Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Are MMA Fighters Predictable

Mixed Martial Arts is the greatest method of combat for anyone. By mixing different elements of different styles a fighter can become on all round expert. However is MMA becoming just a mix of Mauy Thai, BJJ, and Wrestling?

Many MMA gyms nowadays have fighters who have excellent BJJ skills, great Mauy Thai techniques and can wrestle nearly all to the mat when needed. They can fight standing, on the floor and anything in between. Maybe this is all they need to survive in the cage or the ring.

The problem however is, that nearly all that fight in MMA do exactly the same. They may be seen by some to be predictable. They expect low Thai kicks , boxing style punches, and BJJ rolling and can easily defend them.

At the beginning of the UFC most fights where over in seconds through knockout or submission. The reason being, one fighter was dominated by the other because they encountered a scenario they where not familiar with. Royce Gracie beat all with his grappling because not many knew grappling. Ken Shamrock used ground and pound and viscous leg locks and no one had answers to it. Today MMA fighters know what to expect and can defend accordingly.

Occasionally though you get the odd fighter who can shock others through unusual ways of fighting or rarely seen techniques. Lyoto Machida with his karate skills for example or Cung Li with his array of different kicks which always seem to land. Karo Parisyan uses judo throws to dazzle his opponents who dont see them coming.

MMA is MIXED MARTIAL ARTS, not just a couple combined together. There are many techniques from other arts like Taekwondo, Kung Fu etc and occasionally you may come across these techniques. Practise them and try and combine them to make yourself a less predictable fighter.

Below is a great knockout. It seems to be some kind of Capoeira style kick. Would it work again? Maybe not, but it was definitely not predictable and the result was devastating.


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Potatoe Fist said...

I've definitely never seen an attack like that. I think you're correct in the find alternative attacks to keep the other guy on his toes. We mostly practice things that get someone used to a pattern and then change to have a successful strike.

Nathan at TDA Training said...

Love it! Surprise attacks can be devastating, or can get you in real trouble.

I appreciate the point about predictability, but whatever works and is repeatable will dominate. For a long time, it seems that grappling/BJJ was the rage, then the emphasis (and bounties) on KO's improved the standing game, plus you have innovators like Coleman, Liddell, etc., that change the game. People emulate success.

I think it's a reflection of MMA becoming a mature sport. Just my $0.02. said...

Nathan, I completly agree with you. MMA fighters have surely matured and developed a way of fighting that works and is reliable. this is the reason I myself practise the same technqiues used in MMA.

Occasionaly however, technqiues that some martial artists practise and others dont can be used to surprise. My experiences are that if these technqiues came from say, traditional karate or kung fu, a lot of people are quick to dismiss them becuase of the style they come from.

Nathan at TDA Training said...

I agree. I'd bet there are many "traditional" techniques that will work. Some will surely get you knocked out, too. Just the difference would make it effective - for a while.

Keep up the great blogging.

BBat50 said...

Very interesting article. I'd like to see you build on it. Another view is that MMA used to be immature. Go back 15 years, there were this big tough husky guys who could take a punch and hit HARD. They go pushed out by the karate gusy, great strikers and cardio. But now, jitsu is part of the formula. It's more technical but I"m not sure it's boring or predicatable yet.

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