Difference between “Golden Age” and now?

What’s the difference, philosophically, between the “Golden Age” of MMA (mid 90’s through about 2005) and now, in your opinion?

 

For me, I think it’s the difference between a fighter an an athlete. Don’t get me wrong, athletes are amazing to watch. They are incredibly well conditioned, highly skilled, and demonstrate enormously high levels of fight IQ.
 

Fighters, however, were not out to win rounds or be ahead on a score card. they wanted to do as much damage as possible in the shortest amount of time.
 

Guys like Wanderlei Silva, Fedor, Don Frye, Tank Abbot, Youbg BJ Penn, etc. began as true fighters. They were characters. They were relatable for the “Everyman”. They fought to end the fight.

As athletes like GSP entered the game, it became clear that playing the rules to ones own advantage allowed for winning the matches with their opponents, but the glory of beating witness to a true brawl or the beauty of a ballet of violence seemed to disappear. Both are great in their own ways, but the days of true fighters seem to be gone.... with the notable exception of a guy like Justin Gaethje. That dude seems like he’s fight a polar bear if they could get one in the cage with him.

 

At any rate, what’s the difference between the “Golden Age” and the present in your opinion?

 

The golden age was better. That's the difference. 

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