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-   -   Will MMA ever have a long term champion? (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=20022)

Curtis Nelson 05-30-2007 07:15 PM

I write this because I am a follower of the UFC since it's beginnings. I really liked the UFC when they weren't wearing dynamite on their hands (Taped and 4oz. gloves). I understand that the sport has evolved but I really liked it more when it seemed to be more pure with no gloves. UFC seemed to also have lots more ground battles back then with more skill on the ground than brawn.

I never trained with my hands taped up until a few months ago. When I hit the bag it was like I had bricks attached to my fists. Suddenly the bag popped and flew further than ever before.

It is for this reason why I feel that while a lot of the stand up fighters will have great upsets, they won't stay champion for very long given the fact that anyone can get knocked out with the small gloves and taped hands. Because of the gloves and tape fighters don't have to worry about breaking their hands and can then throw crazy hay makers. For instance, I don't think Chuck Liddell would ever have been champion as long as he had without the gloves.

I say this with the up most respect for anyone in MMA.

What do you all think?

John Bickel 05-30-2007 07:43 PM

You can remove the gloves and the champions would not last any longer. Maintaining the drive & focus is so much harder once they reach the top.

i.e. While the champion is filming Xyience commercials and making personal appearances; the contenders are training and conditioning for their chance.

James Besenyei 05-30-2007 08:18 PM

The current crop of MMA fighters in the UFC are far and away the most well rounded generation of UFC athletes. When a fighter does not possess sufficient ground skills or sufficient stand up ability he is exposed as a one dimensional fighter; on the other hand when a fighter has such enormous talent in one or the other discipline that it makes sense to concentrate on that discipline (i.e., Chuck as a striker)he is not penalized for excellence. Champions in the modern UFC don't last too long because there are so many good, hungry, young fighters out there. Couple that with what John states above concerning the immense amount of energy one needs to devote to staying on top, and it becomes very impressive when we are privy to a guy who can string together 6, 7, or 8 wins in a row while at the top of his respective division. And with the unification of Pride & UFC we will now witness some great fights in an attempt to somehow unify weight divisions, and crown champions who can truly be considered the best in the world. This will be especially interesting for, perhaps, the greatest fighter on the planet right now Fedor Emelianenko, who has strung together an impossible 24 straight wins (well, one NC against Nogueira), and hasn't lost since 2000. Can he sustain his excellence if he faces the best HW's from both the UFC & Pride (I think he can and will)?

Are gloves a factor in the shortened length of title holders' championship runs? Maybe, maybe not. A poll would have to be taken among professional fighters to see where they stand on the issue, for now I like the current MMA product that Pride & UFC offer.

Aidan O Brien 05-31-2007 02:18 AM

Eh, many fighters break there hands in fights. It happens all the time. I was at the Cage Rage Contenders show in Dublin on the 26th and two fighters in 14 fights broke their hands, as far as i am aware.

As for a long term champ, we have had them. Hughes was champ for years, Chuck was Champ for years, Fedor is still Champ and has been for 4 years now.

MMA is a dynamic sport, and you can never assume that one fighter will win a fight. That is the joy of it. The last 8 months have been ones of upset and belt changes within the UFC in particular, but within MMA as a whole.

Titles change hands, its the joy of this sport.

Becca Borawski 05-31-2007 04:55 AM

If that were true, wouldn't boxers remain champs for incredibly long amounts of time with the giant gloves they have?

I think the reason it feels like MMA fighters stay champs for so long is because they only fight a couple times a year. They have far fewer fights over the course of their careers than kickboxers or boxers.

I think the sport has also progressed on every level - striking, wrestling and grappling - from where it was in the early days, as well. The training is more professional and the level of technique is higher.

Bo Riser 05-31-2007 09:55 AM

I think there is much more parity in the top pro MMA organizations than there is pro boxing. The playing field is more level among the MMA contenders than it is in boxing. Also, MMA does a better job of matching up title fights than boxing does.

Curtis Nelson 05-31-2007 10:55 AM

I agree with all of you about the amount of talent out there today. You are all right in your arguments. My post did seem a little bias and I'm sorry for that. My bad. MMA is great and the last few months really has shown some great upsets. My only argument is that all of these upsets were all done standing up and striking.
Serra (who has great skill on the great skill on the ground) was never expected to KO St. Pierre'(arguably a better striker. Silva (an amazing striker) was a huge underdog to Franklin (who normally dominated standing). And now Jackson beats Liddell again who most thought would not have lost in one punch (even me). I expected more of what happened in the first fight from Jackson (a ground and pound style). I picked Jackson to win by the way.
Would these have ended with KO's if not for the gloves? I think Silva's would have and that is about it.

Curtis Nelson 05-31-2007 11:07 AM

James,

I agree with everything you said in your post. It is always interesting to see the transition from Pride to the UFC. I am interested to see how Dan Henderson does in the UFC as apposed to Pride. Pride's rules certainly allow for greater success for strikers than UFC does. Example: UFC doesn't allow knees or kicking a downed opponent in the head where Pride does. Pride is also more likely to stand you up (especially if you get under the ropes). UFC can't have those rules because of sanctioning but just those two rules save tons of fighters from destruction sometimes.

I can't wait to see Fedor Emelianenko in the UFC and see if he can continue his domination. I would actually like that kind of domination. It would be great for the sport of MMA and possibly raise the purses on a more even plane with boxing.

Just bringing up points of discussion.

James Besenyei 05-31-2007 12:51 PM

Right on Curtis. I like long running champions too, there is nothing like being a witness to mastery in any sport. I for one loved it when Michael Jordan was dominating the NBA for that very reason, it's simply amazing to watch. The same can be said about Fedor, though he is not as marketable as say Rampage Jackson is, he is the best professional mixed martial artists on the planet right now. I hope he does fight in the UFC, and I hope he dominates the HW field. However, I must admit that I like watching the underdog win just as much as I enjoy watching a champ decimate opponents. To me it's just as exciting to watch Gonzaga beat CC as it is to watch Fedor beat Linland.

As far as Hendo is concerned I think he'll be fine in the UFC. He's coming off two good wins, and is as skilled on the ground as anyone around. Additionally, I think that Pride will be changing to UFC rules in the not too distant future. Dana White has stated that he doesn't think kicking a downed opponent constitutes MMA.

One thing I fervently hope for is that MMA takes on none of the characteristics of boxing. As the sport rises even more in popularity the prize amounts for fights, or for fight contracts will increase. And as high profile fighters switch between UFC & Pride with more fluidity they will demand higher wages, thus driving up payouts for all fighters. At least that's how I think it will pan out.

Zachary D Brennan 07-09-2007 08:38 PM

I think this is a very good topic to debate on... as the track record shows, the answer is no... I think in MMA there are far too many variables that an individual must deal with in a fight and in the time leading up to the fight. I think this is why I like MMA the best, it can be anyone's day on ANY given day!


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