And once you've run the gauntlet of brutal training sessions, piss marathons, and nasty infections, you'll soon find ...
Success Depends More On Personality (And Social Media) Than Skill
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Being good at punching people is certainly a key to success in the people-punching business, but it's just as important to make people want to see you punch people. After all, nobody is going to pay you to punch them for an evening in private, unless you're satisfying some millionaire's fetish. The money comes from strangers buying tickets to watch, and that means that you're now also an entertainer.
As a result, a fighter with a garbage record and weak style can easily talk their way to pay-per-view and title shots, while polite, respectful fighters will often get overlooked, even if they're bad enough dudes to rescue the president. "A quiet guy like Chris Weidman -- the current UFC Middleweight champion and currently undefeated -- had to pretty much beg for a title shot, despite being dominant as hell," explains Dallas. "Then there's Chael Sonnen, who despite a 29-14 record and no major championships ... was granted title shot after title shot after becoming a fan favorite based on his funny personality and ability to trash talk, rather than his actual skill."
Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
The man once won the Pro Wrestling Observer's Best Interview award. That's really all you need to know.
And you don't just talk trash and yak smack in the ring or at press conferences -- you do it on the Internet as well. Fighters regularly use social media to insult, trash, or challenge opponents -- which, coincidentally, doubles as a great way to rise in the ranks before you truly deserve it. It's all about publicity. "It's like a pro wrestling cheap sell," says Dallas, "and many fighters have used this technique to gain opportunities above their pay grade. I've had guys that I'd beaten contact me through Facebook, talking about how they could beat me and that I got lucky. They would try to bait me into agreeing to accept a rematch to try to get their win back."
25 sets of 10 reps each, followed by 30 memes questioning the existence of the victor's balls.
See? We make it sound hard, but if you've got experience as an Internet troll, you're like halfway there.
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist, interviewer, and editor. Contact him at email@example.com. Jason Iannone is all of those things too, and his therapist assures him that makes him special. Reassure him over Facebook and Twitter.
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