People talk a lot about the evolution of MMA. I can see how fighters have become more adept at gamesmanship and handling the cage, but in pure martial arts terms, isnt evolution often just a catchy title for a UFC hype myth?
There have always been guys in the past who were strong in one area and perhaps weak in others. Everybody cross trains now of course, but if we look at the best fighters of the past, most of them excelled in at least a couple of areas.
If martial arts were languages, guys like Fedor and Anderson grew up bilingual or multilingual from the start.
How can you compare guys who are elite in more than one discipline, with guys who turn up at their local gym and "Trane UFC"?
It takes years to excel in any martial art. To excel in more than one area takes time and the kind of genius, you cant just download from drilling the basics of fighting. I used Fedor as an example because so much of the New Breed hype revolved around him and Dana. I could have used Anderson, GSP, BJPenn or any number of previous guys though. If we just look at Fedor though, the guy eventually collected 2 national bronzes in Judo, 6 national golds/2 bronzes in Sambo, 1 euro gold and 4 world golds/2 world bronzes in Sambo. Perhaps most importantly he had trained and excelled in the sport of MMA to going 10 years unbeaten and over 30 victories.
The "new breed" was JDS, Cain, Lesnar and Carwin. How many of these guys are still thought of as more evolved than the Russian?
Its over half a decade since Fedor was at his peak. In a booming industry like computing, things evolve very fast. In MMA with all its hype, 5 years since Tim Sylvia got raped, how many of the top 10 HWs are more evolved than Fedor?