The most beautiful Tapout of all time

In mixed martial arts, you can win by decision, knockout, or tapout. If caught in a submission, the alternatives are to nap, snap, or tap.

However, a moment that should not ever be forgotten happened at a Prison City Fight League event, on May 17, 2014, at Raks Sports Bar in Jackson, Michigan. Quincy Rice (RIP) student, amateur fighter Mike Pantangco, was handily beating Jeremy Rasner. One competitor tapped out, but not the fighter the crowd expected.

The Jackson MMA fighter Pantangco was landing head kicks, a flying knee, a spinning backfist, and more. It was a career highlight reel in a single fight. Rasner is game, and could have provided the crowd with a long and entertaining beating.

However, Pantango suddenly dropped to a knee and tapped out.


Why The Winning Fighter Tapped Out

Pantangco didn’t suddenly pull a muscle or pop a rib. He decided he couldn’t take any more punishment, of his opponent.

“I just feel that there’s no point fighting him, because he didn’t train against me and I didn’t train for him, and I just feel like we’re amateur fighters,” explained Pantango. “We don’t get money, we don’t get paid, and I know that the only thing I’m going to finish the fight is him to go in the hospital or get hurt. I just feel terrible so I’m just going to give him the win.”

The modern Olympics were founded by Pierre de Coubertin, who believed that sport could promote peace between nations, and understanding across cultures. Further, de Coubertin advocated that the competition itself, the struggle to overcome one’s opponent, was more important than winning.

“The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle,” he wrote. “The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

Pantango gave us all a brilliant, beautiful reminder about winning and losing, captured perfectly by Grantland Rice a century ago.

For when the One Great Scorer comes
To mark against your name,
He writes - not that you won or lost -
But HOW you played the Game.

Mike Pantangco played the fight game beautifully, and provided each and all of us with an invaluable lesson in what it means to be a mixed martial artist.