Most important part of MMA

Discussion in 'Mixed Martial Arts' started by Joe, Jun 27, 2012.


What is the most important aspect of MMA?

  1. Boxing

    1 vote(s)
  2. BJJ

    0 vote(s)
  3. Kickboxing

    1 vote(s)
  4. Muay Thai

    2 vote(s)
  5. Wrestling

    6 vote(s)
  6. Judo

    1 vote(s)
  7. Ground game

    2 vote(s)
  8. Stand up

    1 vote(s)
  1. Joe

    Joe Disciple

    I have had a few discussions with friends about what is the most important aspect of MMA. Some of them claim it is boxing- be noted that these people are pure boxers. My argument to these friends is the fact that only one of the champions is based in boxing (JDS) granted in his division he is untouchable- but that doesn't account for the rest of them. Some say it is the Muay thai, with their biggest factor being Anderson Silva. To which I said " Go back to the first UFC fight (UFC because they don't know of any other organisation) and you will see that it was dominated by a small guy, that won his fights on the ground.

    Anyone can stand and brawl, but (in my opinion) the fight always gets interesting on the ground. Why? When you get taken to the ground your attack plan is severely limited, if you aren't don't know your ground game you are pretty much finished. So I have always viewed the ground to be the most necessary part of your technical training, because it is so dynamic and if you fight someone on the ground, with knowledge, you are very likely to win.

    So, my opinion of things is that the ground game IS the most needed part of MMA, but the key factor of which art (Judo, BJJ or wrestling) comes from your personal preference. If you like to be the aggressor and dictate where the fight goes I believe you should back in wrestling. If you like throws and takedowns more- Judo is for you. If you enjoy submissions and very technical movements- BJJ is the way to go.

    So, what is your opinion on the most important art of MMA?
  3. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    I have a strong opinion on this one...

    Wrestling is the BEST base in MMA.

    Why? Because wrestling skill dictates where the fight takes place. If I am a better wrestler fighting someone who is a better striker, I can decide to take the fight to the ground. If I am up against someone who is a great submission specialist, I can decide to keep the fight standing. If I see that I have an advantage in "dirty boxing" I can keep the fight standing, but in the clinch.

    Because wrestling skill determines, more than any other skill, WHERE the fight takes place, I have to put it number one. Judo is excellent too, but given the absence of a gi in modern MMA, it has to be adapted more than wrestling does.
  4. Semper Gumby

    Semper Gumby Disciple

    I agree with Enkidu. Wrestlers can for the most part dictate if the fight will standing or not. You get someone with a solid base in wrestling and teach them a little of each of the other elements; they will do real well.
    RJ Clark and Enkidu like this.
  5. swiftknuckles

    swiftknuckles Initiate

    muay thai jst the fact that u have stand up counter attack clinche and can take it 2 the ground but thats jst my point of veiw
  6. Aaron

    Aaron Shadow Warrior

    For me this is a toss up.

    I prefer to use Muay Thai, but yet at the same time I know my sprawl will save my ass from a take down.

    But yet I know my Thai leg kick will mess up legs, ribs, and kidneys....

    Like a kid in a Candy Store;)
    Deborah likes this.
  7. Joe

    Joe Disciple

    See Enkido, I kinda don't know about that. They are the most mentally prepared for the fight, apparently wrestling is one of the harshest sports <- I have no idea, my country doesn't have a large wrestling background, we prefer striking as a whole. Although most can't comprehend getting choked out by a guy that they have 15+ kgs on.

    I still believe that if you are backed well in judo, you can still go as far as a wrestler i.e Ronda Rousey.
  8. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    I agree with Enkido, the wrestler needs to add some good head movement to allow him to slip inside for the clinch and/or takedown. And as long as he drills submission defenses a wrestler is relatively safe to ground & pound. (defending any submission is inherently easier than applying a submission)
    Enkidu likes this.
  9. Blade Maker

    Blade Maker Master

    Yeah if you can control the terrain, you should be controlling the fight. Wrestling, at least the high school wrestling in the states, Focuses a lot on that point. There are 3 positions that a grapple can be started from: Top, Bottom, and neutral (both up) and are expected to be able to control opponents from whatever position is chosen. Personally i prefered both up cause i like slams from the clinch, it wears my opponents down quick and my ground game sucks.
    Deborah and Enkidu like this.
  10. Deborah

    Deborah Ninja

    Yeeehaaa Aaron I totally get where you are coming from!! I looooove my Thai kicks...respects my fellow warrior!! xxXXxxXXxx
  11. Deborah

    Deborah Ninja

    OMG..... this again?? hahahaaaa . Seriously though I personally do not think one style is better than another, it is a mixture of many arts is what I think works best....Let's say Aaron's Thai kick, Endiku's groundwork, Blade Makers' weapon work mixed with a bit of Fillipino Kali thrown in for good measure;)!! love, peace and respects my martial friend xxXXxxXXxx
  12. D. WOODS

    D. WOODS Shaolin Toad

    There is no best base just the one that fits you best. I have coached wrestling and the advantage I gave my wrestlers is the the use FMA techniques and kung fu anumal systems training. I took the obvious strikes out of the training but used all of the ground work built into the old systems since they were all war/combat arts all of the stand up and grappling applications had to be included. SO there is no best, and all sports systems are striped versions of real fighting arts. BJJ is simply the ground work from judo( original called Kano jui jitsu) which is the sport version of japanese stand up jui jitsu which was a war art. And judo is really wrestling in a different uniform look at the old books of wrestling and judo same moves different name.
    And I have grappled with black belt BJJ guys and was not impressed with the limited holds which are acceptable.
    Deborah likes this.
  13. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    Great question Joe and one in which the answer always seems to change. MMA is still evolving.

    It's probably not right to use the first UFC as an example as people really didn't know what they were doing. Ken Shamrock later admitted that he though Royce Gracie was a Karate guy when he came to the ring (I still think the result from that first UFC could have been different if it was no gi).

    Ground guys dominated at the start of the UFC. Then strikers improved their ground game and take down defense and were killing it (Lidell etc). Over the last few years wrestlers have had the best results statistically but the lines are perhaps not as defined as they once were. It's not possible to get to the UFC being skilled in only one type of fighting and you have elite wrestlers like Dan Henderson who have adapted so much they are known more for their striking.

    Guys like Bisping and Anderson Silva have great take down defense, which makes it difficult for wrestlers with poor striking to beat them.

    I still think that a lot of it comes down to how well a fighter can adapt. Take Condit's fight with Nick Diaz. A lot of people were unhappy with the fight but I think Condit fought a smart fight. Diaz has great BJJ but his kicks aren't great. He usually just throws a few quicks in order to set up something else. He generally stalks opponents and gets them against the cage and starts unloading. This works great for him due to his endurance and ability to take a punch.

    Diaz said that Condit ran away from him. I don't think that's the case. Condit tried to keep the fight at a kicking range as he is a much better kicker. When Diaz got in close and started unloading bombs he would dart to the side and back off until he was back at his range. Lot's of people weren't happy with the way he done this but what he did was stop Diaz from using his main strength. Diaz didn't know how to deal with this. He spent the full 5 rounds stalking Condit as usual. I can definitely see why some people think he won the fight but he could have finished it if he had a plan B. He didn't. He didn't know how to fight long range with kicks and he was unable to get Condit to the ground.

    The point is - you need to fight smart. Another good example is the recent fight between Nog and Frank Mir earlier this year. Nog was killing Mir in the stand up and had him in the perfect position to finish the fight with ground and pound. Instead, he went for a submission and Mir ripped his arm off and took it home with him (quite literally!!). This is a problem that a lot of top BJJ guys seem to have in MMA i.e. using BJJ when striking is the best option.

    I do agree though that Wrestling seems to be the best base at the moment. Some muay thai guys are fantastic in the clinch though and that's something that shouldn't be disregarded.
  14. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    Great post Kevin.

    The reality is that to be effective in MMA at a high level, you need a bit of everything. But I will say this again in defense of wrestling: elite wrestlers can cross over to MMA with minimal cross-training and still be effective. The same cannot be said of elite strikers, even elite Muay Thai fighters with a great clinch. In order for elite strikers to be effective, they need to have enough wrestling skills (or Judo skills) to stay standing. Put an elite MT fighter against an elite GR wrestler in the clinch (assuming no cross training) and the elite MT fighter will end up getting tossed on his ass 10 times out of 10.

    Now, you can make up for a serious wrestling deficiency by being good at submission grappling and good at striking, but that requires great skills in two arts to be able to beat someone with great skills in one art. Anderson Silva is perhaps the best p4p fighter in MMA (at least he is in the discussion), and he has a serious weakness in his game against wrestlers (better wrestlers constantly take him down). However, because he has elite striking skills and is very very good at BJJ, for the most part, he can cover up his weaknesses (although this weakness has been exposed at least 4 times that I can think of, but the fighters he was against didn't take advantage of it).

    Again, I am NOT disparaging any of the other base skills. Frankly, they are ALL important and must be learned to some level of proficiency even if total expertise is never obtained. But given the fact that wrestlers, more than any other athlete, can transition to MMA faster and have success, tells me that wrestling is the most important. Obviously we live in an age now where the 1-dimensional fighter is LONG gone and will never return.

    Sprawl and brawl fighters are great! But to be able to sprawl and brawl, you need to be able to sprawl. Even the Iceman Chuck Liddel was a collegiate wrestler. What made his stand-up game so good was his ability to stop from being taken down, and his ability to get back up after being taken to the ground. Yes, we can always find exceptions to the rule re: wrestlers, but they are considered exceptions for a reason.
    Semper Gumby and RJ Clark like this.
  15. Semper Gumby

    Semper Gumby Disciple

    Very true. Cross training in all elements of the arts definitely appears to be a necessity in fighting, especially in MMA; a sport with rules. Often wrestlers and sambo practitioners, along with other ground game fighters will make the argument that they will just take down a stand up striker and dominate. The stand up guys make the counter claim that they will knock out the other fighter before they ever have a chance to shoot or while they are in the middle of the shot. This back and forth is irrelevant and counterproductive. It is not about one style having the ability to defeat another, it comes down to the fighter vs the fighter. I have shot in and was able to take down boxers and I have caught a hit to the face by other boxers. Styles do not defeat styles, people defeat people.
    That being said, rules in a sport can change what systems may or may not be more effective. Of course there are always exceptions to this and the next big change in MMA could be just around the corner. Arts like Ninjutsu and Silat that are full of ways to kill and break limbs seem to have less to offer the sport of MMA. I believe wrestling is a slightly better base going into MMA because of two reasons: My own bias because I have a history of wrestling and have never done any organized Muay Thai (it is on the to do list) and because where I live, the amateur MMA circuit has different rules than the UFC. The use of elbows is not permitted. A Muay Thai fighter that has great muscle memory to let the elbows fly will have to fight their natural instinct in order not to be disquieted or fined. I can not think of a rule that could be in place that would limit what a wrestler could do or put them at a disadvantage apart from stalemate/stand up rules; so I find my self leaning towards wrestling as a slightly better base for MMA.
    I am not putting down any other art and I can say I can not think of a single art that I would not want to train in giving the opportunity, this is just my two cents on a good base for the sport of MMA.
    Deborah and RJ Clark like this.
  16. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    Actually, they took away two of a wrestler's most potent weapons in the early days of the MMA -- the head butt and knees to the head against a grounded opponent. While these strikes are obviously not used in wrestling competitions, wrestlers are in a position, frequently, to use them to great effect. If you watch a lot of early MMA events, before the bans, wrestlers would often take opponents down and, when unable to get past their guard, deliver devastating head-butts. Wrestlers also often were able to get to side control or North-South position and deliver knees to the head from that control position with great effect.
  17. D. WOODS

    D. WOODS Shaolin Toad

    I think Silat and FMA are over looked but they are in essence stand up ju jitsu with a weapon and they transfer over well but many people do not train them past the weapon work.
    Deborah likes this.
  18. Joe

    Joe Disciple

    To be perfectly honest, Kev, has the best answer, the sport is still growing, and will continue to grow for many, many more years. With it being an ever adaptable sport, it is impossible to say which one is the best base <- which was actually what I meant lol, couldn't figure it out how to word it >.<

    Deborah, we all know this is a mixture of all arts ;) I just wanted to know everyones opinion on the matter :p Always leads to a good discussion on the matter.

    Endiko, the 1 dimensional fighter has long since been deceased in the MMA world. We knew that when every striker began ground game of some description.

    The point of the question was to ask which was the best base. You can go from one to another, once you can handle yourself in that situation. In my view you should begin training in one striking and one grappling art. Then, as you progress you can add more arts to your arsenal.
    Deborah likes this.
  19. Deborah

    Deborah Ninja

    Yeah and Fillipino Kali has geat boxing and devastating blocks a true personal favourite of mine D Woods.......peace and respects my new martial friend!! xXxXx
  20. Deborah

    Deborah Ninja

    Whoops, sorry didn't mean to offend:confused:!! I was just bumping my gums Joe!! Respects.....xxXXxx
    Joe likes this.
  21. Joe

    Joe Disciple

    You can't offend, many people were saying that no one art is the single most important in MMA. I was just saying what I meant :)

    I just clarified myself, don't think it was directed at you- it was at everyone to read through the thread as well
    Deborah likes this.

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