Fisher’s fun wars keep him in the limelight despite setbacks
In the deep UFC lightweight division, Spencer Fisher has never been considered a title contender.
He’s had just one three-fight winning streak over the span of 14 fights inside the Octagon, and his biggest win to date is still the first one he collected with the UFC, an October 2005 submission of Thiago Alves.
So what gives? In a sport where you’re only as good as your last fight and any loss can be cause for a pink slip, how has Fisher put himself on the verge of walking to the Octagon for the 15th time?
The answer lies somewhere in a blend of all-around talent, exciting fights and the ability to get a win when he needs it the most that makes “The King” a fan favorite and one of the longest serving members of the UFC lightweight division. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he does a mean Ric Flair impersonation either.
First and foremost, Fisher puts on exciting fights.
A lot of guys claim to be exciting, but the UFC has shown they feel the same way about the 34-year-old North Carolina native. Each of his two clashes with Sam Stout landed on the list of the 100 Greatest Fights in UFC history that was rolled out leading up to UFC 100 in July ’09; their second battle landed at #65, while their first affair ranked #15 all-time.
In addition to his epic encounters with his Canadian nemesis, Fisher’s flying knee knockout of Matt Wiman at UFC 60 still stands as one of the best knockouts ever, as is the way Fisher simply looked down at Wiman and walked away, motioning to “Big” John McCarthy to get in there and wave the fight off, knowing Wiman wasn’t getting back up.
There is more to it than a pair of classic battles and a brutal flying knee. While Fisher has never amassed more than three consecutive victories in the cage, he’s also never encountered the dreaded three-fight losing streak either. He avoided that fate by earning a unanimous decision over Curt Warburton at UFC 120 this past October, and has only had one other period where he’s lost two out of three fights before as well.
The ability to put a notch in the win column year-in and year-out makes avoiding the pink slip a little easier, and that is exactly what Fisher has been able to do thus far.
Since debuting in October 2005, not a year has gone by where the former Miletich Fighting Systems Elite team member hasn’t scored at least one victory. That may not sound all that impressive to some, but that kind of consistency is harder to maintain than you think.
Former light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin went all of 2010 without a fight due to various injuries, while fellow former 205-pound kingpin Lyoto Machida fought twice and lost twice. While Fisher isn’t facing the same elite level of competition as “The Dragon,” it’s a testament to Fisher’s resolve and his all-around skill set in the cage.
Unlike MFS champions like Matt Hughes and Jens Pulver, Fisher doesn’t bring a superior wrestling base to the table, focusing instead on a strong combination of Muay Thai and jiu jitsu, along with a southpaw stance and good, quick hands. His track record illustrates his diverse arsenal perfectly, as Fisher has split his 24 wins across 10 knockouts, nine submissions and five trips to the scorecards.
Saturday night, Fisher will be after win number 25 against TUF 9 lightweight winner Ross Pearson, a fighter with a similar all-around approach and steely resolve. Additionally, while Fisher comes in off a win, Pearson will be stepping into the cage looking to avoided losing a second consecutive contest, which could cause him to be a little hesitant.
It’s a tough fight for both men and exactly the kind of match-up Fisher has made his career on; middle of the pack grinds against guys looking to use him as a stepping stone onto bigger and better.
If he doesn’t come away with the win on Saturday, there’s no need for Fisher’s fans to worry; it’s only February. That gives “The King” ten more months to put another notch in the win column, and chances are he will.