The art of the trash talk

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                                The art of the trash talk

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Some tips for standing out while you’re lashing out:

1. Don’t force it.
There is nothing sorrier than a fighter trying to manufacture a reason to dislike an opponent. I will never forget the reason offered by Ken Shamrock and Don Frye on why they hated the other so much: that’s because there’s nothing to forget. There wasn’t one. If you can find something to pick at, great. If not, accept that not every fight is going to go nuclear.

2. Don’t start the routine too early.
Josh Koscheck had barely started filming the 12th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” in the summer when he accused future opponent St. Pierre of doping. Considering they’re more than five or six months out from the fight, this is a waste of venom.

3. Avoid wishing death on your opponent.
Exception: Shamrock’s promise to send Tito Ortiz into a “living death,” which reached Yogi Berra levels of genius. Otherwise tasteless.

4. Use social networking.
Twitter has been a magic wand for fighters who want to snarl at one another. Again, avoid the poor judgment of Tweeting a wish for a deadly illness or harm to family. It’s just a sport: publicly hoping an athlete gets Ebola before falling down a flight of stairs is not only overkill -- it would cancel your payday.

5. Don’t settle for the obvious.

Dan Hardy’s Mohawk? Too easy. Frank Trigg telling Matt Hughes he “comes from a better family”? Trigg was too audacious to ignore. (Though we did learn to, eventually.)

6. Learn English.
Sad but true: you could be Dorothy Parker in five-ounce gloves, but if it’s in Portuguese, few in the States would know it. Avoid using your interpreter as a stand-in for insults: their monotone delivery poisons everything. It’s on par with typing bad words into voice software.

7. Don’t get too Dennis Miller.

Even Van Gough and Tilden in a wind tunnel hear what I’m saying.

7. Win.

You can get away with just about anything if your record supports it. Drop a few and it all becomes a desperate bid to remain relevant. Who wants to hear about the carnage you’re capable of when you can’t make it out of a round?

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