UFC 109 Preview: Randy Couture Is Training Catch Wrestling to Prepare for Mark Coleman

1853_medium Michael David Smith picks up on the following:

"I'm working on my ground fighting with Neil Melanson, doing a lot of catch wrestling," Couture says. "Moving away from a jiu jitsu mentality, looking more through my wrestler's eyes, catch wrestling and submissions as they come from wrestling positions, which has been a lot of fun for me, and that's been an ongoing process for the last seven or eight months."

What does this mean exactly?

Well Catch Wrestling is the traditional British/American submission style, based on western wrestling. Here's from Wikipedia:

Catch wrestling is a style of Folk wrestling made popular in the late 19th century by the wrestlers of traveling carnivals who incorporated submission holds, or "hooks", into their wrestling to increase their effectiveness against their opponents. The style derives from a number of influences, most significantly the regional styles of Europe such as English Lancashire wrestling and the Irish Collar-and-elbow, and styles of the Indian subcontinent such as Pehlwani and Iranian styles such as Varzesh-e Pahlavani. The training of some modern submission wrestlers are founded in Catch wrestling.

Exponents of Catch wrestling have been going up against judoka/jiu jitsu players since the early part of the 20th century, including this famous 1921 bout.

Josh Barnett and Eddie Bravo have debated the theoretical superiority of the two submission styles and essentially I think the difference comes down to this -- there's no guard in catch wrestling. While they still emphasize positional control, it's the kind of control that allows a fighter to retain top position at all costs, like in an amateur wrestling match.

Read more about the history of American Catch Wrestling in Mark Hewitt's great book.

Photo by Sherdog.

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