MMA: The 6 Most Overused Phrases in Mixed Martial Arts

James MacDonald@@JimMacDonaldMMAFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2013

MMA: The 6 Most Overused Phrases in Mixed Martial Arts

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    Every sport has its own collection of phrases that have been uttered to the point of senselessness. And mixed martial arts is no different.

    Yes, MMA personalities are no less platitude-happy than the rest of the sporting world—perhaps more so.

    From promoters to announcers to fightersindividuals at every level of the sport can be found demonstrating their linguistic limitations.

    Read on for a rundown of the most overused phrases in mixed martial arts. As ever, feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section.

"He's in the mix."

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    There’s nothing particularly wrong with this phrase, yet it has evolved into a running joke over the past few years.

    In many cases, it is an apt description of a fighter’s standing within his division. However, it has become synonymous with UFC president Dana White being evasive whenever the subject of title shots is raised.

    At one point or another, every fighter on the UFC roster has probably been described as being “in the mix.”

    Well, maybe not Cody McKenzie. But you get the point. 

"I'd like to thank God..."

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    Granted, thanking The Lord is hardly unique to MMA.

    Indeed, based on how often Yahweh gets credit for an athletic feat, he should probably be arrested for match-fixing.

    Perhaps I’m being unfair, though. After all, many fighters pray that they compete to their potential, rather than praying for victory.

    On reflection, can we really blame fighters like Jon Jones for thanking their God? If one happens to be religious, it must be hugely comforting to compete while under the impression that an omnipotent deity has your back.

    Still, it would make for an interesting twist if, just once, a victorious fighter said to Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview: “I’d just like to say that God had absolutely nothing to do with this win.” 

"I'm in the best shape of my life."

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    No one expects a fighter to announce to the world that he is coming into a fight after enduring the worst training camp in the history of training camps, but must they continually assert that they have never been in better shape?

    This particular cliché is often followed by a laundry list of excuses in the event of a loss. Tito Ortiz may be the worst offender the sport has ever seen.

    A calculator is necessary to keep track of how often the former UFC light heavyweight champion has claimed to be in the best shape of his life, only to later lament his physical decline.

    It is doubtless some form of confirmation bias that leads fighters to believe that they are perennially at their physical peak.

    You have to wonder why more fighters don't instead try to manage expectations, if only to make it easier on themselves when they inevitably grope for excuses at the post-fight presser. 

"We're regulated by the government!"

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    It’s another Dana White special.

    I promise you, I’m not singling the UFC president out. He just happens to be more cliché-prone than a Lifetime movie.

    White likes to toss out this bizarre non-sequitur whenever someone suggests that the UFC could do more to combat PED-use.

    He seems to be under the impression that government regulation is synonymous with regulatory rigour, despite the well-publicized failures of organisations like the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). 

"Never leave it in the hands of the judges."

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    Most of you will be all-too-familiar with this particularly irritating phrase—it is especially loathsome when uttered by non-fighters.

    This most odious of old chestnuts is often trotted out by Dana White in order to chastise aggrieved Ultimate Fighter contestants.

    This useless piece of faux advice is dispensed so unsparingly that one could be forgiven for thinking that cage fighting is easy.

    I mean, all you have to do is incapacitate a trained killer. What could be easier?

    This adage is so transparently worthless that I’m surprised Rhonda Byrne didn’t include it in The Secret.


"It is what it is."

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    This is another of Dana White’s favourite stock phrases.

    If only the UFC’s head honcho thanked God during his post-fight press conferences, I could stick his name in the article title for SEO purposes.

    “It is what it is” has spread like a virus over the past three or four years, infecting all those who hear it.

    Frankie Edgar is riddled with it.

    The former UFC 155-pound champion is so fond of the phrase that he somehow manages to work it into almost every answer he gives, no matter what the question is.

    In fairness, it is an infuriatingly versatile phrase. I liken it to “Fuhgeddaboudit” from Donnie Brasco, such is the scope of its utility.

    It can seemingly apply to any situation or any question. In fact, the phrase can really mean whatever you want it to mean.