The world of mixed martial arts (MMA) is full of passion, excitement and anticipation. It is also a world in which heated debates, disagreements and criticism are all commonplace. The latest exchange to take place is between UFC President Dana White and bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling.
Sterling recently made headlines after voicing his displeasure over the current state of MMA pay. He also expressed concern about his ability to fight as he prepares for a matchup against Sean O’Malley in August. White responded, telling FanSided: “If you’re not healthy, don’t take the fight.”
While the comment may appear to be harsh, it should be noted that White has a vested interest in making sure all fights are fair and safe. He and the UFC have a responsibility to ensure that fighters are operating at the highest level of physical and mental health before competing inside the Octagon.
To Sterling’s credit, he has not used any of his platforms to bash White’s advice. Instead, he seems to be taking it to heart and is actively working to make sure he is ready to compete. He has even gone so far as to publicly announce his access to a nutritionist, strength coach, and physiotherapist.
It is not only admirable that Sterling is taking care of himself, but also important. Taking on opponents as a professional fighter requires dedicated training and preparation. Athletes can work as hard as possible in the gym, but without proper nutrition and rest they could be putting themselves in danger.
White’s comments demonstrate the importance of mental and physical well-being in the UFC. A fighter’s overall health should always be the top priority, no matter who is involved. By taking cautionary measures, athletes can avoid the potential for damaging consequences and maintain their status as professional fighters. It’s this attitude that has made the UFC one of the leading sports organizations in the world.