Do you have to be a big talker to make it big time?

By Eric Kamander Subscribe to Articles by Eric Kamander

Some people in the MMA media continue to think you do (if you’re an MMA fighter). Whether this means talking trash, being charismatic, or just speaking fluent English, I find this hard to believe.

As a matter of fact it makes me wonder if these individuals are even paying attention.

For sure you have the Tito Ortiz’s and Ken Shamrock’s of the world, who always managed to talk trash, no matter how contrived.

And yes you have the Randy Couture’s and Forrest Griffin’s and who didn’t talk trash, but had natural charisma on their side.

But does that make these qualities fundamental for stardom?

What about Chuck Liddell? He’s known for his lackluster interviews, though at least you could argue that he speaks fluent English.

But maybe he’s an anomaly.

What about Fedor and Cro Cop? Both were very popular, but neither of them were known for much more than letting their fighting do their talking for them.

But maybe their stardom was limited to international fans.

Recently you have fighters like Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida and Jose Aldo making a big splash in the Zuffa orgs despite not speaking great English. Mike Thomas Brown dominates the featherweight division with something to be desired in his post fight interview skills. Not too dissimilarly, GSP’s long dominated the welterweight division with an almost Chuck Liddell level interview style.

In short, paying a little attention easily reveals that dominating fights create their own charismatic dynamic in fighters. Fight fans want to see good fights, and fighters that make them. The rest is just gravy, from a fan’s perspective.

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