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Thread: Smiling fighters are more likely to lose

  1. #1

    Default Smiling fighters are more likely to lose

    Some research i just stumbled on.

    A new study analysed photographs taken at dozens of UFC , weigh ins and found that fighters who smile are more likely to lose the fight the next day.

    The researchers were testing the idea that in the weigh in context, similes are an involuntary (unconscious) signal of submission and lack of aggression just as teeth baring in the animal kingdom.

    Consistent with the researchers predictions, fighters who smiled more intensely at weigh in, where more likely to lose, get KO'd, hit more times and taken down by their opponent.

    If fightes similes are a sign of weakness , there's a chance the opponent may pick up on this cue which could then boost their own performance , confidence and aggression. The smiling photos were rated as less physically dominant, aggressive and hostile indicating that these interpretations may be being made by the similing fighters opponent.

    We all can think of examples when somebody literally - lost the fight at the weigh in. There certainly needs to be more research on the psychology of the weigh in. Often the importance of weigh in psychology is under estimated IMO

  2. #2


    Hi Mark, have you got some examples when somebody lost the fight 'mentally' at the weigh in ?

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  3. #3


    Rogan always mentions when a fighter smiles when he gets clipped as if to say "I didn't feel it".

    I always thought it was the opposite- as in when chimps smile it's showing their teeth = aggression. As opposed to when a kid breaks a window or a footballer misses a penalty he covers his face instinctively = shame (?)

  4. #4
    Senior Member partridge3834's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
    liverpool england


    Interesting. I wonder what could be made of other looks at weigh in or across the cage? Like Aldo's half-asleep-couldnt-give-a-fuck-look?

  5. #5


    I think there are other important non-verbal signals other than the smile but they focused on that coz its a common response and can be easily observed - plus there's lots of research on different types of smiles, the emotions behind them and what they mean.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Babycakes's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    On a plane to Mexico


    Seems very hard to tell as smiles can often be deceiving while under if you look deep enough can be a starving hungry fighter who has just done a 8 week training camp and is ready to crack skulls. Plus a smile could just come down to the guys personality a lot of lads dont see the need to snarl at the weigh ins and are just polite and happy most of the time. Nice post though enjoyed the read.
    Retired 2k and out.

  7. #7


    Hardly a large enough sample size in this "study" to make a definitive link between smiling and losing

  8. #8


    I'm shit at making gifs, but I fucking love semtex when he does his pre fight thing. When he is being announced he paces back and forward and does that thing where he drags his feet back like a rhino preparing to charge. Then opens his mouth really wide showing his teeth.

    Sounds cheesy as fuck when you describe it but you can tell shits up some fighters , you can tell by their reaction.

  9. #9
    settings/edit profile Jimmy Boogaloo's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    London Town


    Quote Originally Posted by Truthseeker View Post
    Often the importance of weigh in psychology is under estimated IMO
    agreed. I go to the weigh in for ucmma every time to see how confident people are looking. Sometimes you can tell one fighter is bang up for it and his opponent not so much. But that is not to say things always go as expected. always interesting.
    'Go read a fucking book, you piece of shit.'

  10. #10


    While I m in the dressing room five minutes before I come out, I m breaking my gloves down, I m pushing the leather to the back of my gloves, so my knuckle could pierce through. When I come out I have supreme confidence. I m scared to death. I m afraid. I m afraid of everything. I m afraid of losing. I m afraid of being humiliated. But I m confident. The closer I get to the ring the more confident I get. The closer, the more confident. The closer the more confident I get. All during training I ve been afraid of this man. I think this man might be capable of beating me. I ve dreamed of him beating me. For that I ve always stayed afraid of him. The closer I get to the ring the more confident I get. Once I m in the ring I m a god. No one could beat me. I walk around the ring but I never take my eyes off my opponent. Even if he s ready and pumping, and cant wait to get his hands on me. I keep my eyes on him. I keep my eyes on him. Then once I see a chink in his armor, boom, one of his eyes may move, and then I know I have him. Then once he comes to the center of the ring he looks at me with his piercing look as if he s not afraid. But he already made that mistake when he looked down for that one tenth of a second. I know I have him. He ll fight hard for the first two or three rounds, but I know I broke his spirit. During the fight I m supremely confident. I m making him miss and I m countering. I m hitting him to the body; I m punching him real hard. And I m punching him, and I m punching him, and I know he s gonna take my punches. He goes down, he s out. I m victorious.
    The living legend 'Iron' Mike Tyson

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