Call it trash talk, call it psychological warfare, call it whatever you want. It has always been a part of the fight game.
From the days of Muhammad Ali’s poetically produced, cocky predictions, to Mike Tyson’s aggressive outbursts, to Floyd “Money” Mayweather’s brash, in-your-face, pure and utter smack talk, fight fans have an undying desire to see this style of confrontation between fighters in the build up to a scrap.
Why do we continue to lap it up?
For one, it is normal for anyone to be intrigued by a loud mouth fighter who says they are going to knock their opponent clean out in the first round on Saturday night. Are we going to tune in to see if the man talking the talk can walk the walk by delivering on his promise? Absolutely.
On the other hand, those fighting purists who want to see the physical skills in the ring/cage do the talking will be tuning in to hopefully witness the loud mouth get sparked out.
So, it is well established in the fight game that the more trash talk involved in the lead up to a fight, naturally the more interest generated in the event and ultimately, more cash for the prizefighters. The back and forth insults between opponents at press conferences and other media events pre-fight are more often than not used as a tool to hype up the event.
Namely, Chael Sonnen, Michael Bisping and Conor McGregor of the UFC have taken “trash talk” in the sport of MMA to new heights in recent years.
However, from time to time the animosity between two professional fighters who are set to throw-down is genuine.
The number one rule in trash talking in the build up to a fight is that you must back it up come fight night. If you enter a scrap with someone you have verbally torn to shreds in the weeks previous and persistently insisted you will destroy that opponent, you better do so. If you lose, and karma bites you in the back, you best be prepared to look a fool, become the centre of an internet meme sensation and take heavy flack for not delivering on your arrogance.
Just ask the UFC fighters from this clip below, who talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk.