By The Way…
September 14, 2012
Posted by on
A lot of people have visited this blog in the last couple days, and it appears the vast majority did so to look at my examination of fighters who have competed for nine years last year.
First of all… thanks for stopping by! Let me just make a couple comments on that piece real quick.
The nine-year rule as a concept is something I want to revisit, but I don’t want to do it in the near future. The top criticism people had of my original piece was that it involved a small sample size, which is absolutely true. The sample used is not a strong one, and my original conclusion (that fighters tend to decline after nine consecutive years of active MMA competition) cannot be made with very high confidence.
Secondly, yes, fighters who have been in the sport a long time also tend to be relatively old. There aren’t any 22 year olds in the sport who can be lumped into the nine year group. The specific point I want to make is that there are some fighters who do very well long after they reach the age of 30, and others who have already flamed out by the time they get there. I think the time they’ve spent competing in professional MMA is the most likely reason why this is.
Finally, and I don’t want to say this too loudly, but it appears most of the fighters who have “defied” the nine year rule have been documented to either test positive for steroids (or elevated testosterone levels), or have been approved for testosterone replacement therapy usage. This includes Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alistair Overeem, and quite a few others who have competed at a high level beyond the nine year mark. The one big exception I can think of is Anderson Silva. And I don’t think it’s ridiculous to suppose that the (arguably) greatest fighter of all time could keep on destroying everybody in his path. That’s also a reason to be optimistic about Georges St-Pierre’s future.
This might not change your opinion of my research at all, but hopefully it helps clarify things a little bit. Thanks again.