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3 Reasons Why Wrestlers Are Considered Superior in MMA

why wrestling is important for fighters
  • Cameron Allen

    Cameron is the Founder of Grapplers Graveyard. He is an entrepreneur, athlete, and life-long learner. His goal is to build businesses that help people become smarter, healthier, and happier. Avid Cold Plunger, Four-Stripe White Belt, and Tech Sales Professional who has a passion for building webistes.

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Wrestlers have always enjoyed prominence in MMA from the early days of the UFC. Legends such as Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, GSP, Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, and Khabib Nurmagomedov are a few of the many MMA fighters with a wrestling background who have won and sat at the top of the UFC in their respective weight classes.

Today, the Dagestanis have taken the UFC by storm. The likes of Islam Makhachev, Usman and Umar Nurmagomedov, and Khamzat Chimaev, aside from having exceptional MMA records, have one more thing in common: Their game mainly consists of groundwork and wrestling.

Fans all over the world have come to realize that wrestlers dominate the UFC. In the octagon, it is considered to be more useful than any other martial arts or combat sport. Here’s why wrestlers are considered superior in MMA:

  • Understanding of the MMA Point System

  • Better Physical Conditioning

  • Tougher Training Routine

Continue reading to learn all about how wrestlers are considered superior in MMA.

why wrestling is important for fighters

Why Wrestling is Important For MMA Fighters

In the world of Mixed Martial Arts, there are a number of reasons why wrestling is important for fighters. For starters, wrestling provides a strong foundation which most fighters can (and will) build upon. It helps you control your opponent through takedowns, ground control and creates a whole new way of thinking for the individual who starts to embody the mind of a wrestler. if you have ever rolled against a wrestler, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Outside of these three facts, wrestling also teaches you how to counter takedowns and how to get out of difficult positions like submission holds. Furthermore, when wrestlers transition into the UFC, they are physically stronger, more explosive, and have better endurance due to their extreme training.

MMA’s Rules and Scoring System Favor Wrestling

MMA definitely favors wrestling more, as it is easier for a good wrestler to get more points than it is for a good striker.

This is because in MMA, takedowns and ground control are highly valued, they help you score points quicker with the judges. Since wrestlers excel in these areas, they are able to control their opponents on the ground with ease, lay effective strikes, or put them into submissions, they score points quicker.

Additionally, advanced wrestling techniques like clinching and cage control are also crucial for wrestlers to dictate the flow of the fight. These fighting styles help nullify your opponent’s striking skills earlier in the fight.

MMA also awards points for positional dominance. This also favors wrestling as wrestlers often have a better understanding of how to get into advantageous positions, and stay there through leverages.

Wrestling Helps Improve Physical Conditioning

Wrestling training is unlike any other Martial Art. The intense nature of wrestling skills required in a wrestling match requires vigorous training.

Amateur wrestlers and BJJ fighters both include leverages as a key part of their wrestling backgrounds. Those who begin at a young age often describe their initial training as pure hell. This is because it is highly demanding, both physically and mentally. It requires not just muscular endurance but also cardiovascular endurance.

In a wrestling class, there are a variety of workouts performed like drills, sparring, and conditioning exercises that push their bodies to their limits. Through these workouts, unmatched strength, explosive power, agility, and endurance is built. Combined with a striking combat sport like kickboxing or Muay Thai, athletes become a force to be reckoned with in the octagon.

why wrestling is important for fighters

Wrestlers Have a Tough Training Routine and are Used to Competing

Wrestlers are known for their incredibly tough training routines. They are used to spending long hours on the mat, perfecting their techniques and skills. They regularly push their bodies to their limits striving to improve their strength, explosiveness, and endurance.

They are also known to have a lot of experience competing. It is common for MMA fighters to go long months without fights, this is not the case for even the average BJJ fighter or wrestler. Wrestling competitions happen regularly and wrestlers can expect to participate in several tournaments every year.

Why Wrestlers are Dominating in MMA

Over the past decade or so, Wrestlers have been dominating the MMA game, whether it’s the UFC or ONE. Their effective grappling skills help them get their opponents from the standing position to the ground in seconds.

Wrestling techniques like single and double-leg takedowns are amazing against fighters with excellent striking skills but not good grappling skills.

Wrestlers Determine Where the Fight will Take Place

Wrestlers and BJJ athletes have a significant advantage in Mixed Martial Arts because they can dictate where the fight will take place. They use their exceptional takedown skills and ground control to determine the pace and positioning of the fight.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters can choose to keep the fight standing or take it to the ground, after analyzing their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. This strategic advantage allows them to exploit their grappling skills and neutralize their opponents’ striking abilities in whatever Martial art they excel in.

By utilizing their wrestling and BJJ techniques, such as grappling, clinching, and cage control, wrestlers can effectively control the fight and limit their opponents’ options.

Can Wrestling be used in self-defense situations?

Wrestling training and techniques can definitely help you in the real world. Skills such as takedowns, control holds and escapes can all be beneficial in a real fight. Wrestling also helps build confidence and discipline, which is again, very important for any physical confrontation.

However, what you must understand, is that a street fight has no rules like there are on the mats or in the octagon. This is where wrestling can lose its charm, as in a real fight, you can get punched, kicked, elbowed, or even bitten. You can even get a weapon pulled on you.

This is why it is best to avoid any sort of physical confrontation or argument with a stranger. However, if need be, it would be better for you to know a bit of kickboxing as it is also a highly competitive sport that compliments wrestling well.

As an aspiring MMA fighter or just someone who wants to be able to protect themselves, it is better to know multiple combat sports.

A Wrestler Will Always Find a Way

A wrestler’s biggest strength is his ability to always find a way out, regardless of the position he is in. They are known for their excellent agility and even better flexibility which helps them turn the tables no matter how bad of a position or submission they are in.

They possess a unique set of skills and attributes that make them feared opponents in an MMA fight. Their unmatched and relentless work ethic, mental toughness, and disciplined training routine allows them to adapt and overcome any challenges they face against MMA fighters.

Whether it’s using their powerful takedowns to control the fight, utilizing their grappling masterclass to secure submissions, or employing their superior conditioning and endurance to outlast their opponents. Wrestlers have a champion mindset and an equipped toolkit that gives them an edge, mixed with a striking sport like Muay Thai and they become unstoppable.

why wrestling is important for fighters

Wrestling Allows You to Quickly Learn BJJ

Wrestling training provides an excellent foundation that allows you to quickly excel at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The skills and techniques you develop as a wrestler, such as takedowns, control, and ground positioning, seamlessly translate into your BJJ game.

Good wrestlers already have an efficient and effective understanding of body mechanics, leverage, and weight distribution, all of which are crucial aspects of BJJ. The ability to control your opponent and maintain dominant positions gives you a head start in learning the intricacies of BJJ submissions and grappling transitions.

It is essentially a given, that if you can become a good wrestler, you can become a good BJJ fighter, this is because in the octagon, they compliment each other well.

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