There are plenty of great athletes in the UFC who prove that athleticism isn't everything in MMA

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by NationWideNinja, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. NationWideNinja

    NationWideNinja Brown Belt

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    Warning: sorry for the long post, turned out way longer than expected.

    To me athleticism is a very broad term, but in context of the discussion that constantly arises on Sherdog regarding top athletes, I mainly refer to fighters that are fast, quick twitch, and explosive, as athletic. Why Sherdog has chosen to only consider those traits as athleticism is beyond me. Nick Diaz for example might not be the fastest, explosive, or most powerful fighter around, but the guy is a hell of an athlete when it comes to conditioning and endurance.
    I think this Sherdog definition of what encompasses a top athlete comes from all the American posters that only use the American golden standard of athleticism, which is the NFL.

    There is this myth that the UFC is only filled with these D-level athletes that couldnt cut it in any other sport so they tried their hand at MMA. Although I do think that MMA in general has a high number of low level athletes compared to other big sports, but saying that there are no high level athletes in MMA is in my opinion false.

    Lets take a look at some fighters which I consider high level athletes (following the American golden standard), and lets see what they've accomplished:

    - Chad Mendes: Probably the best athlete in the FW division. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Is obviously a top level fighter but got his ass handed to him by Aldo, McGregor, and Frankie. Of course there is no shame in losing to those guys, but it is very telling that with his background, athleticism, team, and experience, he still gets beat by guys that are considered lower level athletes.

    - Melvin Guillard: Freak athlete with insane speed and explosiveness. Could never seem to figure out how to create openings or effectively counter. Joe Lauzon who is no top level athlete by any stretch of the imagination probably had his easiest win in Melvin Guillard.

    - Uriah Hall: His body is like a Ferrari thats racing against Fiats. But unfortunately he's the shitty driver that cant do anything worthwhile with the horsepower he's got under the hood. He has the reach (79), speed, and power advantage over most of his opponents, yet he gets beat by guys like Rafael Natal who should be an easy win for him. He doesnt know how to use his reach at all, cant create openings if they arent presented to him, distance and timing he seems to struggle with, and cant throw a combination to save his life. Of course he isnt a shitty fighter, far from it, but he's definitely underwhelming for someone who according to Sherdog with his athleticism should run through the MW division with no problem.

    - Brendan Schaub: I dont know a whole lot about the NFL and at what level Schaub was considered to be, but apparently he's considered a high level athlete in comparison to other heavyweights. Didnt do him any good against subpar athletes in Big Nog, Nelson, Rothwell.

    - Matt Mitrione: Basically same story as Schaub.

    - Tyron Woodley: Great fighter, great athlete. Still lost to old man Nate, and Jake "seems like he's always moving underwater" Shields. I mean Jake Shields is a monster, but an amazing athlete like Woodley should run right through him, right guys, right?

    - Shawn Jordan: Another comparable story to Schaub and Mitrione. Beast athlete with impressive numbers, still not doing anything special in the HW division.

    OSP, Barboza, Koscheck, Randleman, Lesnar, Melvin Manhoef (thanks HHJ), Todd Duffee (props BigPapaShango) etc etc, the list goes on if you delve deeper into the UFC roster.


    Of course a lot of the guys I've mentioned in my post have or have had good careers, Lesnar was even champ for a while. But its very interesting to note how these upper echelon athletes get beat by guys like Werdum, Cerrone, Bader, Rory, Nelson, Varner, etc., all fighters that arent particularly athletic if we maintain the American golden standard of athleticism.

    Fighters like Weidman were able to beat the superior golden standard athletes by using timing and distance. McGregor said it himself, he beats speed and power with timing and precision. Nelson and Rothwell will walk through your former NFL aspiring punches and land a big punch. It goes to show that there are more ways to be a succesful fighter than just speed and explosiveness. Chin, heart, fight IQ, timing, distance, precision, technique, endurance, cardio, ability to learn and adapt and improvise, coordination, balance, sense of depth, the list goes and on and on and onnnn. There are so many factors that decide whether or not someone becomes a champ, speed and explosiveness is just a smalll part of the equation. NFL or NBA skills dont automatically transfer into a succesful fighting career no matter how gifted you are and how fast you can run or high you can jump.

    TLDR: There are plenty examples of fighters that are very athletic (following the classic defintion of athleticism) who get beat up by less athletic fighters. Being gifted in one sport doesnt mean you are automatically gifted in every sport, especially not fighting.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
  2. Drofrah

    Drofrah Green Belt

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    Cool, thanks
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  3. Fahcough

    Fahcough Black Belt

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    Brains vs brawn

    Scrolled down pretty quick but some of the names have some questionable fight IQ.
     
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  4. SirKratos

    SirKratos Silver Belt

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    Depends on how you look at it

    They have made it to the best MMA organization in the world,so they are pretty much better than %98-99 of MMA fighters in the world? Thats good enough

    And also,you can say that about every kind of MMA fighters;

    There are lots of fighters with traditional striking who suck in UFC,so that isn't everything?

    Same can be said about D1 wrestlers,so wrestling isn't everything?

    Boxing isn't everything,MT isn't everything etc...

    The truth is,of course,none of them are everything.You have to be a complete fighter to succeed in UFC,other than few exceptions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
  5. HHJ

    HHJ Jeg reiser til mørkets dyp der alt er dødt.

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    Could probably add Melvin Manhoef to that list
     
  6. Luger

    Luger Rabbi of Platinum Nation Banned

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    Superior technique trumps other aspects almost every time.
     
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  7. HHJ

    HHJ Jeg reiser til mørkets dyp der alt er dødt.

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    yeah but how many sherdoggers DONT look at it that way?

    "lol that guy lost,he sucks,in fact he was never good to begin with lol"
     
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  8. Sonny Qc

    Sonny Qc Gold Belt

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    Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar, GSP
    Great athletes , had pretty good career...
    But every good fighter Need a good IQ
     
  9. NationWideNinja

    NationWideNinja Brown Belt

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    Sure but there are loads of others that did it without that same athleticism that some of these guys posses. This thread was more aimed towards the idea that top athleticism trumps all, you know the "if NBA players would have trained they would have rekt the HW divison hurr durrr" threads. Not bashing the careers of these guys.
     
  10. Harmonica

    Harmonica Strong, silent type

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    It's common knowledge that one must be able to win the dunk contest in order to enter the club of A level athletes.
     
  11. NationWideNinja

    NationWideNinja Brown Belt

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    Owh yeah perfect addition!
     
  12. Xplosive-Viking

    Xplosive-Viking Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Americans thinks athleticsm = explosiveness.

    Athleticsm is a combination of strength, agility, balance, coordination, ability to learn new moves quicker, body awareness, explosiveness, speed, natural born cardio etc...

    Saw u mentioned Weidman, he is a super fine athlete with SUPER high level in most of those terms. And btw, just cuz mcgregor said he beats speed with timing doesnt mean he isnt fast, lol.. He has said on many occasions he is the fastest in the devision, it just happends to be his timing is ALSO on a far higher level..

    Conor is the best athlete in 145/155 pound devision, maybe in the UFC. IF you count all those aspects of athleticism, WHICH you should if you are living in reality.
     
  13. BigPapaShango

    BigPapaShango Green Belt

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    Flicked through real quick, didn't see Todd Duffee, therefore not credible.
     
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  14. Xplosive-Viking

    Xplosive-Viking Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Thats ignorant americans who doesnt know what athleticism is.. nba and nfl athletes wouldnt do shit in mma, not better than any other Pro athlete from other sports like for example, handball, soccer, many many olympic sports.. hey, even skateboarders.. (look at luke rockhold), those guys get insane balance which is very important in mma.

    for example, the reason basketball players get to the top of their sport, is NUMBER ONE: BE TALL, HAVE LONG ARMS, HAVE BIG HANDS.. Thats the 3 most imporant factors for a basketball player. You can be the most athletic person in the world, and trained since the age of 3, but if you are 5 ft10 you will never be a NBA player. Thats a fucking fact..

    And for NFL, if you dont do steroids, like 100% of them are, u wont get into the NFL. U cant compare a sport who 100% does steroids without any punishment to other sports who actually try to stay clean. NFL is like bodybuilding and strongman. - the real circus.
     
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  15. NationWideNinja

    NationWideNinja Brown Belt

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    No no I definitely agree with you. Read the beginning of my post, I was referring to how traditionally (especially in America) for some reason only explosiveness and speed seems to be considered as athleticism. Guys like Weidman and Conor are amazing athletes in their own right, just not if you follow the "only NFL and NBA has top ATHLETES BRUH" logic.
     
  16. Koro_11

    Koro_11 Yellow Card Yellow Card

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    I disagree, it used to be like that in the Royce Gracie days, but now a guy with mediocre technique and a lot of cardio with a smothering gameplan can overcome a much more skilled fighter.

    See Guida/Pettis.
     
  17. NationWideNinja

    NationWideNinja Brown Belt

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    Another solid example, will add it to the OP.
     
  18. Xplosive-Viking

    Xplosive-Viking Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Yeah i read the post again ^^, just wanted to point that out more spesifically. Very good post! It needed to be done, this forum is filled with clueless people, when regarding this issue. And its getting a bit annoying.
     
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  19. BigPapaShango

    BigPapaShango Green Belt

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    Good stuff, Todd Duffee unfortunately has suffered a few set back, however even in the Dream days he never lived up to his hype.
     
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  20. Luger

    Luger Rabbi of Platinum Nation Banned

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    That is why I said almost.
    Like Sapp vs Hoost.
     

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