If we lived in a world where people wanted to pay to see amateur wrestling...
"I think that's just something from someone who isn't a good wrestler," Marquardt said about Hardy. "I think wrestling is a big part of MMA, and you shouldn't complain about it, you should learn it and learn how to defend against it."
"I was unable to defend the takedowns in my last fight, and that's why I lost the fight," Marquardt commented. "Now I'm going to be more prepared to defend the takedown no matter who I'm fighting, and I worked hard on my wrestling and I continue to work hard on my wrestling."
"With mixed martial arts we see waves of changes, trends in the sport where one minute it's strikers that are dominating the sport, then all of a sudden it's the wrestlers, then it kind of goes back and forth, and I think it's just something you have to pay attention to and be prepared for," he commented.
Ben Fowlkes held up Kenny Florian's choice to ramp up his wrestling training after a decision loss to Gray Maynard at UFC 118 as the correct model:
The funny part is, Florian might be forgiven for wallowing in a little anti-wrestling self-pity right now. He just lost an uninteresting three-rounder to Gray Maynard, who was content to use his wrestling to grind out a decision. If Florian had responded by publicly blasting that strategy - the way Hardy did in the case of the Nik Lentz-Andre Winner fight - most of us would have had a little sympathy for his plight.
But that's not what he did. Instead he admitted that he needed to improve his wrestling in order to make sure that never happens again. He looked within, at his own shortcomings, rather than directing his frustration outward.
"The sport could become quite boring, as it has been in a few fights in the last UFC. I know its mixed martial arts and you have to be good everywhere but I think there has to be some kind of rule that you have to work to finish or something," Daley said in his radio appearance.
"There has to be some kind of way of bringing back the ‘Bloodsport' - I'm sure I read somewhere that the guy who came up with the UFC based it on Bloodsport the movie - there has to be some kind of entertainment factor.
"You should be fighting, not to the death as such, but to finish, you have to be going in there to destroy the guy. If youre going in there to wrestle at least posture up and ground ‘n' pound the fuck out of him, look to knock him out. If you are sick at jiu jitsu don't just lay in guard walking your hips around like some kind of snake - slap a triangle on, go for an armlock.
"If you're a striker don't be hopping around like an idiot looking for angles, throw you punches, throw your kicks. If you're getting in that cage you have to be looking to finish the guy ... not just control his hips and lay there for 15 minutes, that's bullshit."
Dallas Winston points out that the rule set of MMA has created some distortions that favor wrestlers over strikers and submission artists, we'll look at that in the full entry:
The potential for this drab and unstimulating but fully optimal approach exists in every facet of MMA, and the thought of instituting restrictions or penalties for purposes of entertainment is appalling; and the result would not reflect the true nature of hand-to-hand combat and represent taking one step closer to kickboxing or pro-wrestling. Therefore, from a pure sporting perspective, overcoming the enveloping grasp of dominant wrestling is all on the competitors; and the choices of avoiding the takedown, using Jiu Jitsu to enforce more threatening offense, sweep, or submit, or simply being the better wrestler stand unwavering as the best counter-attacks.
Here's what can change: the value we associate with a takedown in the unified scoring criteria.
It is widely accepted that one takedown can drastically tip the scales in one's favor or even "steal the round", or that a double-leg followed by holding top-position will generally be scored more favorably than flailing unsuccessfully underneath it. Can all of this be written off as substandard training that spawns uneducated or inexperienced officials from a boxing background, who don't understand the technicality of grappling, like many die-hards contend?
I agree in full that a takedown demonstrates control and aggression, just as stuffing a shot should count for control and defense. What I take serious issue with is a takedown-which is nothing more than a forced change of position-counts for "offense" under effective grappling. ...
That is our answer as to why a takedown is given so much weight on the score cards.
I believe takedowns should be completely erased from the effective grappling category. This would mean a fighter can exhibit control with all the takedowns in the world, but that action will always be inferior to whoever demonstrates the more effective grappling of an offensive nature. It would also reinforce and more clearly define: that a takedown is not offensive unless it does damage, that the guard is truly a neutral position and "it's what you do with the takedown that counts", and that ultimately whoever implements the more effective offense or in any phase of combat belongs in the driver's seat.
It's not possible to do Winston's argument justice via a few excerpts, so by all means read the whole thing.
Let me say that I've really come to appreciate the beauty and appeal of top notch wrestling and MMA bouts between gifted wrestlers are some of the most entertaining in the sport. Think Edgar vs Griffin, Griffin vs Guida, Faber vs Cruz and Farrar, etc. Slams, scrambles and the like have enormous fan appeal.
But I feel compelled to remind those who are insisting on a "if you don't like wrestlers in MMA, work on your wrestling" approach that MMA is a sport and an artificial environment.
There are already numerous rules changes from the original No Holds Barred vision of the UFC that have tilted the tables artificially in favor of wrestlers:
- Time limits and rounds
These allow for point fighting rather than fighting for a finish.
- No knees to the face of a downed opponent
This is the biggest flaw in the current rule set in my opinion. In the early days of MMA, shooting for a double leg take down was a high-risk proposition because if your shot got stuffed you were in a truly awful position. While I agree that knees to the top of the skull should not be allowed because of the danger of spinal compression and serious injury, knees to the face of a grounded opponent do not do any more damage than standing knees and should be allowed.
- Points for take downs in and of themselves
As Dallas Winston points out, take downs are scored far too generously in modern MMA.