When preparing for a fight against a known opponent , it is common to watch clips of the potential opponents previous fights and devise a game plan , noting what their style is and maybe seeing their weaknesses and what are their strengths.
Now all this information is and can be extremely useful, But it can also be harmful because if focus is misplaced it’s dangerous. So what do I mean by misplaced , if the fighter focuses on the opponents strengths too much and starts saying or /and thinking like
“I’m not gonna let him/her land that head-kick on me “
“I won’t let them frustrate me “
“He/she won’t get in my head”
“I won’t let him/her over power me”
“I’m not going to lose focus and get caught”
The focus is on what the fighter doesn’t want to do, which can have a negative effect, for example…
Don’t think about something now… Don’t think about a person you love… Don’t see that persons face… Don’t see them smiling …. Don’t hear their voice… Don’t hear their laughter.
There is a strong possibility that in some shape or form you thought of someone even though I asked you NOT to because the brain doesn’t really understand negatives such as don’t, won’t, not etc, it will make images of the said thing you don’t want to think about. And this can be stored in the fighters mind and then matched in the same context (the ring / cage).
So thinking about ways in which they will beat their opponent is better , thinking of ways they will control their opponent throughout the fight will be more effective.
Please watch the You Tube clips below of Ronda Rousey vs Holly Holm at UFC 193 and Daniel Cormier vs Jon ‘bones’ Jones at UFC 214 and notice what they say in interviews before their fights and see what happens in their actual fights.