MMA fighter Mads Burnell isn’t pleased with how jiu-jitsu has evolved, especially in the context of MMA. He believes that the focus on jiu-jitsu as a sport rather than self-defense has made it less effective in fighting.
Burnell, who will be facing Daniel Weichel at Bellator 299 this Saturday, expressed his opinion on the current state of jiu-jitsu during the media day for the event.
To put it mildly, Burnell stated, “It’s soft as f*ck. He criticized the emphasis on techniques like worm guard, spider guard, and various other guards, referring to them as “soft sh*t. According to Burnell, the old-school approach of fighters like Renzo and Rickson Gracie, which prioritized takedowns, top control, ground and pound, and submissions, is what works in MMA. He doesn’t believe that the current trend of butt scooting and focusing on foot locks has a place in the sport.
Interestingly, Burnell’s criticism of jiu-jitsu is surprising considering it is his primary weapon in MMA. He has achieved 10 stoppage wins in his career, with nine of them coming by way of submission. However, Burnell stands by his opinion, stating, “It’s funny because I’m good on the ground, but I actually think jiu-jitsu is soft. I actually don’t like it, especially how it is today.
Danish MMA talent Mads Burnell (Pro MMA record 17-5 (IBJJF European No-Gi Champion 2014) received his BJJ black belt from Chris Haueter after 3 years of intense training at the young age of 21. This puts him amongst europe’s youngest black belts.
Regardless, Burnell’s main focus is on MMA rather than jiu-jitsu.