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The Fight! Curse

Sports fans and athletes are a superstitious bunch and do all sorts of dumb shit for good luck. Just look at Georges St Pierre and Rashad Evans tweaking their nipples before a fight, something Georges picked up from reading about ancient warrior societies. Of course many ancient warrior societies also totally buttfucked eachother all the time, but I have a feeling that some of the guys at Greg Jackson’s camp may not be into that.

For the most part all this crap is in their head … a ritual that is comforting and therefore helps get a fighter into the zone they need to be in. Sometimes though, you’ve got that shit getting out of hand … people freaking out because lucky jockstraps can’t be found, or because someone touched their gloves. And sometimes people start believing in other wacky shit, like the Madden curse and Sports Illustrated curse. MMA Convert noticed this letter in the latest issue of Fight! Magazine:


It is now official! When you guys put a fighter on the cover the same month as his biggest fight to date- guess what? He loses! Think I’m making this up? Ask Brock, Hendo, Jens, and now you can add Rampage to the list! As the magazine’s number one fan, I unfortunately must ban Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Paulo Fihlo, Brian Stann or Miguel Torres from making any cover appearances during the same month in which they are to do battle. I’m sure you’ll understand.


Mind you, there’s a few guys who have made it onto Fight!’s cover who haven’t fallen victim to the curse … Urijah Faber comes to mind, along with BJ Penn. Still, I think the curse has kicked in enough that there might be something to it. Looking into the Sports Illustrated curse, I found this explanation:

The most common explanation for the perceived effect is that athletes are generally featured on the cover at the pinnacle of their careers, so future performance is likely to be less impressive by comparison. This decline in performance would then be perceived as being related to, or even possibly caused by, the appearance on the magazine cover. This perceived correlation would be present for a statistically significant number of featured athletes. This effect is related to the statistical phenomenon of regression toward the mean.

Math has the answers for everything. Now if only I could find the equation for true love….