Posted by jae_1833
Posted by Rush
I get the impression that this kind of training accomplishes a couple things.
1) It gets his opponents thinking about what he could do
2) I think more often than not, GSP has these training camps for very specific situations. I don't think that he'll base his general MMA game off boxing or even really incorporate it. I think it is either for principals that will improve general striking and/or provides him with a tool for a very specific situation.
Cross-training is essential to mixed martial arts....for years Rampage has trained in BJJ, but he uses it primarily for the defensive side of his ground game. I think every fighter should have variety in their camps and training partners to experiment with new ideas and techniques. I'm not saying that a fighter should be training primarily in on fighting style, but that every once in a while it is good to not only shake things up but also to re-connect with the basics....the fundamentals. A lot of guys are good at the fundamentals and in good shape and they go far (Bader, Lidell, Maia, Hughes) then when they mix in some other facetts of the game they tend to become high level competitors (GSP, Silva, Shogun, etc).
I'm glad you mentioned Maia and Hughes because they're both perfect examples of why I believe this is a bad idea for GSP. My argument isn't against cross training (I think that the well-roundedness of GSP shows he's done a considerable amount of that) my argument is style changing. GSP has goods hands and kicks already, what he's talking about doing is implementing a new style all together.
Take Maia for example. Early on he had almost no striking at all. That forced hm to rely full on his Jiu Jitsu. He would go for takedowns, pull guard, and if that didn't work he would rinse and repeat. I think that his urgency to get fights to the ground was what made him so adept at getting them there. Then he decided to "become well-rounded" and trained extensively in muay thai. The result was getting knocked out by Nate, then standing up with Miller and winning a decision where he could have had a finish, and a terrible UD loss to Anderson Silva. I think that he could have(not saying would have) won everyone of those fights if he would have stuck to his original style. The striking that he had picked up gave him a false confidence when in reality he had no chance of standing with Anderson or Nate, and no chance of finishing Miller on his feet.
It can also cause you to train less in what you're already good at. Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck (as evidenced by how many times GSP took him down the first time around) are excellent examples of this. Both gave up training wrestling, assuming that they could out wrestle anyone anyway, in favor of learning the stand up. GSP showed them both that if you don't continually train something the skills will deteriorate. Just because you were the best wrestler in the UFC yesterday doesn't mean you will be tomorrow.
This sort of thing can also just mess with your technique. I think Vitor Belfort and Andrei Arlovski are the best examples here. Both guys were a terror on their feet and did what worked for them. Then someone decided to "clean up" their striking and the results were disastrous. Thankfully, Vitor is back on the right track. And his situation may have had more to do with personal issues. But the point remains.