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Intangibles That Make MMA Fighters Successful

Dan HiergesellChief Writer IVDecember 12, 2016

Intangibles That Make MMA Fighters Successful

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    Mixed martial arts fighters possess a variety of skills.

    Whether it's crisp kickboxing, overpowering wrestling or deadly submissions, some of the world's best talents consistently display perfected crafts.

    But what is often overlooked, what isn't necessarily tallied on the judges' scorecards, are the intangibles that an elite fighter carries.

    Here are the most important intangibles a fighter can own in order to be a successful MMA practitioner.


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    Heart is sometimes misplaced when mentioning the most relevant intangibles that a fighter can exhaust.

    Now, while each and every fighter possesses their own level of heart, the undying attribute sometimes exceeds natural limits and propels near-defeated men to victory.

    It has helped the most professional and respected fighters in the world elude severely precarious positions.  It has the power to lift a beaten fighter beyond their own recognition and will their way to honor.

    So, while every MMA fighter on the planet bares a lifeline organ in their chest, not every one possesses true, well-defined heart.


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    Some fighters collapse when conflicted with unfamiliarity inside the cage.

    Some of them are unable to adapt, regroup and push forward, making their efforts borderline useless.

    As it is for many of these fighters, failing to make these key adjusts has cost them tremendous opportunities within the sport. 

    But like in anything else, a select few have successfully evaded this inability.

    Current world-class fighters like Anderson Silva, Demetrious Johnson and Carlos Condit are capable of transforming their own game plans in order to counter their opponents'.

    It helps satisfy any disadvantages they encounter.  Whether on the cage, on the ground, in the clinch or standing up, adaptation never fails in giving a fighter the very best chance to prevail.

Natural Killer Instinct

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    Despite the brutal nature of their profession, some MMA fighters simply don't possess an innate killer instinct.

    That doesn't mean they fail in the eyes of victory, but instead it lends a helping hand in identifying the elite class of athletes that do in fact inhabit this natural proclivity.

    Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is the perfect example.

    Velasquez has built a foundation throughout his career on the basis of finishing fights when the opportunity arises.  His timely precision, perfected wrestling skills and hard-nosed mentality have all culminated into making him one of the most prepared finishers in MMA.

    The UFC superstar is proof that a gifted tendency to follow impulse goes a long way in becoming truly one of the best.


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    In order to successfully originate calculated offensive and defensive techniques, a fighter needs to possesses the element of surprise.

    Unexpectedness, for the lack of a better word, enables fighters to channel their unorthodox selves.

    Some of the most prestigious champions in the world today are familiar with this high-level intangible.  They're able to cover their tracks in a fight as to make their next move even more unpredictable.

    It's a tricky game when a fighter tries to confuse his opponent in the midst of defending damage himself, but when it works, nightly bonuses are bound to be rewarded.

Mental Fortitude

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    Believe it or not, a fighter's willingness to mentally strut his stuff serves as one of the most prominent intangibles imaginable.

    Given the perfect opponent, the biggest public stage and a little fear, these mentally armored athletes can win a fight with just their words.

    Top UFC contenders like Chael Sonnen, Michael Bipsing and Nate Diaz have all utilized this technique in creating unpleasant atmospheres for their opponents.

    Whether they won or not, these methodical trashtalkers precisely implant themselves into the minds of other fighters way before any leather is thrown.

    It's a truly admirable talent.  One that is correlated with some of the most hated fighters in the game today.


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