Trash talk is a good thing for the UFC.
It shows fans the human side of fighters, and it allows fighters to express themselves and their beliefs about an opponent.
Back-and-forth banter from UFC fighters is real. Unlike the WWE, the words aren't given to them to read in front of the camera. They are wholehearted feelings by the fighters.
Some may want fighters to just settle things in the Octagon, but trash talk is essential to the UFC.
Chael Sonnen attempts to knee Anderson Silva at UFC 148.
For some fights on a given card, there are always bouts that may not be a draw on paper. Whether the fight involves guys who are mismatched or have never fought before, some bouts will just not garner the interest in fans.
When said fighters trade words and talk trash about one another, it makes some of these fights interesting and gives fans a reason to watch.
It’s almost like a “Who’s going to back it up?” situation, and fans do take notice of this. When two fighters step into the Octagon after weeks of talking and trading verbal blows, each punch and kick validates the spoken words. Each takedown and transition is felt by the fans.
Trash talk gives fans a reason to watch. If two guys on a preliminary fight go after each other, more people will tune in to watch.
Most fights in the UFC are entertaining. However, when the two fighters involve trash talk, the fight becomes even more entertaining.
Case in point, the main event of UFC 158 Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz for the UFC Welterweight Championship has become more exciting after words exchanged at the media conference call.
GSP is usually not one to participate in back-and-forth talking before a match, but he got into it with Diaz at the conference call. The native Canadian called Diaz an “uneducated fool” who isn’t smart enough to get to his level.
This match was scheduled once before and was originally supposed to headline UFC 137. Diaz was pulled from the event after he failed to appear at a press conference.
Just with that alone, this fight was interesting. Now, after adding the explosive media call between one another, this match will be nothing short of explosive.
Ever since Chael Sonnen started opening his mouth in regards to Anderson Silva leading up to UFC 117 in August of 2010, trash talk has become entertainment. No longer was it just “I’m going to beat him badly,” or “I’m going to kill him.”
Sonnen used hilarious, intelligent insults regarding the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.
All of the talk added to the developing rivalry of Silva vs. Sonnen.
In the first fight, Sonnen dominated for four rounds but lost after “The Spider” wrapped his legs around Sonnen for a triangle choke with less than two minutes left in the fifth round.
After the fight, Sonnen proclaimed himself the “True Middleweight Champion” and “The People’s Champion.”
He also called out Silva after Sonnen defeated Brian Stann at UFC 136. In a post-match interview with Joe Rogan, Sonnen completely ignored Rogan’s question and looked directly at Silva and said, “Anderson Silva, you absolutely suck!”
It added to this rivalry, and the rematch between Silva and Sonnen was one of the most anticipated rematches in UFC history.
When there’s a week or two between UFC events, like there is between UFC on Fuel TV 8 and UFC 158, trash talk is a good thing to keep the momentum of the UFC rolling.
It gives the fans a reason to stay alert during the week. It gives them something to be excited about entering a week off.
When there’s something that breaks the lull of a week without fights, fans appreciate it. I know I do. When a fighter seizes an opportunity to bring excitement to the fans while also reminding them about an upcoming fight, it’s something people can talk about.
Dana White prides himself on giving fans the fights they want to see.
Fans rallied behind Chael Sonnen for a rematch against Silva, and the fans got it. If Sonnen wasn’t so charismatic, he wouldn’t have gotten that fight. More recently, Mark Hunt wouldn’t have received his fight against Junior dos Santos if he hadn’t asked fans for support with #RallyForMarkHunt.
When fighters want a fight, and it’s realistic, White obliges.
Unlike boxing, where fans have been clamoring for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather to get in the ring, the UFC delivers fights that fans ask for.
Trash talk is important in this aspect for fighters getting fights. If they keep asking for a fight, they will eventually get it.