so I can't just go from that.. vs Maia he had the same lack of will right ?
     
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  13. Rationality

    Rationality Blue Belt

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    Isn't the definition of a great fighter someone who bounces back from adversity to start winning again? I think someone who goes into a funk and never comes back just wasn't as great as they appeared. Look at R3. Look at Pig Rig.
     
  14. Rationality

    Rationality Blue Belt

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    And my point is that such a fighter, while great, later lost not because they were past their prime but because they lacked the attributes to sustain being an elite fighter in the first place. You can't be a great fighter without hunger and mindset. You just can't and it has nothing to do with being past their so-called "prime". They both won some fights and lost some fights while in their prime.
     
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  15. One MMA Fan

    One MMA Fan #1

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    Eh you seem not to get this 'prime' thing.. I did my 2 cents on it already.
     
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  16. HughPhug

    HughPhug Brown Belt

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    I prefer to refer to 'the best version of' a fighter

    For example I think the Randy Couture that beat Gonzaga was the best version of Randy and that he would have beaten damn near anyone that night.
    But that's not to say he was in his prime at that time. It could be argued his prime was 4 or 5 years earlier
     
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  17. MCS

    MCS Gold Belt

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    I agree results don't always tell the story, but you also can't generalize it. Anderson, for example, was a late bloomer who was past his physical peak when he performed at his best, but his technique and mindset trumped aging.

    Others like DC and Romero started too late for us to see them maximize their potential, yet they can perform better when older since they don't have the injuries and damage taken that, say, Shogun does.

    I'd go with the time period when they perform the best, which usually goes along with career high accomplishments - beat the toughest dudes with next to no stinkers in between. Or have mixed results against tough competition like Jardine did, even though his past showings would indicate he'd lose badly each time.
     
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  18. Kumason

    Kumason MMA freak!

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    I didn't read because I have to go but people seem to have a real problem understanding the difference between physical prime and overall prime where they are at their most effective which is often passed their physical prime.
     
  19. moreorless87

    moreorless87 In The Zone

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    Its of course often a sliding scale between them as well, sometimes a bad loss or an injury causes someone to decline rapidly but often it happens slowly over several years/fights.
     
  20. Leonard Haid

    Leonard Haid Minimalist Living the Illusory Dream

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    Prime, to me, is when the physical, mental, technical, and the hunger, converge to the highest point. This is a hard thing to measure.
     
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