The Best Base To Have?

What is the best base to already have or know going into MMA? In my opinion, it would have to be wrestling. Unless you’ve been in wrestling, it’s hard to understand but it is without a doubt one of the most, if not the most physically and mentally demanding sports to be in. The habits and work ethic established in wrestling is very helpful for MMA and wrestlers have the power and control to determine where the fight is going to take place. They can decide to keep the fight standing, preventing a takedown, or to take it to the ground themselves. Wrestlers also have an great base and sense of control that can be very overwhelming if you don’t know moves to counteract them. Wrestlers tend to pick up on the other aspect off MMA and learn the other forms of martial arts like jiu-jitsu and boxing or muay tai quicker than any other athlete. I personally found it easy to establish a decent striking and standup game than it was to establish the ground game, so already having that wrestling base is going to be significantly beneficial to have in becoming a fuller mixed martial artist. So all you former wrestlers out there, give this a shot, you would already be more advanced than anybody else who is new to the sport!

4 thoughts on “The Best Base To Have?

  1. I may be misinformed, but I thought that I always had been hearing that wrestling is actually a weaker base to begin with at the MMA level. Simply because of what you talked about with the stand-up game needing significant improvement. I was under the impression that most really good MMA fighters had a solid background in Muay Tai or Jiu-Jitsu and then expanded upon their ground game, so this is really interesting to me. I also understand that how good a fighter someone isn’t necessarily reflected by their chosen fighting practice. But my question to you is why do you firmly believe that wrestling is the best base for a fighter when some of the greatest MMA fighters were actually not wrestling based? (Ex. Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn.) However, I also understand that GSP was heavily criticized for being weak on his ground game early on, and really became a powerhouse when he improved his ground game, but none of these easily known fighters were really known for their early wrestling prowess.

  2. You are completely right, some of the greatest fighters, like the ones you mentioned, did not have a wrestling base, but they did all have very efficient ground games of some sort. Somebody who has a dangerous Jui-Jitsu base (BJ Penn) can stifle good wrestlers (GSP), and vice versa. It all depends who is more skilled in the area. And although St. Pierre did not have a wresting base coming into the sport, through the means of outwrestling and taking down fighters who were known for their successful wresting history, like Koscheck and Sherk, he displayed his spectacular, rapid establishment of wrestling as one of the best wrestling bases in his division. It was after his superb ground control was being applied was when GSP began to dominate and rank his way up, defeating legends like Matt Hughes and BJ Penn.
    Even the top fighters, like Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida, who are known primarily for their superior stand up abilities and skill, still have great ground games, both with acquired black belts in Jui-Jitsu. We just rarely see it. Nearly any martial art or fighting style can be a successful and useful base in MMA. And I’m not wanting to bag on any particular martial art background or base, just based off of my own experiences and insight, I would prefer to inter the sport with a further developed ground game than stand up, because establishing a stand up base, whether it be Muay Tai, Kick Boxing, or anything, tends to be easier to get the hang of and quicker to apply knowledge fluently.
    But thank you for commenting Sir! I appreciate it.

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