Photo by Taro Irei for Sherdog
The debate about wrestling's place in mixed martial arts used to be confined to various message boards around the Internet. Now fighters are using the medium of interviews to flame each other back-and-forth. MMA Fighting provides the latest cannon fodder:
"The American wrestling style - punching a little bit, getting a takedown and moving to side control to win the round has no risk. It's an easier fight. It's just using the judges. They don't even have to worry about injuries or anything like that. There is no risk."
"Would you like to see Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard? Do you think it would be interesting?" Aoki asks.
I answer truthfully that I don't think it would be very exciting.
"Right! I'm a huge fan of the UFC, but I think that it hasn't been very interesting lately. There are good fighters of course but not so many interesting fights. They punch a little bit, then get a takedown and every round is just a repetition of that."
"I am a big fan of aggressive fighters like BJ Penn, Joe Stevenson, Kenny Florian, Melvin Guillard and Nate Diaz.. Everyone else is just wrestling and it's not interesting at all."
It feels like only yesterday (it was) that Nate Marquardt said, "[Y]ou shouldn't complain about it, you should learn it and learn how to defend against it," in response to Dan Hardy's anti-wrestling rant.
I wonder what Aoki thinks about butt-scooting for 25 minutes.