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. Mij

    Mij Initiate

    I've had this conversation with a few guys i train with before and not one of us could give just 1 answer lol personaly when i think about it i'd say u need at least 3 styles for mma. For stand-up i'd say either muay thai or TKD, either wrestling or judo for takedowns and a basic understanding of BJJ for the ground work.
    Deborah likes this.
  2. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    That's where North Americans will always have a big advantage over fighters from most other countries in my opinion. People get wrestling at school so even strikers will at least have trained in Wrestling a little. There are elite Taekwondo, Muay Thai and Karate guys who have never did a days wrestling in their lives (in the UK I would guestimate that this applies to 99% + of strikers).

    That's a great point. I'm sure that there will be some rule changes over the next 10 years. If not in UFC then in another MMA organisation (I don't believe every organisation uses the unified rules of MMA). There are certain rules in MMA that do give advantage to certain types of fighters. For example, standing two fighters up who are in a stalemate on the ground favours fighters who can strike well.

    Whilst nothing to do with what type of style a fighter fights, the rounds play a big part too. The UFC uses 3 rounds of 5 minutes whereas Pride used 10 minutes for the first round and 5 for the second round. Before that it was common to see one round for 30 minutes. If more rounds were added or rounds were longer then people with better cardio would do better.

    One rule which I'm sure you are all aware of is the knee to the grounded opponent rule. The UFC have spoke about their desire to have this rule removed though the commissions haven't permitted it. As it stands, many fighters will purposely put themselves in this position so that they can't be knee'd.

    Pride fans will remember that kneeing an opponent was allowed, as was soccer kicks to a grounded opponent and stomps. Many fighters who were seen as the best in the world during the Pride days didn't do so well when they moved to the UFC. Cro Cop and Wanderlei Silva are two examples of this. I'm sure their age and the number of wars they had was part of the reason they didn't dominate like they used to, as Shogun Rua was younger and won the light heavyweight title in the UFC.

    However, I strongly believe that the different rule set must have played a part in some of these guys not doing as well (Wandy Silva confirmed this - see my quote below). If the UFC allowed knees, soccer kicks and stomps you would see a lot more strikers dominating.

    I don't believe that soccer kicks or stomps will return though the knee to the grounded opponent rule is something that needs to be addressed because too many fighters are taking advantage of it. By simply placing a hand on the mat they are making themselves 'grounded'.

    Wanderlei Silva spoke about this in an interview last year:
    There was actually a discussion about this whole thing on Sherdog the other day.

    One thing that is allowed on the ground is elbows. Anyone who saw the fight between Cain Velasquez and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva recently would have seen what a bloodbath it was. Cain got Bigfoot down pretty much as soon as the bell run and just destroyed him with elbows on the ground.


    Afterwards, Bigfoot's coach came out saying he wanted elbows banned. I don't want to see elbows banned though I can see why many people want them banned as a fighter can purposely try and cut his opponent in order to get the fight stopped. The technique is used in Muay Thai. Straight elbows cause damage but downward elbows cut, so lots of muay thai fighters will try downward elbows in fights to cut their opponent and get the match stopped. I don't see this as a major problem just now though as it doesn't seem to be happening too often in MMA. If fighters were just trying to get a takedown in order to cut them in the ground every fight I could see the argument.
    Semper Gumby and Deborah like this.
  3. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    I too would have loved to have seen knees to the head against grounded opponents permitted in the UFC. I am not favor of allowing stomps, however. I most certainly would never get rid of elbows to the head in MMA, either on the ground or standing. Without elbows, the number of tools that exist to do damage when in someone's guard are severely limited, and I do not like guys who jump guard or just hang out in guard all day waiting for a stand-up. That used to happen in Pride a lot since elbows weren't allowed on the ground. They tried to stop it by instituting a yellow card system and take some of their purse away, but it never did anything.

    However, in looking at Pride, you have to take things with a healthy dose of salt. There was NO drug testing at all, so guys like Wandy were using GH and Steroids at massive levels. One of the main reasons you have seen a big drop off in abilities from their Pride days when they entered the UFC is that many of these fighters could no longer take performance enhancing drugs legally and without any restriction. That is why you saw such a marked physique and performance difference between Pride and the UFC. Moreover, Pride had some sketchy rules, judging, and outright fixed matches. I mean, it was run by the Yakuza (which is why it ultimately collapsed). Weight classes were never really enforced for the popular fighters, there were complete mismatches (like Wandy fighting a lot undersized Japanese tomato cans) and plenty of outright works.

    That said, I still think that, even under Pride rules, guys with a wrestling (or Judo) background had the advantage over those that did not. Yes, there were some sprawl and brawl fighters that did quite well (like Wandy and Mirko), but there were plenty of wrestling and Judo-based fighters (and Sambo, which really is a version of Judo) who seemed to have an advantage and be able to cross-over faster, easier, and with greater success, than those from other arts.

    Allowing knees to a grounded opponent may actually make wrestling MORE dominant, not less, IMO. Granted, it might make certain takedowns more risky and thus favor other take downs more, but it isn't like knees cannot be used to now to stop most take down attempts. Knees to the head v. a grounded opponent are most helpful when you have already taken someone down and either have passed the guard or the other person is scrambling trying to get up -- both positions that the better wrestler is likely to have dominant position.

    By the way, it is rare that someone who trains at wrestling later in life really truly gets a feel for it. This is part of what makes GSP so amazing. He didn't start training wrestling until very late in life (at least athletically speaking) and has gotten so good at that he might be the best wrestler in his weight class (it is said that if he wanted he could make the Canadian Olympic wrestling team). He certainly wins most of his fights due to being a superior wrestler. His striking is very good. His BJJ is very good. His wrestling is EXCELLENT. Usually excellent wrestlers started before their teens. I don't think he started until his 20s.

    MATTAO Initiate

    the most important part of mma is the same as any martial art
  5. Joe

    Joe Disciple

    I'm sorry, but I have t disagree. Winning is never important. COMPETING is. There is always going to be a winner and loser(s) in everything. But with out the people who put their body on the line, you wouldn't have anything.
  6. Hugh Jorgen

    Hugh Jorgen Initiate

    Its all very much in its infancy..The Champions are all excellent at 2 or 3 things and pass on the other aspects.most others have just a general knowledge in the subject..its not the art but how good you are at what you do..there will never be a best style..but the education on all the styles will get better over the years and the training will start to involve a more rounded menu..the future fighters will be amazing with their abilities..But we must pass the limits from one style still being better than the other
  7. David Manson

    David Manson Disciple

    The most important part is heart, drive and just plain "want too".
  8. David Manson

    David Manson Disciple

    It doesn't matter. Anyone, reguardless of specialty, can be beaten on any given day.
  9. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    The UFC is almost 20 years old. I think it is a bit past its infancy.
  10. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    So in the early days of MMA when the fighters were single dimensional, all the grapplers apparently had more heart, drive, and "want to" than all the strikers? Or maybe it was because grappling arts have a huge advantage over striking arts.

    They can, but how often do they? If a pure grappler beats a pure striker 9 out of 10 times, you would be willingly blinding yourself to ignore that.
    Semper Gumby likes this.
  11. Johnny186

    Johnny186 Initiate

    My thought is that to fight in MMA one needs a base style your best fighter's mastered one style before cross training. Machida(Karate), GSP(KArate), Koscheck(Wrestling) etc... the list goes on and on. How can one be a mixed MARTIAL ARTIST and not have a martial art to blend extras in with? as for my preference I would say my black belt is in Karate(based on the old school fullcontact Karate from joe lewis sugarfoot days) My instructor was originally Shotokan but mixed in TKD, Muay Thai and western boxing. I then trained at a modern MMA gym and added alot of Judo and BJJ... as well as added to my Muay Thai and boxing skills from a few gyms. now Ive begun creating my own system with the blessings of my instructor.
  12. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    I don't think you need to have trained in a traditional martial art in order to do MMA. In some aspects of MMA, fighters who have only ever trained in MMA will have an advantage as they don't have to change anything or adapt their style to suit MMA.
    RJ Clark likes this.
  13. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    For the most part, I agree with that. I tend to like fighters who are excellent at one thing and at least decent at everything else. The jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none approach can get you reasonably far, but never to the top, IMO.

    He is one of the few karate guys out there whose strength today is still karate.

    Interestingly, although GSP started as a Kyukoshin Karate guy, what made him great was his wrestling. He probably has the best MMA wrestling skills of any fighter in MMA, which is amazing since he came to wrestling very late and it is rare to get as good at wrestling as he did when you didn't start very young. Also, GSP's striking style is probably more accurately characterized as MT now, particularly given that he trains extensively with Phil Nurse. But make no mistake, GSP has been as dominant as he has due to his wrestling skills.

    And if you look at that list, you will see an amazing number of people who have a strong collegiate wrestling base -- a disproportionate number. I think that says something. A collegiate wrestling champion can acquit himself well in MMA with surprisingly little experience cross-training. The same cannot be said of most other martial arts and really cannot be said about just about any pure striking art.
  14. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    We can't take away from the success of wrestling guys in MMA however I believe, we still need to recognise that this is partly due to how popular wrestling is in the USA. Most Americans, from what I believe get the option of wrestling at school (though you might be able to verify this) . Even those who don't pursue wrestling professionally will at least have a good wrestling base (which goes back to what you said about learning wrestling when you are young). A high percentage of those who did pursue wrestling beyond high school are turning to MMA due to the opportunities it offers. Lots of athletes from other sports (American Football) are also crossing over and I have no doubt many of them have wrestled.

    Generally speaking-> More American Fighters = More Fighters With Wrestling Experience

    MMA is worldwide though currently it's most popular in the USA and Canada - both from a viewing point of view and from the number of MMA fighters. I believe USA will still have the most fighters in MMA for years to come - it has great facilities and MMA fans are passionate about the sport too. I think it would be interesting to see how MMA would evolve if we saw a larger number of martial artists from other countries participate.

    For example, the vast majority of Brazilian fighters have a great BJJ base. Many Japanese MMA fighters have a black belt in a traditional martial art such as Judo or Karate. The UK has a terrible history with wrestling but if we produced more MMA fighters, perhaps we would bring in more strikers.

    Perhaps if MMA exploded in Mexico we would see lots of fighters with great boxing skills come in. Also, why hasn't a high level Muay Thai fighter from Thailand not tried to get into MMA - there's lots of good MMA gyms there now :)

    I do agree with you that wrestling is at the moment the best foundation for MMA. I don't know if this will change in the future but it will be interesting to see how the sport evolves once more fighters from other countries come in.
    Semper Gumby and Enkidu like this.
  15. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    I agree that the statistics might be skewed as a result of opportunities available. That said, even for those who do not have a traditional wrestling base (i.e., most Brazilian fighters) they absolutely have a grappling base. I am not saying that you cannot achieve great things with other than a wrestling base, but I firmly believe that wrestling is the best base out there. Moreover, even if you look at the Japanese fighters who have been successful, most of them have either a wrestling or a Judo base (I rank Judo second to wrestling). Japanese fighters may not train wrestling under the same rules as American wrestlers, but they train in an offshoot of a form of American catch-wrestling called shootfighting. Also, many of the BJJ fighters from Brazil have cross-trained from a fairly young age at either wrestling or Judo or both even if their primary art is BJJ. Let's not forget all the Eastern European fighters who come from a VERY strong wrestling and Judo tradition.

    I cannot recall which British fighter it was who lamented the fact that fighters from the UK trailed behind fighters from other areas (as a group). He seemed to think that it was due to the lack of wrestling and grappling arts being a huge part of the culture and tradition on the Isles. Again, I am not saying you cannot be a striking-based fighter and end up being world champ, or that you cannot be a non-wrestling grappler based fighter and be a world champ... you can. But I think it takes a lot more work to overcome a deficiency in wrestling than it does any other base. It is true that you don't have to be a top class wrestler to neutralize wrestlers (learning to defend take downs is easier than learning to do them), but it still takes a good deal of proficiency.
    Kevin likes this.
  16. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    I would agree with that. I've been rolling every morning over the last few days. Tomorrow morning will be my last rolling session before leaving for South America next week :(

    We were talking today about how important position is in BJJ and how most MMA classes (around here) will show you two or three new techniques in a class but rarely focus on positioning. Without knowing how to transition from position to position, you'll never be get anywhere. That is, it doesn't matter how many ways you know to apply an armbar, if you can't get into the position to actually apply it.

    The same could be said about wrestling. Wrestling is advantageous because it allows the fighter to dictate where the fight takes place. This allows them to neutralise the strengths of an opponent better than others.

    Bisping (your hero!) is a good example of this. He has great takedown defence but usually tries to keep the fight standing.

    Enkidu likes this.
  17. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    Actually I was thinking of Bas Rutten since I try NOT to think about Bisping!

    Kevin likes this.

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