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Striking vs. Wrestling

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Photo Courtesy of Bleacher Report.

As it is in every other sport certain players and teams have an advantage outside of just home-field advantage. Certain player’s abilities are expressed more in certain venues or on certain terrain. In Tennis you got players who dominate on the clay but are not so dominant on the hard courts. In Baseball there are parks that favor pitchers or ones that Favor hitter and no two parks are the same. In Football you got guys like Peyton Manning who dominate domes but have problems in cold weather, not to mention the differences between grass and turf.

The same is so in Mixed Martial Arts. There are so many styles of fighter and that’s what makes MMA so exciting because to be successful you have to be great in a number of ways. For the most part, every fighter has his or her preference in the way and where they’d like to fight.

Strikers specialize in Boxing, Kicks, Knees and Punches so they would prefer a tradional boxing ring.

The Top Strikers today are Jon Jones, Jose Aldo, Junior Dos Santos, Alistair Overeem, Anderson Silva.

Jon Jones has proven himself as an intimidating striker still with plenty of room to improve.

Jose Aldo has at least a few wins under his belt that he can accredit to his striking ability’s. He out-pointed Mark Hominick and Kenny Florian who are well known for their own striking abilities.

Junior Dos Santos knockouts speak for themselves. Cain Velasquez, Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve and Gabriel Gonzaga, all have fallen victim of the fury of JDS.

Alistar Overeem is well regarded as a supreme striker. He won the most sought after title in the world of striking, the K-1 World Grand Prix Championship in 2010

Lastly, Anderson Silva, famous for knocking people out off his back foot is arguable the greatest striker of all time and mainly wins championships with his feet, hands, knees and elbows.

Wrestlers specialize in grappling, takedowns and brut force so they would prefer the cage.

The top wrestling styles of the MMA would be Greco-Roman wrestling, Judo, Freestyle wresting and Russian Sambo. Greco-Roman is a throwback to Ancient Greece and was also practiced by Russian soldiers where attacks below the waist are forbidden. UFC Hall of Famers, Randy Couture and Dan Severn have a Greco-Roman background.

(While some of you may be wondering why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has not been mentioned here, it is important to note the BJJ is not exactly a form of wrestling but rather a form of grappling, and a martial art in its own right.  Wrestling on the other hand is also a form of grappling thus the two (BJJ and wrestling) are mutually exclusive.)

Judo was founded by Dr. Jigoro Kano of Japan in 1882 and leglocks, wrist locks, and spinal locks are banned from competition. Judo is mainly free sparring where half the time is spent on the feet throwing, called tachi-wasa, while the other half is spent on the ground wrestling, called ne-wasa. UFC’s, Karo Parisyan is a four time international Judo champion. Carlos Gracie is known for popularizing Judo/Jiu-jitsu in the states after he learned it from Mitsuyo Maeda who brought it to Brazil after he learned it from the Japanese.

Freestyle wrestling allows attacks to the entire body of the opponent. Takedowns and putting an opponent on their back are ways to score points.  Pinning an opponent wins a match. Freestyle wrestling teaches single leg and double leg takedowns, both of which are highly integrated in the sport of mixed martial arts. Tito Ortiz and several other former UFC Champions have a freestyle background.

Russian Sambo comes from Russia’s need to produce an elite fighting system for their military and police officers. It is a cocktail of Judo, Karate, Greco-Roman Wrestling, with hints of the styles of the Vikings, Mongols, and native Russians. Today Sambo is broken into three versions. The Street version focuses on Self- Defense. The Combat version was used heavily by the military, and Sport Sambo was for competitions.

Other Popular Styles are Catch wrestling which is all about submissions and popularized by former UFC Champions, Josh Barnett and Frank Shamrock.

And Shoot wrestling was influenced by a host of martial arts including catch wrestling, freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, Pehlwani, Karate, and Muay Thai.

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