smile

In MMA, does a smile (at the face-off) mean you will lose?

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According to a study conducted by Michael Kraus and David Chen (via BPS Research Digest), MMA fighters who smile at the “pre fight” matchups are “more likely” to lose their fight.

Coders for the study were asked to assess whether fighters were smiling during their pre fight matchups (without knowing the fighters or the outcome of the bout). Then the researchers studied UFC statistics and found that the smiling fighters were more likely to lose their fights. The results were not major, but enough to question if the findings have merit.

According to the BPS Research Digest, fighters who bared their teeth were “more likely” to be:

1) “Knocked down”

2) Wrestled to the mat; and

3) Hit more times

The fighters who hadn’t smiled were “more likely” to “excel and dominate” according to the BPS Digest article.

The article also stated that people who bet on fights tend to favor the non-smiling fighter as well. The researchers posit that smiling is a cue to the other fighter that you are submissive, lack aggressiveness and lack hostility.

I find this very interesting and wonder if it also applies to BJJ and submission grappling by default.

What are your thoughts?

BPS Article: Smiling Fighters are More Likely to Lose

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