It seems like the days of just going for the knock out or some crazy submission are days of the past. Fighters like Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua used to go for broke and make it an all out war against their competition. It proved although to be highly entertaining, it showed that there was only so many wars that they could handle.
Chuck went from UFC light heavyweight champion to sadly a personal punching bag during his final fights. Not saying that he didn’t put up a fight in those last battles but it looked like all the wear and tear finally caught up with the iceman.
Wanderlei Silva was one scary dude back in Pride. Defeating opposition left and right and making every hardcore fans highlight reel in the process. Once he joined the UFC ranks, his body proved that he can’t handle the same wars that we’re used to seeing. Aside from the Stann fight, he’s looked finally human.
Shogun was no doubt the best light heavyweight in the world back in 2005. He refused to fight then teammate Wanderlei Silva for Pride 205 gold but he was able to do extraordinary things. His current run in the UFC did have him winning the UFC gold against Machida at UFC 113, but lately he’s had an up and down career and we don’t know how much he has left.
You see smarter fighters now. Benson Henderson, Demetrious Johnson, and Georges St. Pierre come to fight with a specific game plan and they work it in a way so the judges have no choice but to declare them the winner. Sure some are more controversial than others, but they are able to get their hand raised. That’s all that matters in the long run.
Whether we like it or not, fighting has changed from two guys or girls trying to rip each others heads off and it’s more like human chess, trying to find the best position to win the battle in the long run.
Mixed martial arts is here to stay and the art form may have changed a bit in the past few years, but that doesn’t make it less exciting.