Discussion What is holding us back from becoming an MMA powerhouse?

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phantom13

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The f’ed thing too is all these Americans now are starting to look off the pace compared to these Sambo wrestlers. The Russians are just nuts

Yeh they are goddamn terrifying. I actually texted a mate on Sunday saying "Ive got 6 inches and 30 kilos on Petr Yan but im terrified of him".

I think theres still a bit to be said for the place and circumstances of a fighter shaping some of the qualities in them. No one fights harder than someone raised in a tough, hard, harsh place especially when they are raised with nothing and fight for everything. Its just a different mindset.
 

phantom13

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I was in the crowd, when this happened I started yelling "Holly's got her! Holly's got her!", geez it was exciting.
To take a pro wrestling term the crowd popped at that. All 40odd thousand of us were like "OOOOOOHHHHHHH".

I actually remember thinking "jeez thats gotta be demoralizing for Ronda". As Topkent said, Ronda needed to stick to her fundamentals, trying to throw hands with anyone (especially Holly who is still one of the better technical strikers in womens MMA) was silly.
 

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the_interloper

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To take a pro wrestling term the crowd popped at that. All 40odd thousand of us were like "OOOOOOHHHHHHH".

I actually remember thinking "jeez thats gotta be demoralizing for Ronda". As Topkent said, Ronda needed to stick to her fundamentals, trying to throw hands with anyone (especially Holly who is still one of the better technical strikers in womens MMA) was silly.

I dragged my wife along to that event, even she was up on her feet yelling her head off. MMA isn't for everyone but there's no doubt even non fans would have found that fight incredibly exciting.
 

Topkent

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Yeh they are goddamn terrifying. I actually texted a mate on Sunday saying "Ive got 6 inches and 30 kilos on Petr Yan but im terrified of him".

I think theres still a bit to be said for the place and circumstances of a fighter shaping some of the qualities in them. No one fights harder than someone raised in a tough, hard, harsh place especially when they are raised with nothing and fight for everything. Its just a different mindset.

Haha yeah there's all the fighters say theyd be willing to die in the cage, but you reckon the Russians actually mean it
 

phantom13

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I dragged my wife along to that event, even she was up on her feet yelling her head off. MMA isn't for everyone but there's no doubt even non fans would have found that fight incredibly exciting.

I give Ronda alot of credit for bringing in casuals and upping the profile of the sport. The only times my non MMA friends wanted to come watch a fight was Ronha (and Conor to a lesser degree)
 

Crimson Azure

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but if we had an ACTUAL wrestler there i have no doubt id have had my ass handed to me.
This. Unless you've grappled with a wrestler you don't know how strong they are. My little brother was an Olympic lever wrestler and judoka and the strength and control he had was crazy. Add to that they know exactly how to use your weight against you too. The last time I even bothered trying to grapple with him was when he was 16 and 75kgs, I had 10 years and 20kg on him and still got owned.
 

Nickos66

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I also remember Robert Whittaker fighting a wrestler (Colton Smith?) and having his lead hand pinned to his hip for the whole fight to help shrug off the takedown. He and his team essentially decided Smith couldnt box with Rob so the only danger of being beaten was a takedown. It was brilliant planning and execution.
I remember that fight, Colton Smith had just come from a really average, bottom of the barrel season of TUF and won purely from being the best wrestler on the season, he was undersized as a welterweight and had no striking or power, but I was nervously watching in hopes that Rob wouldn't let him get too close to be able to clinch with him.
 

GC2015

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It seems like we've come a long way as a nation/region since I created this thread in 2019. Volkanovsk has been the UFC champion for close to 2.5 years, Whittaker just fought in a title re-match, Tuivasa looks like he could be one win away from a heavyweight title shot and Crute & O'Neill are both ranked inside the top 15. A few new UFC fighters from Australia have really caught my eye lately as well like Jack Della Maddalena. It's worth mentioning that City Kickboxing in Auckland have done really well lately too with Adesanya, Hooker, Kara-France, Riddell etc. Having these high level kiwi fighters helps us as well.

So what happened? I think we're genuinely at a point where our fighters have improved their wrestling/grappling to a level that's allowed their superior striking skills to shine through over the course of a fight. Tuivasa is an example of this. He is mostly living in Dubai these days and has worked tirelessly on his wrestling/grappling so he'll (hopefully) be ready one day when he needs to use it and now look at him - ranked inside the top 3 and on a five fight winning streak in the UFC. Adesanya is another great example of a guy that came from a striking background and has improved his wrestling/grappling defence so much that his opponents really can't use it as a pathway to victory unless they are considerably bigger than him (see the Blachowicz fight). I think we'll see more and more Aussie/Kiwi fighters coming through over the next few years and following this path of high level striking mixed with an acceptable level of wrestling/grappling.

Special mention to two Gold Coast girls who I think will both be future UFC champions - Casey O'Neill and Jasmine Parr. Most MMA fans will already know King Casey but Jasmine Parr is arguably just as/if not more of an exciting prospect. She is the daughter of Muay Thai legend John-Wayne Parr and Angie Parr. Very accomplished Muay Thai fighter/Kickboxer in her own right and is already a national boxing champion. She's only just started her transition into MMA and wants to make her professional debut later this year, most likely for Eternal MMA. Keep an eye on Princess Jazzy Parr!
 

the_interloper

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I remember watching Whittaker v Jacare and thinking that the tide was turning and our guys were really learning how to grapple properly.

Props to Tuivasa, I thought he might have just been a fun guy to watch but not taking it too seriously, he's sure worked hard on his game in the last few years and doing all the right things, we're seeing the results now.
 

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