The evolution of MMA fighters (my take)

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Rush
4/24/10 12:55:20AM
A thought came to me the other day and it had to do with the success of MMA fighters over the short history of MMA.

I divided MMA fighters into three categories, but will stick to UFC only fighters as the cage vs. ring issues can complicate things. Below, by styles I refer to wrestling, striking and jiujitsu as the three main styles of fighting.


V1.0 - early UFC days (up to UFC 5-8). These fighters were typically proficient in one style of martial arts.

V2.0 - Fighters caught on to the fact that they needed to be familiar with more than one style. Proficient in one style and dabbled in another

V3.0 - Modern day MMA fighters. Typically proficient in one/two styles and good at two/one syles


Now, I noticed that in the V1.0 days, the jiujitsu guys tended to dominate. See Royce Gracie as an example.

As MMA moved into the V2.0 stage we saw dominant performances by wrestlers. See Coleman, Severn, Hughes, Couture, Tito, etc.

Now that we have moved into V3.0, I noticed that the more dominant fighters tend to be dangerous strikers. Penn, Machida, Chuck, Silva, Lesnar, Carwin, Shogun etc.


So it makes me wonder what the next stage of the evolution will be. Will jiujitsu fighters step back into the limelight or will it be a new evolution altogether?
jae_1833
4/24/10 1:03:32AM
I think the next evolution is already beginning to show itself. That being that the fighters now have to be elite athletes....all arround, fast, tough, strong, quick to learn, and hard working. No longer can fighters depend on just raw physical abilities or talents. A prime example would be BJ Penn's recent dominance at LW.
postman
4/24/10 10:08:13AM

Posted by jae_1833

I think the next evolution is already beginning to show itself. That being that the fighters now have to be elite athletes....all arround, fast, tough, strong, quick to learn, and hard working. No longer can fighters depend on just raw physical abilities or talents. A prime example would be BJ Penn's recent dominance at LW.



Agreed Jon Jones Phil Davis King Mo GSP Anderson. I think that the new thing will be a hybir athlete who have spent years in an MMA gym. I train 4 kids who are all 15 years old. Usaully we do Sub grappling Monday, stand up Tuesday MMA wed, Thur is open mat and Sat is MMA. These kids coming up are messing everything into one by the time they are 25 its going to be scary where these fighters are. You ever seen the Ruffo Brothers video
Jackelope
4/24/10 10:24:15AM
v4.0 = Jose Aldo

Can't wait to watch him knock Urijah around tonight. Then again I won't be too disappointed if he doesn't!
BeeR
4/24/10 10:53:42AM
I think the next version will be technical all around fighters, with most fights ending in hard fought decisions or submissions, the days of Quick KO's and one sided beatdowns will be over except for small organizations
State_Champ
4/24/10 2:48:29PM

Posted by Rush

Now that we have moved into V3.0, I noticed that the more dominant fighters tend to be dangerous strikers. Penn, Machida, Chuck, Silva, Lesnar, Carwin, Shogun etc.



Also, the fighters you named are all good wrestlers and/or good BJJ fighters.
sbulldavid
4/24/10 6:07:51PM
I think in the future we will see fighters with dominant hand speed, world class Muay Thai, Blackbelt JiuJitsu, NCAA level wrestling. I think as we stand right now, Rashad Evans is the closest to being to what we'll see in the future.
Rush
4/25/10 12:42:26AM

Posted by State_Champ


Posted by Rush

Now that we have moved into V3.0, I noticed that the more dominant fighters tend to be dangerous strikers. Penn, Machida, Chuck, Silva, Lesnar, Carwin, Shogun etc.



Also, the fighters you named are all good wrestlers and/or good BJJ fighters.




Yes, I did mention that V3.0 fighters are not 1D, but notice that they are not the most proficient at wrestling and BJJ. It is wrestling/bjj and striking. Also note that they all tend to use their striking as a primary tool.

Note that I used dangerous when describing striking. I don't consider Lesnar or Carwin particularly skilled in striking, but their insane power makes them dangerous.

I am not sold on the best fighters V4.0 being proficient in all three facets of MMA. I just don't think a fighter has the time to become proficient at all three in the short lifespan of their careers. Right now I consider that the best fighters in the world will always be deficient in one aspect of the game. I think the the proportion of skilled fighters will increase, but I still feel that the tool kit of fighters will be diverse and somewhat cyclical.
Rush
4/25/10 12:49:51AM

Posted by postman

You ever seen the Ruffo Brothers video



As impressive as the little guys look, it's really hard to tell when the video is playing at >1x speed.
seanfu
4/25/10 1:47:47PM
If you want a glimpse of the next evolution look at Jon Jones' crazy transition combination game.

Look at what happens when you have a guy who's crazy talented like Vera or Penn and they use only 1 skill. In their case, great wrestling and BJJ, but they just strike.

Then look at Jon Jones ******* peoples world up with dizzying attacks.
BlueSkiesBurn
4/25/10 9:01:49PM

Posted by Rush

I am not sold on the best fighters V4.0 being proficient in all three facets of MMA. I just don't think a fighter has the time to become proficient at all three in the short lifespan of their careers. Right now I consider that the best fighters in the world will always be deficient in one aspect of the game. I think the the proportion of skilled fighters will increase, but I still feel that the tool kit of fighters will be diverse and somewhat cyclical.



I disagree I think v.4.0 is someone like Machida. He's a black belt in multiple styles that are vastly different from one another. He also padded his impressive skillset by learning Sumo. The guy was basically bred to fight. I think we will start seeing more of this. People who are basically raised to fight.
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