It’s well known that wrestling is an essential component for success in MMA. Randy Couture, Frank Edgar, Daniel Cormier, and many other world champions have strong wrestling backgrounds. Even Georges St.-Pierre, who did not wrestle for a high school or college team, developed world class wrestling skills and used them to beat some of the best fighters on the planet. GSP has even scored takedowns on NCAA Division I champions Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks!
If you can outwrestle your opponent, you can decide where the fight takes place. If you want to take the fight to the ground and win via ground-and-pound like Mark Coleman or via submission like Royce Gracie, takedowns provide you with an avenue to get on top of your opponent and finish the fight. If you’re a great striker like Chuck Liddell, you need strong defensive wrestling to keep the fight standing and go for the knockout. Bottom line, if you can’t wrestle, you can’t fight!
Joe Rogan on Wrestling:
“We said it a million times but it bears repeating. Wrestling is the greatest skill to have in MMA because wrestling dictates where the fight takes place. On top of that, amateur wrestling training is so unbelievably grueling that the guys who get through it are the guys who rise to the top are the elite of the elite when it comes to mental toughness. That is a huge part of fighting. Mental toughness and focus and the ability to work hard to achieve goals under exceedingly insurmountable circumstances.”
Other Commentator: “You must embrace the grind as they say.”
Rogan: “That’s a nice way of putting it but they go through hell. That’s not a grind you know….Amateur wrestling practice is a constant exercise in over training, dehydration, and maintaining your momentum and maintaining your motivation in incredibly uncomfortable moments.”
Other commentator: “Anybody in high school or college who played a sport they would always see the wrestlers just running and going, and going. They start before you start and they finish way after.”
Rogan: “And they take great pleasure in being uncomfortable. They take great pleasure in their ability to push. And there is not a lot of sports that can say that, not a lot of sports where that is part of the badge of courage; the ability to be constantly miserable……”
Do you agree or disagree? Why?
Zach Goldrosen writes about wrestling, grappling, and combat sports in general on his blog, The Mat Rat Blog. He’s a former all-conference college wrestler and current coach.
Wrestling can make or break you in a tournament. If you, like many other want to win the ADCC one day, you better start training wrestling now! This can give you the competitive edge. If you don’t have a place to train wrestling, check out Hudson Taylor’s “Wrestling for BJJ” DVD Set. Hudson was a division 1 all American wrestler and he is a blue belt World Champion.