UFC lightweight Edson Barboza was once the next big thing. Now—because he lost once—he's a bum who got lucky a few times. Who is to blame for this dramatic shift of opinion? Look in the mirror.
That's right, it's your fault!
Not you personally, but the collective you, as in you MMA fans. The second a fighter, Edson Barboza in this case, does something good, fans run to message boards to sing praises of how that fighter is a god amongst insects and how he'll be a future champion.
The hype train continues to gain steam as the fighter gets wins over mid-level competition and looks great over guys who aren't championship material.
A perfect example of this is when Barboza knocked out Terry Etim with a spinning wheel kick. From what fans were saying, you'd think that Barboza was some sort of MMA god for knocking out a guy whose biggest win was over Sam Stout back in 2008.
Overhyping young fighters...
But now Barboza's hype train is in ruin after a spectacular derailment. Barboza was expected to steamroll over Jamie Varner in epic fashion, but instead it was Varner who won with a dramatic TKO.
Now, the notoriously fickle MMA fans are turning on Barboza. What a shame.
Here is where the fans try to defend themselves by saying it's the media who control their thoughts and feelings by writing articles.
True, writers and media members compose articles after each event, articles that take various angles on the different stories that emerge in the aftermath of each event. Thus, how can you expect at least one writer to not run with the story of Barboza being criminally overrated? It'll score points with the fans who have axes to grind and it might garner a good deal of web traffic.
The issue is therefore not the media, but the fans. The media writes for a fan's reads and internet time, just like the fighters fight for a fan's money and television time.
Fans build fighters up only to bury them, a sordid and base practice but one that will hopefully decline as the sport gets older and the fanbase matures.