But there’s nothing that quite compares to the feeling of losing in combat sports. Not only did you lose, you very likely just got beat up in the process. It’s an awful feeling.
One that former UFC star Chael Sonnen knows well.
Which is why Sonnen is leaping to the defense of a teenage wrestler who went viral in recent days. In a viral video that hit blew up Twitter, the wrestler is thrown showing a sucker punch at his opponent after the match ends.
It’s a bad look, no doubt. And the kid will almost certainly face repercussions for his actions. But many across Twitter are calling for police intervention and for the kid to be banned for life from the sport.
That seems a bit extreme. And Sonnen agrees.
“I would tell you as a coach, the worst thing that a young man should have is free time,” Sonnen said. “It’s probably one of the reasons that his parents got him enrolled and enlisted him in something like wrestling in the first place.
“To kick the kid out and have him just roaming the streets and doing something else I think should be given a real consideration. This was a terrible moment, but it could also be a teachable moment.”
Sonnen is spot on with his analysis. No sport will humble you and teach you discipline quite like wrestling. Not only is the kid facing the usual repercussions of his actions. Now he has to deal with the entire country slamming him as well.
That’s brutal. And it’s why Sonnen is asking people to slow down with the criticism.
“We don’t know the rest of the story. For sure it was terrible action but to ban a kid for life, I think there’s a discussion that at least deserves to be had,” he said. “The gentleman that you saw getting hit likely has lost his temper before, too. Maybe it was at practice, maybe he didn’t hit quite as hard, maybe it wasn’t caught and shown to the world but it’s a very normal thing in wrestling.”
Sucker punching people is decidedly not cool. But neither is destroying the life of some adolescent kid for a moment of stupidity in a combat sport.