It wasn’t so long ago that the general opinion from MMA fans was that if you weren’t able to appreciate a solid wrestling gameplan, then you were a clueless moron who was into the sport for the wrong reasons. But now it’s not just some of the fans that are doing it … the fighters are getting involved too. First there’s Dan Hardy, who’s become something of a spokesman for fighters who have been brutally raped by this mysterious fighting style:
Rather than saying ‘oh, these guys can’t wrestle’, I think the problem is there’s beginning to be too much wrestling in UFC Octagon, not too little of it in the gym. There are a lot of people out there calling themselves ‘UFC fighters’ who are nothing of the kind. In the UFC, you should go for finishes.
You should work for 15 minutes to knock your opponent out, submit him, or improve your position to give yourself the best chance of doing either. But there’s guys out there who just want to use wrestling to hold a stalemate for 15 minutes, without ever risking going for ground and pounds or attempting submissions.
This isn’t ‘cheating within the rules’ – it is actually against the rules. ‘Timidity’ is outlawed in the Unified MMA rules and what better describes the act of holding on to an opponent and waiting for the clock to tick down with no attempt or inclination to do any damage?
And then there’s Cole Miller, who also thinks wrestlers are basically exploiting a loophole to win decisions:
I hear all this talk about dominant top position…are you kidding me? These guys take you down because they don’t want to get beat up on their feet and they let you up because they don’t want to get beat up there either and then everyone thinks their so well rounded when all they did was keep from getting beat up in any one spot. They should get a halfway championship for being in great shape because that’s what it is. The conditioning champion of the world. It’s great to be in shape but these guys are surviving and that’s not what martial arts is about. The first thing is self-defense of course but the second thing is taking your opponent out so he can no longer inflict damage upon you. The sport is called mixed martial arts and they aren’t doing one martial art let alone mixing any of them together. The sport is going to get more and more diluted with more guys like this.
Personally, I’m not too concerned. Great wrestlers with zero skills other than takedowns will always be exposed sooner or later. It already takes them two or three times longer to earn a title shot than the dudes showing pure brilliance across the MMA spectrum, and past that you can always derail them with a nice dose of their own medicine by putting them up against another bullshit dump’n’humper.
There is one area I completely agree with these guys though, and that’s when it comes to the judging. We’re still stuck in the fuxxored situation of having idiot boxing judges and other unqualified commission baboons judging our fights. Many do indeed see little past who’s on top. If the guy on the bottom got a fair shake for his submissions and striking, I’d have less complaints about the current situation. But at the moment, wrestling isn’t just a strong style going through a bit of a resurgence right now (not as big as all these sky-is-falling people make it out to be, but a little one), it’s a style that gives fighters an unwarranted advantage on the scorecards because of the garbled criteria for scoring fights and the idiots doing the scoring.