Brazil was the birthplace of modern MMA, and as such they’re a bit protective of their position as one of the top fighting countries. So even though they’ve got 37 fighters in top 25 slots across all the divisions, they’re still sadface that America has 85. Fabio Maldonado, who just suffered the ignominy of losing to Kyle Kingsbury – a guy best known for eating semen on TUF – has some theories on why Brazil is no longer #1:
Questioned about a potential lack in the conditioning of Brazilian athletes compared to American ones, he went straight to the point:
“I agree with this analysis. Perhaps Brazilians miss the point in training. It’s not that we train less, but sometimes we confuse the amount of training with quality. It’s sad to say but Americans will dominate the mixed martial arts future,” he told R7.com
To get to this conclusion Maldonado took into account not only the conditioning aspect but the strong wrestling skills widely present in American sporting culture. Not by chance, takedowns were key to the judges’ considerations in the Nogueira, Maldonado and Maia losses to Phil Davis, Kyle Kingsbury and Mark Munoz respectively.
“The trend is that the American fighters will take MMA over because of the financial side of the business. If they are not the best in something, they take the best [fighters and coaches] out there. How many Brazilian teach jiu-jitsu in America? Thousands. And how many Cuban or Bulgarian teach boxing or wrestling here? The figure is simple,” he questioned rhetorically.
The wrestling argument is definitely sound. It’s as if no one has ever pointed out how being able to take someone down and be on top would be a useful skill for a jiu jitsu master to have. Past that though, I think Brazil is doing damn great considering their size disparity to the US. The US population is 308 million while Brazil sits at 190 million … and that includes who knows how many people living in huts and shacks in the middle of nowhere. The US has more people, more wealth, and more events for their guys to rise up out of. Of course they’re going to be kicking ass and taking names!
The US may have more fighters but Brazil is still holding it’s own. They went 12-15 in the UFC so far this year, so it’s not like the country is suddenly getting crushed. Still … listen to Fabio on that wrestling tip, Brazil. No matter how much those silly singlets make you look like a bicha, it’ll pay off in the cage.