I dunno about this Ricardo Almeida guy who’s fighting Alan Belcher at UFC81. One of the ringers the UFC has brought in to try and fix their middleweight division, Almeida is best known for ditching MMA in 2004 to concentrate on his family life and jiu jitsu school. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t expect me to not question your heart or your head when you come back. Here’s a couple quotes from a UFC.com article on Almeida that makes me think he’s not all there:
“Because you may not be training 24/7, but when you have a match two months from now and you’re gonna get in front of the entire world and get punched in the face, it tends to dominate your consciousness, and you don’t really think too much about anything else. And that’s really what I was walking away from.”
“I had a hard time dealing with the spotlight aspect of it. Fighting and competing was something I had been doing since I was 15 years old, but just the magnitude of it – the lights and the interviews and the expectations and the things happening behind the scenes – was definitely a little bit too much. So I decided to go to Japan to fight to be away from the spotlight. When you’re here in America, everyone’s calling ‘can I get tickets, can I get this, I’m coming to see you, could you get me in?’ And when you’re in Japan, there’s just no one around, so it ends being a little bit smoother and you don’t have to think about these things.”
“Just knowing that you’ve got a fight coming up and that you’re gonna be on the world stage forces you to eat better, sleep better, train harder and pay a lot more attention to everything that’s happening around you. That’s really what I missed, and just getting out there and competing. I love stepping out there, I really do.”
Man, this guy is gonna get eaten alive in the UFC.