MMA brings out the very best and worst of people and, as fans, we get to witness human nature in its purest form. It’s one of the things that makes this such a fascinating sport. And for every case of douchery – a glove-touch-into-sneaky-legkick, a shot after the bell etc – we see many more examples of warriors respecting fellow warriors.
That’s definitely the case in this video from the Russian MMA promotion Fight Nights Global when heavyweights Abdul-Khalid Davlyatov and Ilnur Samigullin faced inside the cage last year. The bout didn’t get out of the first round, though, after Davlyatov knocked Samigullin out with a huge overhand right, just over a minute into the fight.
Davlyatov immediately noticed that Samigullin was out cold and didn’t follow up with any more punches. He then began trying to bring his opponent back to consciousness by slapping his feet as the ref tended to the fallen fighter. As the medical team and officials nursed Samigullin back to this realm, it’s clear that Davlyatov is greatly concerned for the wellbeing of man who, until a few moments earlier, was trying to knock his block off. After Samigullin groggily got back to his feet, Davlyatov showed the respect he has for his opponent by lifting his hand in the air for the crowd. What a class act.
As a fan of a number of sports, I’m always struck by how people who compete in MMA show the most sportsmanship. It’s not that it doesn’t exist in other sports (we can all think of countless examples) but it seems to happen in MMA more frequently. Let’s hope that MMA fighters continue to show people how to conduct themselves…