Is Wrestling The Ideal Basis for MMA?

Posted on June 3, 2014

Marcelino Chale Pena

Recently, mma fans have seen fighters with wrestling backgrounds dominate the sport. Whether you feel that it is boring or smart, we have all come to the realization that being able to completely obliterate your opponent on the ground will stack up the number in your win column. Exhibit A, Daniel Cormier, originally training partner for Cain Velasquez this Olympic wrestler has made noise in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions. Most recently DC put on a clinic against fellow Olympian Dan Henderson which included a few huge slams of the living legend. Cormier has used his skill set to get himself to 14-0 and into the title shot conversation. Another wrestler who made a huge statement in the sport is middleweight champion Chris Weidman, who defeated arguably the greatest fighter in UFC history Anderson Silva. When it comes to these fighters, opponents spend most of their perpetration on defending the takedown, switching ground position, and getting back up from the ground. That leaves the door wide open for striking. At UFC 173 TJ Dillashaw came in as a huge underdog to Renan Barao who was riding a 30+ fight win streak. Prior to the fight Barao believed that Dillashaw wanted to stand and trade, which had him confident in the win. “I believe TJ Dillashaw thinks he is a striker now, and he isn’t.” Barao’s lack of respect for TJ’s stand up combined with Dillashaw’s confidence in his wrestling led to one of the most amazing and dominant performances the MMA world has ever seen. Ben Askren recently tweeted about his success with MMA. “Only been hit 6 times in my last 4 fights combined. Hard to get competition when you are the best in the world.” I later asked him if his wrestling made him more confident in his striking, this is what he had to say.

Here’s a quote from MMA Fighter Cody Bollinger


The ability to take your opponent down at will and hold him there is a huge advantage when in comes to scoring and winning rounds. Throw in some ground and pound and you have got yourself a winning recipe. Wrestling has seemed to become one of the top, if not the most ideal discipline base for a successful MMA career. With the sudden surge of dominant wrestlers, what discipline, if any, will be the kryptonite to these fighters super power?

BY: Marcelino Chale Pena
Sports Talk

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