If you have ever watched the UFC ( Ultimate Fighting Championship) you are watching fighters who are called Mixed martial Artists. In the beginning of the UFC Brazilian Jujitsu fighter Royce Gracie dominated fighters with his ground fighting skills. This was the first era of Mixed martial arts when anyone with some knowledge of ground fighting dominated.
The next era of the UFC was the time of the wrestler. Wrestlers like Severn, Coleman, Kerr, Frye, Henderson and Couture destroyed oponets with their ground and pound style of fighting. Ground and Pound fighting is when they would use wrestling moves to slam their opponents into the ground and start pounding them in the face, very simple but effective. Now all the “Non-wrestlers" began to train to defend these techniques so the “Wrestlers" had to evolve or get out of the fight game.
This is the third era of Mixed martial arts when these wrestlers began to incorporate Brazilian Jujitsu into their fight game and learn submission holds. Mark Coleman in the beginning failed to evolve and began to lose for two reasons: first rule changes and next lack of submission and striking training. The rule change that wrestlers the most was the no head butting rule. When the wrestler could slam his opponent to the ground and smash short head butts to his opponents face all day it was bloody devastating. The UFC who was trying to appease state Athletic Commission Boards did away with the head buts and kicking a downed opponent. Now pure ground and pound fighting was now working because a new breed of fighter was coming was being developed, the striker turned grappler.
Maurice Smith was a very famous kick boxer came into the UFC and trained several UFC fighters on the aspects of kickboxing. We watched how Mo Smith would chop down fighters with low kicks and sprawl when they shot in to take him down or pull them into his guard. This also prompted wrestlers to learn the better aspects of boxing and kickboxing. Randy Couture took it a step further and incorporated wrestling holds while striking which he called dirty boxing.
Today you can’t win with out knowing every range of fighting. Fighters don’t have to be great in each area but they do have be familiar. The current champions such as Fedor, Liddlel, GSP, Hughes, Silva all are all highly conditioned athletes who are skilled at wrestling, boxing, kick boxing and submission holds.
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