FanPost

Wrestling is Overrated!


Brock-lesnar_medium

 

After all the talk about how wrestling is the best base to have in MMA, I decided to do some investigation myself, and throw some numbers at the spreadsheet. As many of you may know if you’re used to reading any of my comments, I just don’t think that to be the case. My findings pretty much told me that my current stance is wrong, wrestlers do appear to be ahead in the game, at least by success rate.

 

I copied all the fighters from the Bloody Elbow’s top 25 rankings, and to define their base I searched Wikipedia to see how each is listed. Now, I don’t really think Wikipedia is always 100% reliable, but in this case it is sufficient to keep my personal bias outside of the equation. Whichever Martial Art they had first listed under each fighter’s "style" I put it as their base, while any secondary Martial Art I put it under a separate category in the table below (Part of Full Arsenal, which is not really important to the debate but since I copied I thought about leaving them there as well). I personally don’t agree with all fighters’ listed base Martial Art as described per Wikipedia, but as a whole, I think they’re quite on the money.

 

I couldn’t help to keep my bias aside at all times and took out a few less used MA’s such as Gaidojutsu (Greg Jackson), Capoeira, Street Fighting, and Grappling (without specifics). Fighters that had these style listed had them listed as secondary styles and not their base style so I didn’t think it would be a big deal to take them out. I also put styles such as Shooto, Catch Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling and other forms of wrestling under the Wrestling category, and crazy Jiu-Jitsu names (such as Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu) under the BJJ category. Fighters that appeared more than once in the rankings such as Randy Couture, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Jake Shields and Joachim Hansen were taken out so it wouldn’t have any duplicates.

 

 

So, let’s first show the table for the champions, the important category is the Base Style, the other column is for the additional styles each fighters’ possess

 

 

MA

Base
Style

As Part of
Full Arsenal

BJJ

0,00%

25,00%

Boxing

14,29%

20,00%

Freestyle

0,00%

0,00%

Hapkido

0,00%

0,00%

Judo

0,00%

5,00%

Karate

14,29%

5,00%

Kickboxing

0,00%

0,00%

Kung Fu

0,00%

0,00%

Muay Thai

42,86%

20,00%

Sambo

0,00%

0,00%

Submission Grappling

0,00%

0,00%

Sumo

0,00%

0,00%

Tae Kwon Do

0,00%

5,00%

Unknown

0,00%

0,00%

Vale Tudo

0,00%

0,00%

Wrestling

28,57%

20,00%

 

 

Now for the top ten (these aren’t too far from Jonathan’s numbers):

MA

Base
Style

As Part of
Full Arsenal

BJJ

25,00%

24,84%

Boxing

8,82%

20,50%

Freestyle

0,00%

1,24%

Hapkido

0,00%

0,00%

Judo

4,41%

6,21%

Karate

2,94%

2,48%

Kickboxing

5,88%

8,70%

Kung Fu

0,00%

0,62%

Muay Thai

7,35%

9,32%

Sambo

1,47%

0,62%

Submission Grappling

0,00%

1,24%

Sumo

0,00%

0,62%

Tae Kwon Do

1,47%

1,24%

Unknown

2,94%

1,24%

Vale Tudo

0,00%

0,00%

Wrestling

39,71%

21,12%

 

 

 

And finally for the top 25:

MA

Base
Style

As Part of
Full Arsenal

BJJ

21,76%

23,44%

Boxing

12,94%

18,75%

Freestyle

1,76%

1,56%

Hapkido

0,59%

0,26%

Judo

4,71%

5,47%

Karate

2,94%

2,08%

Kickboxing

8,82%

10,94%

Kung Fu

0,00%

1,04%

Muay Thai

8,24%

9,11%

Sambo

1,18%

0,78%

Submission Grappling

0,00%

0,52%

Sumo

0,00%

0,26%

Tae Kwon Do

0,59%

1,04%

Unknown

4,71%

2,08%

Vale Tudo

0,00%

0,26%

Wrestling

31,76%

22,40%

 

 

Now, even though Wrestling still appears to be the dominant art, notice how it drops almost 8 points from the Top 10 to the Top 25. If you think only the Top 10 is relevant, I’d argue that the Top 25 has tomorrow’s Top 10 listed (though it also includes people that are falling out of the rankings). We all know how MMA changes from year to year, chances are that the Top 10 listed under any ranking system will soon fall out of it.

 

People can make a case for how Wrestling is the best base to have in MMA, surely the numbers will back their arguments, but frankly I just think it’s a moot point. Even though the base currently has a dominant stance, people that don’t have wrestling as their base continues to find their spaces within the MMA industry (after all, non-wrestlers have more success rate than wrestlers). It’s not about the art, it’s about the athlete. A simple example of this is GSP, a guy who didn’t grow up in a wrestling environment and is able to outwrestle the wrestlers.

Wrestling is a great and powerful art, I’m not a hater of wrestling, I just think labeling it as "the best" base to have is nothing more than overrating it.

Below is the full chart for each fighters and how each style were associated to them.

 

 

FIGHTER

Base

Other Skills

 

 

 

 

Brock Lesnar

Wrestling

Fedor Emelianenko

Sambo

Judo

Boxing

Cain Velasquez

Wrestling

Kickboxing

Fabricio Werdum

BJJ

Muay Thai

Shane Carwin

Boxing

Wrestling

Freestyle

Junior dos Santos

Kickboxing

Boxing

BJJ

Frank Mir

BJJ

Muay Thai

Boxing

Karate

Alistair Overeem

Kickboxing

Muay Thai

Submission Grappling

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

BJJ

Boxing

Judo

Josh Barnett

Wrestling

Brett Rogers

Boxing

Muay Thai

Wrestling

Antonio Silva

Karate

BJJ

Gabriel Gonzaga

BJJ

Muay Thai

Kickboxing

Boxing

Wrestling

Cheick Kongo

Kickboxing

Muay Thai

Wrestling

Mirko Filipovic

Karate

Tae Kwon Do

Boxing

Kickboxing

Muay Thai

BJJ

Andrei Arlovski

Sambo

Boxing

Kickboxing

Roy Nelson

Boxing

BJJ

Kung Fu

Pedro Rizzo

Muay Thai

Kickboxing

Vale Tudo

Aleksander Emelianenko

Boxing

Sambo

Judo

Ben Rothwell

Kickboxing

Wrestling

Tim Sylvia

Boxing

Kickboxing

Wrestling

Randy Couture

Wrestling

Boxing

Stefan Struve

Kickboxing

BJJ

Mike Russow

Wrestling

BJJ

Boxing

Jeff Monson

Wrestling

BJJ

Mauricio Rua

Muay Thai

BJJ

Lyoto Machida

Karate

BJJ

Sumo

Rashad Evans

Wrestling

Boxing

Kickboxing

BJJ

Quinton Jackson

Wrestling

Boxing

Forrest Griffin

Kickboxing

BJJ

Freestyle

Muay Thai

Boxing

Ryan Bader

Wrestling

BJJ

Boxing

Jon Jones

Wrestling

Muay Thai

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

BJJ

Boxing

Gegard Mousasi

Judo

Kickboxing

Boxing

Thiago Silva

BJJ

Muay Thai

Boxing

Muhammed Lawal

Wrestling

Boxing

Rich Franklin

Freestyle

Kickboxing

BJJ

Muay Thai

Rafael Cavalcante

Muay Thai

Boxing

BJJ

Renato Sobral

BJJ

Wrestling

Matt Hamill

Wrestling

Boxing

BJJ

Brandon Vera

Muay Thai

Wrestling

BJJ

Boxing

Jason Brilz

Wrestling

Luis Arthur Cane

BJJ

Muay Thai

Kickboxing

Tito Ortiz

Wrestling

Boxing

Phil Davis

Wrestling

BJJ

Chuck Liddell

Karate

Kickboxing

Wrestling

Boxing

Cyrille Diabate

Muay Thai

Kickboxing

Anderson Silva

Muay Thai

Boxing

BJJ

Tae Kwon Do

Judo

Chael Sonnen

Wrestling

Nate Marquardt

BJJ

Boxing

Kickboxing

Jake Shields

Wrestling

BJJ

Vitor Belfort

Boxing

BJJ

Karate

Demian Maia

BJJ

Judo

Boxing

Dan Henderson

Wrestling

Boxing

Kickboxing

Yushin Okami

Wrestling

Kickboxing

Jorge Santiago

Kickboxing

BJJ

Ronaldo Souza

BJJ

Judo

Robbie Lawler

Boxing

Wrestling

Michael Bisping

Kickboxing

Boxing

BJJ

Chris Leben

Boxing

Freestyle

Wrestling

BJJ

Alan Belcher

Muay Thai

BJJ

Wanderlei Silva

Muay Thai

BJJ

Mamed Khalidov

Freestyle

Karate

Wrestling

Yoshihiro Akiyama

Judo

Hector Lombard

Judo

BJJ

Boxing

Paulo Filho

BJJ

Judo

Alessio Sakara

Boxing

BJJ

Thales Leites

BJJ

Patrick Cote

Boxing

Kickboxing

Wrestling

BJJ

Kazuo Misaki

Judo

Kickboxing

Tim Kennedy

Boxing

BJJ

Rousimar Palhares

BJJ

Georges St. Pierre

Karate

Wrestling

Muay Thai

Boxing

BJJ

Jon Fitch

Wrestling

BJJ

Kickboxing

Josh Koscheck

Wrestling

Kickboxing

Thiago Alves

Muay Thai

BJJ

Nick Diaz

BJJ

Boxing

Dan Hardy

Tae Kwon Do

Boxing

Muay Thai

BJJ

Kung Fu

Martin Kampmann

Muay Thai

Wrestling

Matt Hughes

Wrestling

Submission Grappling

Paulo Thiago

BJJ

Judo

Boxing

Paul Daley

Muay Thai

Boxing

Mike Swick

Kickboxing

BJJ

Wrestling

Chris Lytle

Boxing

BJJ

Wrestling

Jay Hieron

Wrestling

Boxing

Carlos Condit

Muay Thai

Kickboxing

Boxing

BJJ

Kung Fu

John Hathaway

Boxing

Wrestling

BJJ

Matt Serra

BJJ

Boxing

Ben Askren

Wrestling

BJJ

Jake Ellenberger

Wrestling

Anthony Johnson

Kickboxing

Kung Fu

Wrestling

Dan Hornbuckle

BJJ

Mike Pierce

Wrestling

Ricardo Almeida

BJJ

Wrestling

Boxing

Akihiro Gono

Boxing

Judo

Dong Hyun Kim

Judo

Wrestling

Kickboxing

Frank Edgar

Wrestling

Boxing

BJJ

B.J. Penn

BJJ

Boxing

Gilbert Melendez

Wrestling

BJJ

Muay Thai

Gray Maynard

Wrestling

Boxing

Shinya Aoki

BJJ

Judo

Wrestling

Eddie Alvarez

Boxing

Wrestling

Kenny Florian

BJJ

Muay Thai

Boxing

Tatsuya Kawajiri

Wrestling

George Sotiropoulos

BJJ

Boxing

Sean Sherk

Wrestling

BJJ

Boxing

Jim Miller

BJJ

Wrestling

Evan Dunham

BJJ

Wrestling

Muay Thai

Takanori Gomi

Boxing

Wrestling

Ben Henderson

Wrestling

Tae Kwon Do

Mizuto Hirota

Boxing

Judo

Tyson Griffin

Wrestling

Joe Stevenson

BJJ

Judo

Wrestling

Kurt Pellegrino

BJJ

Wrestling

Gesias Cavalcante

BJJ

Kickboxing

Diego Sanchez

Wrestling

BJJ

Muay Thai

Boxing

Josh Thomson

Kickboxing

Wrestling

Joachim Hansen

Kickboxing

BJJ

Melvin Guillard

Kickboxing

Wrestling

Judo

Clay Guida

Wrestling

Kazunori Yokota

Judo

Jose Aldo

Muay Thai

BJJ

Manny Gamburyan

Judo

Mike Brown

Wrestling

Boxing

Urijah Faber

Wrestling

Kickboxing

BJJ

Marlon Sandro

BJJ

Bibiano Fernandes

BJJ

Michihiro Omigawa

Judo

Hatsu Hioki

Wrestling

BJJ

Josh Grispi

Unknown

Masanori Kanehara

Unknown

Joe Warren

Wrestling

L.C. Davis

Wrestling

Deividas Taurosevicius

BJJ

Leonard Garcia

BJJ

Boxing

Rafael Assuncao

BJJ

Muay Thai

Hiroyuki Takaya

Wrestling

Yuji Hoshino

Wrestling

Kickboxing

Diego Nunes

Muay Thai

BJJ

Kickboxing

Chad Mendes

Wrestling

Mark Hominick

Kickboxing

Muay Thai

Kazuyuki Miyata

Wrestling

Joe Soto

Wrestling

Takeshi Inoue

Kickboxing

Chan Sung Jung

Hapkido

Kickboxing

Dominick Cruz

Boxing

Wrestling

Brian Bowles

Wrestling

Boxing

Joseph Benavidez

Wrestling

Kickboxing

Scott Jorgensen

Wrestling

Miguel Torres

BJJ

Muay Thai

Takeya Mizugaki

Boxing

Wrestling

Wagnney Fabiano

BJJ

Damacio Page

Boxing

BJJ

Masakatsu Ueda

Wrestling

BJJ

Charlie Valencia

Wrestling

BJJ

Boxing

Rani Yahya

BJJ

Masakazu Imanari

Wrestling

BJJ

Brad Pickett

Boxing

BJJ

Eddie Wineland

Wrestling

Boxing

Akitoshi Tamura

Freestyle

Antonio Banuelos

Wrestling

Boxing

Shuichiro Katsumura

Unknown

Michael McDonald

Unknown

Abel Cullum

BJJ

Zack Makovsky

Wrestling

Darren Uyenoyama

Unknown

Ian Loveland

Unknown

Kenji Osawa

Unknown

Jimmie Rivera

Unknown

Jeff Curran

Boxing

BJJ

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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