Posted by fedorwins1
What I mean is that MMA fans are saying that the best athletes are not doing MMA right now, and once they are doing MMA the level will of competiton will go up.
Again, I've never heard anyone say that, but for the sake of conversation, I would ask how one defines athleticism. Strength? Cardio fitness? Agility? Flexibility? Hand-eye coordination? Speed?
It's difficult to compare athletes across sports, because the skills are refined to such a sharp edge. You could ask how long LaDainian Tomlinson would last in the ring or cage against a KOTC or IFL light-heavyweight, but that's kind of a pointless comparison. On the other hand, try to imagine Chuck Liddell trying to hit Dontrelle Willis' slider, or playing a set against Andy Roddick.
I agree with the second half of your statement above; I do think the "level" of MMA will continue to improve as the number of competitors increases. That's only natural. Looking at the dramatic improvements over the last 12 years makes my head spin. Can you imagine sending Fedor or Chuck or Cro Cop back in time to fight at UFC 1? They'd kill somebody. If they got punched in the balls, they'd kill them twice.