When it comes to fighting, you will win, and you will lose. Unless you are in the sport of Boxing, where promoters pick and choose opponents to ensure that fighters maintain perfect records, you are going to suffer losses.

If you follow fighters on social media, you will notice many of them always give themselves credit for their hard work and dedication when they win, and discredit their losses with some excuse. Yes, a lot of fighters tend to be narcissistic and entitled, believing the world revolves around them. (This may be a consequence of social media.)

When a fighter discounts his or her losses away, he or she is  saying, “I should have won, but I didn’t because of X, Y, and Z.”  These fighters discount everything their opponent did and put the entire outcome on themselves.

The truth is there are good days, and there are bad days. If you compete at a high level, you will run into fighters who are simply better than you. There is no shame in losing to someone who has better timing than you; you live and learn.

There are a million excuses people can use to make their loss seem reasonable. However, the real champions don’t make excuses; they find a way to get it done. If they lose, they accept defeat and work harder preparing for the next fight.

When You Step in the Ring – There are No Excuses

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I see fighters immediately make a social media post justifying why they lost. Excuses like “I didn’t feel good,” or “I had nagging injuries” are a few of the many things you see posted on social media accounts.

While there are legitimate reasons why you might not perform at 100%, if you decide to step into the ring, you are taking a bet that you can win the fight regardless of your circumstances. Any excuse afterward is just an excuse. Not only is it bad for your personal development as a fighter, but it is disrespectful to your opponent.

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Listen, I get it. Shit happens in the ring that is out of your control. You might get beat by an inferior opponent that you KNOW you can beat. This shit happens in the world of fighting. You could be dominating someone from the start of the first round to the end of the fight when suddenly BAM! You get hit with a shot you didn’t see, and you get knocked out.

That shit is embarrassing. Trust me; I know how it feels. When you have a name and thousands of fans, the pressure to perform is even more amplified. Losing a fight can often mean a loss of face and reputation, so naturally fighters make excuses as to why they lost.

How to Lose a Fight with Grace

If you lose a fight, accept defeat and promise to do better. Saying something along the lines of “I didn’t perform at my best, but I will do better next time.” Additionally, congratulating your opponent on getting the win is a statement that accepts responsibility and doesn’t make excuses.

Losing with grace is a sign of a fighter who understands that anything can happen in the ring. If you choose to step in the ring, regardless of the circumstances, you should be willing to accept the outcome of the fight.

You will never see someone disqualify a win by saying his or her opponent wasn’t feeling their best and was injured before the fight, but you always see people disqualifying a loss with every excuse under the sun. People take away any credit from their opponents and put the blame on themselves.

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Obviously, there are situations where you might lose a fight that you believed you won. If these situations occur, you can say, “I’m happy with my performance, but I will try to understand what the judges are looking for next time. Congratulations to my opponent on a good fight.”

Be Humble in Victory and Defeat

As a fighter, it is important to understand that the fight can go either way. You are one punch away from being on the side of victory or defeat. When you recognize the risk that both you and your opponent take in the ring, it is important to be humble whether you win or lose.

Being humble is a trait that will make people respond to you and will garner you more fans inside and out of the ring. Sure, people might like the cocky act that Conor McGregor puts on, but he is a rare breed, and karma eventually did catch up to him.

If you are humble in Victory, then you will also be humble in defeat. No matter how bad you felt in the ring, remember that you decided to step in there. When you decide to compete, you have to eliminate all the excuses from your mind. Whether you are sick or injured, you are making a bet on yourself that you can win the fight.

So if you don’t win the fight, be humble, and accept responsibility for the loss. Accepting responsibility will drive you to work harder and push you to make changes that will make you better.