TRASH TALKING IN COMBAT SPORTS: HAS IT GONE TOO FAR?

Mental warfare has always been a detrimental aspect in combat sports, especially in MMA and boxing. The ability to make your opponent feel as if they’ve lost the fight before entering the contest is probably the biggest advantage you can have besides proper preparation. It’s selling the ass-whipping before doing it. Showing the confidence and genuineness when one of the opponents says he’s going to punch a hole into the others orbital lobe. Good trash talking leading up to each fight creates an energy for the media with the reporters to gobble up and swallow. That’s why in most combat sports like boxing and MMA, they hold media events with displayed one on one face-offs between the fighters. This energy generates social media views with added attention which in turn creates like an economic growth of wealth for the event. A fighter that was most notably famous for having success in the trash talking industry was the great Muhammad Ali. Ali once told the world his opponent was too ugly to be champion. Ali also is credited for the most famous trash talking line in combat sports history. A phrase that has probably been uttered out the mouth of every single born fighter today:
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.” Back in the 70’s this was like hearing poetry from a death threat. As if Hemingway has turned vigilantly in pursue of the undefeated king of the jungle. Boxing fans were aroused and made sure they tuned in for the event. Today the trash talking in combat sports has gone majorly in a different direction. Now there is mention of family, religion, and politics. Many fighters have even made distasteful statements in regards to the others wife. Fighters are now taking these insults personal, which is leading up to more confrontations bringing violence. Is there a line to be drawn and who governs that line in the world of freedom of speech? Do we want the young minds of today, the ones that are tuning in and are genuine fans, to be influenced by this type of trash talking? It’s one thing to promote a fight; it becomes something totally different when one promotes violence and hate.

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