MMA - Mixed Martial Arts (aka Ultimate Fighting)

Discussion in 'general sports' started by Bernie Gunther, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    I like Numbers' idea of having a boxing thread, but I also enjoy MMA, so I'm making a thread for that.

    Here's Fedor's latest bout, vs boxer Brett Rogers.

    For people more used to watching boxing, a bit of background on this stuff to make it easier to interpret.

    First the politics. There's a sort of Don King figure called Dana White who runs the UFC (the 'Ultimate Fighting' of editor's edit to the title), which is the US-based MMA organisation and frankly I think he embarrasses martial artists, and not just those unfortunate enough to be contracted to him, with his tendency to employ professional wrestling style bullshit to excite stupid Americans. Meanwhile Fedor, easily the dominant heavyweight of the past decade, has always fought for various Japanese MMA organisations, mostly Pride, until it was bought out by the UFC last year. So there's a bit of a confused situation with regard to the world title, and a lot of US fans chest-beating about how 'Roid Rhino (I can't recall his real name, but if you see a picture you'll know why he's 'Roid Rhino in my mind), the latest UFC badboy (he has what appears to be a large manly penis tattooed on his chest) would eat Fedor alive. I'm somewhat sceptical, given what's happened to all the other UFC bad-boys who have faced the potato-headed Russian caveman in the past. At any event Fedor won't fight for UFC because he doesn't want any part of the Don King type contracts involved and he always looks faintly embarrassed when asked about whatever stupid UFC bullshit Dana White and his guys are currently spouting. He's getting on a bit and will probably lose his title/number one ranking fairly soon, but he's still absolutely deadly as the above bout demonstrates vividly.

    A bit about technique. Early MMA tournaments, to great general surprise, were won by grapplers. Specifically Brazilian Ju-Jitsu (BJJ) exponents. BJJ is a Judo variant, but very 'unsporting' old-fashioned Judo, from around 1900 (which is approximately when the guy who taught the Brazilians left Japan, I think it might even have been still called "Kano-Ryu Ju-Jitsu" back then) with a lot of Lancashire wrestling and other stuff mixed in. (Maeda, the guy who taught the Brazilians was a sort of roving ambassador for the Kodokan, taught by one of Kano's four original champion students, the guys who beat (according to poorly documented legends) traditional Ju-Jitsu's finest to put Judo on the map, taking on all-comers in challenge bouts in the UK, Europe and the Americas for about 20 years before settling in Brazil, so his Judo incorporated what he'd learned from two decades of fighting and generally beating shitloads of boxers and wrestlers.) Key thing is in a match fight, unlike a street-fight, there's no reason not to commit fully to grappling. Traditional Ju-Jitsu generally doesn't go for e.g. a full mount (see below for details), but rather might hold the opponent down with a knee to apply a lock, in order to be able to GTFO if his mates show up. In a match fight there's no reason not to fully commit to groundwork if it's allowed, and BJJ is all about match fights with very few rules.

    The early dominance of the BJJ guys caused the stand up fighters to go off and learn grappling arts and that in turn caused the grapplers to learn standup. The modern MMA fighter really needs to be capable at stand-up (boxing, Muay Thai, kickboxing), clinch fighting (Muay Thai, Greco-Roman and Judo), submission grappling (BJJ, Judo and Lancashire wrestling) and 'ground and pound' (basically sitting on the guy's chest and hitting him really hard in the face repeatedly).

    Even decent boxers will look terrible if they're doing MMA, because they're worried at all times about having their legs dragged from under them or otherwise getting dumped on the floor and having their arm twisted off. Hence you'll generally see a wide stance that aims to protect against these moves (by allowing for a 'sprawl' and/or 'eat the knee' defence against leg grabs and keeping the body more upright to protect against Judo or Greco-Roman style throws) and a generally wider distance between the fighters than you'd expect in a boxing ring, not only to give more warning of a grab for the legs, but due to the prevalance of Thai-style round kicks (with the shin typically striking the 'dead leg' point). Guards are also generally wider, to buffer high kicks if they seem like a possibility and lower to deal with takedown attempts. Another key difference is the clinch, in MMA as in Muay Thai, the fight continues in the clinch and typically knees, elbows, 'hold and hook' and a variety of throws are employed from there. In some ways the resulting stance is reminiscent of pre-Queensbury Rules boxing, if you look at old pictures of Tom Cribb et. al. No great surprise when you consider that wrestling moves were still allowed in those days.

    Rogers background mostly seems to be boxing, whereas Fedor is also world Sombo champion (a sort of Stalinist Judo) and was a reserve for the Russian Olympic Judo squad in his day. As you can probably tell from the fight above, Fedor isn't a terribly skilled boxer, although his haymakers are often brutally effective when they connect. What he is though is a tremendously skilled grappler who can hit like a wrecking-ball (his training regime seems to consist mostly of trying to beat old tractor tires to death), which means his best game is armlocks and strangles on the ground and sitting on someone's chest punching them repeatedly in the face. As he has to get people to the ground to do any of this, he generally doesn't mind eating jabs or their kick equivalent to throw haymakers because they put his opponent under pressure and generate chaos in which he can use his Judo/Sombo stuff (plus if any of those bombs actually land, then bye-bye baby) Conceptually, although very clearly not in terms of boxing technique, he's a bit like Hagler in the sense that his approach is almost invariably to apply constant pressure and disrupt his opponent's game, until he's got the opening he wants.
    dervish and silverfish like this.
  2. Bakunin

    Bakunin I am Noodle's bitch.

    And here's one from the 'old school' UFC archives, so folk new to MMA can see where modern MMA has its roots.

    Paul Herrera takes on Gary 'Big Daddy' Goodridge and loses.

    Very badly.

  3. The Boy

    The Boy danny la rouge is probably wrong.

    Been getting quite into the old MMA as a result of ESPN showing the UFC.

    That punch from Fedor was quite something.
  4. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    Give it all the names you like, it is still basically lawless brawling. Myself and the Maquis are not impressed. Not impressed at all.
    Rosemary Jest likes this.
  5. 100% masahiko

    100% masahiko i is a professor and is magical like totoro

    Great fight. I love Fedor and I hope Strikeforce will take over the world!!!

    Problem with UFC is that the management are full of cocks - and the lightweight division lacks substance.

    Surely the likes of BJ Penn and GSP will get bored soon.

    I wish I could a link for this fight.
    Never have I seen the Nightmare get killed like that

  6. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I've edited the title to give a bit more detail.
  7. The Boy

    The Boy danny la rouge is probably wrong.

    This much has already become apparent from my bried flirtations with the format/franchise.
  8. handy1

    handy1 A certain Man U fan ; )

    Not my thing either,but the thread is for people who do like it i suppose.:)

    See you back on the Boxing thread,D.C.;)
  9. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    I really find UFC hard to take because of all the professional wrestling style drama queen stuff. Much prefer the Japanese-run stuff. Less bullshit and in general, less restrictive rules.
  10. Numbers

    Numbers an ting!

    ^^ this

    Found that fight Bernie posted incredibly dull. I love fighting, absolutely love it, but that was a load of rubbish IMO.

    But... I'm not here to knock, absolutely love Bernie's posting generally so will keep a close eye. I haven't read the edit on the OP just yet as I'm cookin dinner, but I will.

    Show me something exciting tho' chaps.
  11. sim667

    sim667 Licking windows on the 303 bus.

    does tank abbot still fight in UFC? He was a nasty fucker.
  12. Numbers

    Numbers an ting!

    :D whereas with 'Boxing' nothing else needs saying.

    Bin this thread please Ed' - it's sacriligious!!!!
  13. Bakunin

    Bakunin I am Noodle's bitch.

    Abbott was suspended from fighting in the UFC after he attended UFC 8 (the same UFC with the Goodridge- Herrera bout link I posted earlier). He was in the crowd and got into, shall we say, something of a scuffle with some other spectators.
  14. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    Yep, wasn't his best by any means. I picked that one 'cos it's recent and fairly non-technical. My worry is one that I'd think was a really good fight might be even duller to someone who doesn't know the technicalities of grappling (the wife's comment on the bout I'm thinking about presenting next was "it looks like two thuggish men having incredibly violent gay sex")

    Maybe I should give it a go anyway. OK, this is Fedor's breakthrough fight with almost nobody willing to believe he could handle the champ, an incredibly strong and seemingly KO-proof BJJ (see OP for explanation of BJJ) fighter called Nogueira.

    A certain amount of intelligent commentary from on the soundtrack here which should be helpful. Basically what's happening is that Nog wants to fight from the BJJ 'full guard' position, on his back controlling Fedor with his legs and in an excellent position to get an armlock or strangle. It looks passive, but almost anything human is going to tap out (i.e. have to submit) in seconds if they end up in Nogueria's full-guard. I heard about someone who trained a bit with Nog in preparation for a professional bout, but didn't do groundwork with him 'because I didn't want to get my arms broken'. You can tell the the commentators think Fedor's nuts for even trying it. While he has Fedor in a closed guard, i.e. with his legs wrapped around him, Nog has enormous leverage to apply armlocks and can restrict the angles and distance Fedor can use to attack him. It may not look like it, because it's much easier to understand a punch in the face than all that tricky stuff they're doing with their arms, but Nog is tactically in a very strong position throughout the whole fight, *if* he can exploit it.

    In particular, Nog keeps going for what the BJJ guys call a 'Kimura' (properly called ude-garame) If you see Nog bending Fedor's arm into a sort of right angle to his body, that's it going on. It takes incredible strength and skill to get out of it from there.

    Fedor ideally wants to get past the legs and get into the 'mount' position, astride his chest, and then hammer the fuck out of Nog with his fists. While he's in the guard, when he attacks with his fists he's always at risk of a submission due to the leverage Nog's legs give him, but from the mount he can just beat Nog up for as long as he can stay there. That's why ideally Fedor wants to get past one or both legs and get onto Nog's chest into the 'mount', from there his position would be much stronger, because Nog doesn't have the leverage of his legs and Fedor can punch freely. He's also very nearly as good as Nog at the grappling stuff though, so he'll take an armlock or strangle if he can get one. He's putting pressure on non-stop in this round and it also becomes increasingly obvious that he's trained to deliver incredibly hard 'half-arm' punches (i.e. with no room to swing) while staying out of BJJ locks and that he's therefore going to try to beat the snot out of Nog without actually passing his guard and getting into a mount, an incredibly risky strategy because it's almost asking to be countered with an armlock or with a strangle applied using the legs.

    In case it's not obvious, doing what those two were just doing for the last 10 mins is like playing speed chess while arm-wrestling, with the other guy punching you really hard in the face whenever he gets a chance. It's brutally exhausting and if your concentration slips for a fraction of a second, you're going to get locked and tap out.

    In the second round they pretty much keep doing the same stuff, although there's a nice illustration at the start of the round of the takedown stuff I was talking about in the OP. If you want to skip a round, skip this after they go back into the guard. The commentators are incredulous at Fedor's audacity in playing Nog's game and willingly going into his guard. It's the armlock equivalent of someone going toe to toe with Tyson in his prime. Nog also has a few goes at strangling Fedor with his legs, again one of his really strong techniques (listen for commentators talking about a 'triangle' to know when he does that) My feeling is that Nog is taking it easy this round, trying to get his wits back after the pummelling in round 1.

    This is where it starts getting really interesting, to me at least. Nog knows he's behind, so he has to do something. Fedor craftily keeps offering him half-chances to get an armlock or a choke and when he goes for them, breaks free and throws a few more bombs at Nog's head while he's out of position. Again, I can't emphasise enough how dangerous that is. It's like showing an enraged and wounded Tyson your chin to pull off a fancy counter, over and over again.

    Well, I hope that was a bit more interesting. I deliberately took a chance here with a very technical but very high-quality bout rather than something a bit more obvious. Hope you could see something there at least ...
  15. Numbers

    Numbers an ting!

    Cheers Bernie. Shall have a good read and watch tomorrow as am just skim surfing at the mo' as missus is making a racket next to me practising her driving theory on her laptop.

    Might ask her out on the cobbles if she doesn't pipe down sometime soon.

    ffs she's reading out every question aloud :mad:
  16. 100% masahiko

    100% masahiko i is a professor and is magical like totoro

    Vid of Fedor - possibly the best fighter in the world. Sambo wrestling champ, super technical and has the most devestating arm-bars.

    and better still, UFC can't BUY him!
  17. jigotai

    jigotai Tag! You're it.

  18. 100% masahiko

    100% masahiko i is a professor and is magical like totoro

    Technical fight?

    Sudo Genki (best Japanese BJJ tatician ever) vs Royler Gracie (7th dan Black Belt BJJ grappler).

  19. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    Oh yeah, that's technical :)

    If you can find the Sergio Penha vs Rickson Gracie fight, I'd be grateful. I can't.
  20. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    shit me that third round is intense. It's still a little ott for me, not pugilism. But still an intense combat. I'd like to face neither of them in a one on one
  21. kained&able

    kained&able Here for the football.

    Can't get into MMA(i'm sorry but anyone calling it ultimate fighting/UFC needs a slap, that is just one company) When someone works out how to include a moonsault into the fight i will be all over it though.

    There are too many mounts and stuff for my liking. If the fighters stay on their feet most of the time i love it though. Some brutal brutal finishes, which i approve of.

    That genki vs gracer fight was pretty lame. I'm going to have to watch a chris jericho DVD to get over it :D

  22. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    OK, I've decided to take the long way round here. Next up is Fedor vs former UFC champ Mark Coleman, a very competent wrestler and steroid enthusiast.

  23. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    So that was a scene setter for the fight between Fedor and Coleman's formidable protege Kevin Randleman. I couldn't find a decent video of the fight, so I settled for a highlights one. Look out for the monster suplex by Randleman (Fedor just shook his head, got up and jumped on him again) and Fedor's use of ude-garame (what BJJ guys call a 'Kimura') to finish the bout.

  24. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    Then there was an inconclusive rematch between Fedor and Nog after those matches with the yank 'roid boys, and Nog and Crocop and the yank 'roid boys fought a bit amongst each other, but then Fedor and Nog had a proper fight to unify the title. This time Nog had trained to fight standup with the idea of taking Fedor into *his* guard if he could take him down, and Fedor has a totally different plan from the last time, which makes this a little bit interesting :)

    He's even trying to psych him in round two ... 'Hey, not the fight you trained for eh tovarish? ... *whack*'

    The guy at ringside in the grey tracksuit is Crocop, who will be the subject of our next presentation. Meanwhile Fedor steps up the pressure on Nogueira.

  25. futha

    futha vessel in vain

    I used to think MMA was two guys rolling around on the floor. Fairly boring. I was the same as Dave, I liked it when they stood up but lost interest when it went to ground. Then I started going to MMA classes. Now I absolutely love it and it all makes much more sense! What before looked like rolling around on the ground now looks like a ever changing puzzle and I can appreciate it so much more. I didn't appreciate the skill involved until I tried it first hand.
  26. Louloubelle

    Louloubelle Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that

    Checked it out last night

    Really good documentary I enjoyed it immensely :cool:
  27. 100% masahiko

    100% masahiko i is a professor and is magical like totoro

    That Genki vs Gracie is REAL GRAPPLING.
    An armbar, choke, knee lock takes a great deal of technical knowledge to pull off.

    Then, I only like MMA because I practice wrestling.
  28. tarannau

    tarannau Mongolian eyed

    TBH the grappling, as technical as it is, is one of the main reason why a lot of MMA fights are as dull as dishwater to me.

    I appreciate the skills, much as I do one the same in appreciation of the skills of a huge lineman in American Football, but I'd far rather see the whizz bang running and passing action. A good boxing match is a generally better spectacle than a highly skilled MMA bout at close quarters imo.
  29. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    I think this is the thing. I spent a number of years learning how to do that sort of grappling, so it's hard for me to tell how opaque it is to others, but I suspect that's the big issue. I very much get the idea that it's not intrinsically interesting, any more than say Judo is unless you have some sort of idea what the fuck is going on. If you subtract the 'muscle-chess' from the first Fedor vs Nog match on the previous page, because you don't know the 'chess rules' and very possibly a lot of the time, can't actually tell when Nog is doing something extremely dangerous to Fedor, then what's left probably just looks like a crude and very one-sided beating.

    Boxing on the other hand has been optimised over the centuries as a spectacle as all the other stuff the renaissance era Masters of Defence did was dropped after they lost their monopoly on teaching fencing and James Figg got them into show business, because he quickly found that pugilism was more popular as a spectacle, then as it transformed from pugilism into boxing through the Broughton and Queensbury rules, the 'boring' wrestling stuff got dropped.

    If the grappling bit isn't clear, then most likely the relationship between the grappling and the other elements aren't clear either, so the stand-up or ground and pound bits just look like a crude punch-up between two drunk guys outside the pub. If your reference point is boxing they're going to look like a terrible parody of boxing when they stand up, but you most likely aren't going to see that what appear to be horrible sloppy wide sprawling stances are actually (at least with the competent guys) trying to cover against takedowns and kicks and that when e.g. Fedor throws crude haymakers what he's very often doing is creating openings for his grappling skills (although obviously if the haymaker lands he isn't going to complain)
  30. kained&able

    kained&able Here for the football.

    I understand the skills involved in all the clutching/grappling type stuff, just find it boring to watch.

    I find most martial arts boring to watch though. Judo at the olympics is really really boring and i suspect had i watched any real karate tournments i would feel the same. The problem is beacuse the fighetrs are all very skilled it ends up being a game of chess rather then a bruce lee film!


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