It was Trevor C. Wignall who penned the following in his book “The Sweet Science” in 1926:
“When a star drops out of the boxing sky it does not descend gradually or by easy stages. More often than not it falls with a sickening thud … The champion fighter, from the instant he gains his title, is a sort of human candle. He may burn brightly for a time, but he is liable to be snuffed out at the shortest of short notice.”
Like many proverbs from MMA’s pugilistic cousin, this statement has proven all too applicable to the athletes who ply their trade in a cage instead of the squared circle. Anderson Silva moved like a character in a video game while atop the middleweight throne, effortlessly circumnavigating his opponent’s offense before finding the perfect opening to end the show — until Chris Weidman showed up and “The Spider” could barely eke out a decision over the likes of Derek Brunson, or, ahem, pass a drug test. Ronda Rousey was an unstoppable submission machine that possessed a Mike Tyson-esque mystique and dynamite in her hands — until Holly Holm kicked her in the head and “Rowdy” could no longer front a press conference, let alone win a championship fight. Chuck Liddell could take three punches to deliver the one that would separate his opponents from their consciousness — until Quinton Jackson got off the plane from Japan, knocked him senseless and it seemed like “The Iceman” could no longer stand a strong wind before getting dizzy.
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