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Does Greatness Require a Rival?

Saturday night featured UFC 165, in which Light Heavyweight Champ Jon “Bones” Jones faced off against Alexander Gustafsson. The significance of the fight was that this was considered to be the first true test for the youngest Light Heavyweight champ in UFC history. Jones, who stands 6’4, with a wingspan that creates an advantage for him in the ability to create space to inflict damage without taking any damage himself vs. the best in the world that he has faced.
Gustafsson is taller with an equally long reach.

The result was one of the best championship fights in history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and a bonafide fight of the year candidate. In the post-fight interview, Jones expressed that he was grateful to finally be “in a dogfight”. He was bruised and bloodied in a 5 round war that saw both men carried off to the hospital.

In order for Jones to reach his zenith of his talent, it required someone of equal skill to take Jones’ insane talent to new heights.

The question is: in your business, your brand, and your pursuits, what or who are you exposed to in order to take your game to new heights?

Does your peer group, do you have a rival or someone that you compete against to bring out the best in you?
Do you have a business rival that you watch and align your strategy against?
Are you the “top dog” in your circle? If so, where do you find your competition?

Steel sharpens steel. In order to meet the best version of you, your business, your personal brand, external challenges are necessary. Find yours today.

My next grappling tournament will be competing at the Pennsylvania Tournament of Champions. This will be a lead-up to the World Jiu Jitsu championships in December. Returning from an injury setback has been interesting at best but on the positive end, it helped me discover some cross training strategies that have become permanent wrinkles in my fitness regimen.

I will be competing for the first time at Middleweight, which is a lighter weight class for me. I expect for the competitors to be faster and rely heavily on technical execution of position, sweeps, and submissions.

The hardest part will be having to sit out of some really good upcoming grappling tournaments such as Copa Nova, World Senior Jiu Jitsu Championships and more.