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Is college wrestling a pre-requisite to be an MMA Fighter now?

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Today on another forum (www.judoforum.com) we were discussing what style is responsible for a majority of the current successful MMA fighters.  Although it is getting much more likely to see a MMA fighter come in with just a MMA skill background we haven’t yet gotten to that point.

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My personal thought is that wrestling attributes to a majority of the current successful MMA athletes.  Just take a look at this list of UFC fighters that have a strong wrestling background; Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Quinton Jackson, Dan Henderson, Matt Hughes, Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, Diego Sanchez, Rashad Evans, Tito Ortiz, Clay Guida, Keith Jardine, Roger Huerta, Jake O’Brien, Frank Trigg, Frankie Edgar, Matt Hamill, Brandon Vera, Gray Maynard, Corey Hill, Matt Grice and others.

One of the biggest assets a MMA’er gets from wresling is the understanding of leverage.  When someone understands how to grapple with leverage they appear even stronger than they actually are.

Any thoughts?

The MMA Zone


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. MackAttack Says:

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  2. Jasper Says:

    Personally, I think Ju Jitsu (in particular Brazilian-JJ) and some style of “standing fighting” (perhaps muay-thai) is a pre-requisite to be an MMA fighter. What do you think?

  3. thacker Says:

    I agree with you that those two arts hone and tighten up the skills in MMA. Wrestling just gives such a huge advantage when these kids have been doing it since they were 3 or 4. I guess BJJ could also fit that bill since it teaches body leverage and close proximity fighting. Someone who has done Muay-Thai since they were 3 or 4 would be a great striker but could easily be beat in today’s MMA if that was their only arsenal. I can’t think of any of the top MMA’ers that say they CAME from a Muay Thai brackground. Are there any?

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