I'm not too sure why most mma fighters suck in the clinch. I understan that saying that is broad and includes judo, greco, and Thai style clinching but noone is really competant in any of them.
The clinch, Greco style in particular can carry a fight all by itself. For those guys who aren't talented strikers or have weak chins (tito, sherk, chainsaw, Rashad, Monson etc) can really just get inside and work for damage or takedowns.
Also the Thai clinch used properly by a good wrestler is like a freakin full mount. So why the neglect?
I personally think a fighter can be built from the clinch.
Lots of MMA fighters use the clench. Evan Tanner, Anderson Silva, Forrest Griffin. And the list goes on. Broad statements don't usually work when you are talking about such a big group of people.
Plus, you have to realize that these guys are training in MIXED martial arts. They are not ONLY training in the clench. Comparing your average MMA fighter to a top-notch Muay Thai fighter is exactly the same as comparing an MMA fighter to a pro boxer or K-1 fighter. They certainly use it; it's just to a different extent.
Rich Franklin does an excellent job of using the clench....to get knocked out!
I still disagree because If I had to list a number of fighter talented inside the clinch (not just competant, good enough to use it for more than defence) and you made a list of fighters that were than our lists wouldn't even compare in size.
Fighters use the clinch all the time and the only reason they're successful with it or don't get beat up badly from there is because their opponents are bad at it too.
You look at a guy like Franklin who is a massive middleweight and he gets manhandled by slick Anderson.
Diego loves the Thai clinch but all he does is go in for a single shot, doesn't clear the hips for leverge, and doesn't show control. If you say he's good at it then you'd be wrong because his fundamentals for a very simple (yet to master complex) plum clinch are simply not there.
Just an example. Not to disrespect your point.
And what is the wort is the fact that we have all these freestyle wrestlers with a lot of talent and experiance in grappling and they just don't work the clinch when it could get them out of a lot of trouble against better strikers.
Think about it, you don't have to trade shots and you get free takedowns that just use a lot of energy instead of risking a spencer fisher to the jaw.
And I do see the point of Mixed martial arts but what i mean is just there is a certain level of talent that fighters have and if you verage it out, JJ/ Subs(check) Standup (check) wrestling (kinda check) clinchwork (oh shit that's what I forgot) lol
It just isn't up with everything else. Wrestlers who never trained a day of muay thai in their lives should still, with little training, be able to develop some of the beastiest thai clinches easily.
Only certain arts train extensively in it, thats why some are better in it than others.
Also look geographically,the UFC is the most prominent in our area and it is primarily non-greco wrestler based.
Its not that they suck in the clinch. i think a lot of the younger less experienced fighters train moreso on the defensive aspect of the clinch and not how to take guys down but to not be taken down.
Personally i think the Thai clinch is overrated there are very very few guys that can control guys so well from the clinch. Anderson and Wanderlei have been training in Muay Thai since they were kids and have the experience to use it so effectively while guys like Evan Tanner and Brandon Vera are Muay Thai practicioners but their clinch can be escaped without a problem by other fighters.
There are lots of fighters who use the clinch effectively
Judo/Sambo - Yoshida, Nakamura, Soko, Parisyan, Fedor, Kharitonov
Greco - Couture, Henderson, Severn, Karelin
Thai - Anderson, Wanderlei, Shogun, Overeem, Manhoef
None of those guys you ever see get dominated in the clinch