in athletics, yes athleticism is key. So many MMA fans wrongly think that athleticism is not as important to fighting. They cite Forrest Griffin type grit and toughness as more key. That is stupid as Anderson showed everyone. Yes while the sport is young and is attracting few top elite athletes the 'tough gritty guys' can still win and compete. But if MMA ever got the type of adoption that Football had with the most athletic kids streaming from grade school and choosing a path to MMA even as they had other choices, then the days of the guys just being tough and gritty and at the top would be far and few between. People on this site seem to not understand that to make it to the top of the elite sports those guys have to be extremely tough and gritty. They face far more challenge and adversity to get to the top than a top MMA'ist does simply because their pool is bigger and better. That does not mean every A level ahtlete cuts it in fighting as some will not like to be punched. but it means if you take 100 A level athletes and stream them towards MMA and 100 average gritty joe's who cold not cut it in any other sport and you train them equally the A level athletes will dominate the sport. Why? Because it is a sport and having equal training but being better everywhere athletically matters.