Gunther & Hackett

The Morning After Losing the Biggest Fight of Your Career

Today is Monday.  The day after I lost a fight in 30 seconds.  The day after I blew my biggest opportunity in the UFC.  The day after my bout got moved up from the Fight Pass prelims to the bigger network so that many more people could watch that failure in HD, and probably dozens more times on the internet.  It’s one of those days that we all have- where you wake up, and immediately realize you would much rather stay asleep.  I shouldn’t even try to explain how I feel, because I don’t think it’s really possible unless you’ve been in this exact spot. But people are asking how I am, so I can at least try.  Losing in MMA is excruciating, because there is nobody to blame but yourself. Nobody else is accountable.  This fight will always make me cringe and want to hide in embarrassment because I didn’t even throw a punch.  For those who have seen my fight and my style, you might realize how hard that is to swallow.  Most of what I have to offer as a fighter is tied up in punching- early, often, as hard as possible, until something good happens.  Sunday Jan 17, 2016 I didn’t even get started.  A win in this fight would have meant I have a top 15 ranking, a little bit of leverage to decide my next opponent, climb the ladder, more publicity for my book, my charity work, my radio show.  Instead, I am on the wrong end of another man’s highlight reel.  It’s a brutal realization again even as I type.  I just went from being an exciting new possibility in the light-heavyweight division to just another guy that is sliding backward in a sport that demands constant forward movement.  I’ll head back home and re-evaluate everything, and second guess everything, and wonder for a short while if I am really cut out for this at all.  But after a few burgers and a few milkshakes I will quit my crying and get back to working hard at making sure something like this never happens again.  Because at the end of the day.  I CHOOSE this.  All of the good and bad that comes with being a fighter, I signed up for and asked for.  Today it’s the bitterest medicine the sport can give you, but hopefully soon it’s something better.

I would love to go into hiding for a while, but that’s not what I’ll do.  Because even on a day where I would love to wallow in my disappointment, I woke up with the same people supporting me, caring about me, fretting over me, and expecting better things from me.  The people that matter, the ones in my proverbial “corner” in life, DO NOT CHANGE.  My successes and failures in this sport only matter to them because they matter to me.  Social media loved me Saturday, mocks me today, but everybody that matters just gives me a hug and moves on to the next thing.  So I will keep cringing over this one for a long while, and I will keep hating what happened, but I will make sure I wake up tomorrow with less self-pity and a lot more gratitude.  Because I still have all of those wonderful people, and a great job on sports radio, a fantastic dog, and a life that I chose- good, bad, and everything in between.  For that I am blessed.   Thank you all for the support.

 

p.s.  yes, I chose a Star Wars picture for this post because Star Wars makes everything better in life.

 


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