Over the years, each sport is changing for different reasons: changing regulations, new techniques, different ways of exercising the discipline, in short, there are several ways in which the base can change. In mixed martial arts this has happened, if we look at the early athletes they are totally different from the current ones. While this development left out some aspects that benefited the show, it allowed every perk to be reaped in just one fight.
Logo Shooto, the first promoter of mixed martial arts
From the start, there was a big separation between those who participated in MMA events: there were those who carried their entire attack with punches, knees or kicks and others who inside the cage didn. ‘were only trying to take actions on the web to be able to develop different types of attacks; whether with levers, keys or knocks.
If we have stepped into the time machine and go back to the mid 80’s, in Japan, the first mixed martial arts organization was formed under the name “Shooto”. In the first event of this fledgling company, we can see how the fighting experts had a very poor standing level, while those who came from boxing, kickboxing, taekwondo or muay thai were knocked down in seconds. .
We come back to the machine and jump a few years forward; specifically November 12, 1993. The final between Royce Gracie and Gerard Gordeu was a clash of completely different styles. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert had just finished finishing his two previous rivals, while the Dutchman, world champion in savate (French boxing), had knocked out his two previous opponents. Eventually Gracie won with a killing spree in the first round. As we can see, there was no interest – on the part of the athletes – in mixing the different disciplines, but there were representatives from each of them.
Royce Gracie as he won UFC 1
Years and events have passed. The sport began to develop in an unthinkable way. Sponsors have given some promoters a worldwide name: Ultimate Fighting Championship, BFC (Bellator Fighting Championship, WEC (World Extreme CageFighting) and Pride.
Professionalism has also increased. New academies have emerged in different regions of Brazil, Asia, Europe and North America. As a result, various fighters began to have only one place where they could learn different martial arts. In addition, thanks to the salary increase they received, they could devote themselves exclusively to the daily practice of the different branches of mixed martial arts. In short, professionalism has been the main gear of evolution.
Mark Coleman was the creator and promoter of the Land and the Pound
For the first time, we were talking about âcompleteâ athletes; able to make good combinations with the foot, but also to chain takedowns and even finish rivals with a guillotine or a slaughterhouse. Mark Coleman, Kasushi Sakuraba, Randy Couture and Maurice Smith, are among the references of this change. These legends have been able to innovate with the combination of different edges such as: fight-boxing, fight-BJJ, boxing-Muay Thai BJJ-Judo, among many others.
This mixture made us see Dan Henderson, multiple wrestling champion, to possess one of the most feared fists. Names of warriors who became black belts in different martial arts also began to appear: Fabricio Werdum (Judo, Muay Thai and BJJ), Nate Marquardt (BJJ, Jiu-jitsu and Pancrace), Anderson Silva (BJJ, Judo, Taekwondo and Muay Thai) and Wanderlei Silva (Judo, BJJ and Muay Thai). These are just a few of the many examples we can find.
Training makes this possible. Today, every elite fighter trains at least three different disciplines during his training program. Some to be part of your offense and some to strengthen your defense. Very few warriors today have a really weak point. After research, the names that stand out the most are Fabio Maldonado and Demian Maia. The first is a blow-by-blow expert, but when the actions are on the web, usually all they’re trying to do is cover their face. As for Maia, he is a gifted Brazilian jiu-jitsu player who has a very poor level of boxing. These weak points are constantly attacked by the various opponents that these two Brazilians face.
Mixed martial arts are the set of various disciplines
The level of competition within MMA is so high that there is no flank that can be discovered, as any slight oversight can lead to defeat. This is why strykers, wrestlers, judocas or others no longer exist, there are only complete athletes who are ready to take on any challenge in the cage. Evolution has done its job, little by little it has made this sport more and more spectacular and complete.