A good corner man can make the difference between winning and losing a fight. While their fighter is competing inside the Octagon, they act as an extra set of eyes and ears who can make observations about what is going on and give instructions regarding necessary adjustments.
Not only that, but some corner men have a way of inspiring their fighter in a way that leaves them both energized and motivated after they get off of the stool.
However, sometimes a corner man isn't the best person to listen to. Some advice is simply garbage that should be ignored.
Here is a look at some of the worst pieces of advice given in MMA history.
Not to speak ill of the dead, but esteemed coach Shawn Tompkins kicks off our list of bonehead calls made by cornermen. The fight in question came at the final WEC event in a bout between Tompkin's fighter Chris Horodecki and current UFC standout Donald Cerrone.
After the first round, Tompkins can be heard telling Horodecki to take Cerrone to the ground.
Let's think about that for a second. Horodecki is a kickboxer who is known for his striking, and Cerrone is one of the slickest submission artists in the lightweight division who had 11 tapout victories at the time.
Why in God's name would Tompkins suggest that Horodecki should instigate a grappling exchange when stand-up is clearly the avenue that suited him best in this stylistic matchup?
As ordered, Horodecki shot the takedown and got it. And then, almost immediately, Cerrone locked up a triangle choke and this fight was over, along with Horodecki's Zuffa career.
Some pieces of advice are bad because they don't make any sense. Some are bad because they are so blatantly obvious that the fighter receiving it should probably look back at his cornerman and say, "Duh!"
Guess which category this one falls into.
B.J. Penn is one of the greatest of all time. However, listening to his corner, you have to assume that he's been ignoring them all of these years, because they commonly pepper him with the obvious.
In Penn's December bout against Rory MacDonald, Penn wasn't given any useful information regarding Rory's tendencies, weaknesses or anything of the sort. Instead, they told B.J., "You gotta hit him!"
Thanks, guys. I'm sure he hadn't thought of that.
I'd love to give you my commentary on this bizarre advice from Rich Franklin, but in the video above, Matt Serra does a good job of expressing my befuddlement.
Welcome to the worst piece of advice in MMA history. The worst thing about this advice is the ridiculous frequency in which it is administered.
Modern MMA uses the 10-point must system of judging. In simpler terms, whoever wins the majority of the rounds will tend to win the fight as long as they don't get finished.
So, if a fighter wins Round 1 and 2 in a fight, surviving the third round is essentially the same as securing a win. When this situation presents itself, some cornermen can be heard telling their fighter to "just coast."
Essentially, what they are saying is, "Don't overwork yourself trying to finish this fight. Just stay out of trouble and take it easy so you don't gas out."
While the advice might work from time to time, there is one very important lesson that they have yet to learn: Judges suck!
At UFC on Fuel 8, Bryan Caraway became the latest victim of this advice. Thinking that he had taken the first two rounds against Takeya Mizugaki, Caraway coasted through the final round in hopes of earning his third straight win inside the Octagon.
Apparently, two judges didn't think that Caraway swept the first two rounds, and the American ended up losing a split decision.
Caraway's corner (and girlfriend,) Miesha Tate, turned to Twitter and asked Dana White to give her fighter his win bonus because of the bad decision. Considering that it was her bonehead advice that cost him the win, I think it will fall on unreceptive ears.
At UFC 100, Georges St-Pierre was absolutely dominating muay thai specialist Thiago Alves. However, there was a problem: He tore his groin muscle.
Heading into the fifth and final round, St-Pierre was clearly worried about the injury and told coach Greg Jackson of his problem. Listen closely and hear Jackson tell GSP to make the best of a bad situation and "hit him with your groin."
This brings new meaning to the expression "grinding out a win."