To say Ian McCall took his UFC 156 loss to Joseph Benavidez hard is a bit of an understatement. Shortly afterwards he tweeted ‘I am sorry. I’m official overrated’ and then ‘I deserve nothing wouldn’t be surprised if you cut me’ to @UFC and @DanaWhite. So it was an act of kindness indeed for Joseph Benavidez to send Ian a special poem.
Blood and sweat, sometimes tears,
Battered hands, countless fears,
Highest highs, lowest lows,
Shattered dreams, the hurt just grows.
Your smile shields the pain you hide,
All the while you’re dead inside;
Your faith is absent, your will gives out,
Now clear your mind, erase the doubt.
Everything that you have gave,
To feel self worth, that’s all you crave;
The world stage, this is your role,
You break your heart, you sell your soul.
Stay the course, endure the pain,
You were born to entertain…
Now ignore for a moment the basic meter the poem is written in. There’s some real pearls of warrior wisdom tucked into these rhymes. The life of a fighter is not an easy one (especially when you only make 9000 bucks per fight like McCall), and Benavidez captures the doubts and fears that they all feel at one point or another.
The fact that it kinda reads like a teenage girl wrote it is immaterial when it speaks so truly to its target audience. Just look at Babalu’s face light up as he listens to the poem. He knows that feel, man.