The King is Dead, Long Live the King

eecac1bb-cb91-4ec3-b9e9-66c7f1d24463_anderson-nocauteadoAs many predicted,
Anderson lost, Weidman won.
The King is dead, long live the King.

I like Anderson but I’m kinda glad he lost. I wished it had happened sooner.
I wish Chael would had done it the first time
to show Anderson’s “wrestling shaped” hole in his game
(and in turn, someone would’ve exploited Chael’s jiu-jitsu shaped hole…
but Anderson did that too soon).

The time for Champions with holes in their game is past.
Mixed Martial Arts champions are truly integrated…
are truly modernized.
Long live Modern Mixed Martial Arts.

What is the Modern Mixed Martial Artist?
I think its analogous to having both a major and minor in college.

There are three main divisions in MMA:

  • Striking
  • Wrestling
  • Submissions

No matter which of these three you major or minor in,
one of your two has to be wrestling…at least in defensive wrestling.

Wrestling is the cornerstone of Modern Mixed Martial Arts.
The ability to dictate where the fight goes is a huge advantage in a fight.

The Modern Mixed Martial Artist is still a Specialist (having both offensive and defensive skills in their major), but his competence extends beyond his specialty.

At a mininum, a Modern MMA needs to be a:

  • Wrestler with (at least) defensive Striking and defensive BJJ
  • Striker with (at least) defensive Wrestling and defensive BJJ
  • BJJ with (at least) offensive wrestling (gotta get it to the ground) and defensive striking

I don’t think this describes Anderson. While he is no slouch in defensive wrestling, I don’t think he “minors” in it.  I think that’s why Anderson may be the last of the Pre-Modern Mixed Martial Artist Champions.

By way of contrast, Weidman fills the role, even exceeds the role, of a Modern Mixed Martial Artist.  He majors in Wrestling.  Some may say he even has a double major with the other being in BJJ.  His striking is coming along and is evidently good enough to capitalize on the champ’s mistakes.  Weidman has the skill set to where he could be champion for quite a while.

Weidman isn’t the only “Modern” champion. In fact, when you look at the champions in the other divisions of UFC, you’ll see wrestling skills being present…at least as a “minor.”

MMA has evolved. It has become modern. The King is dead. Long live the King…and Let the King be modern.