Gracie matches and the UFC

Discussion in 'The Competitive Edge' started by PhotonGuy, May 18, 2015.

  1. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    There has been some debate as to the kinds of fights the Gracies were challenging other top level fighters to and that includes their fighting events such as the UFC. As some people have pointed out, the UFC and the rules that the Gracies were proposing for their fights were not rules that favored the Gracie system, they were just rules that allowed just about every and any fighting system. I would have to agree that the rules did not favor the Gracie system but I will say this. The Gracies trained to fight in matches where both striking and grappling was allowed. Some, I would say perhaps many of the fighters they challenged were top level kickboxers and people who trained to fight in matches where only striking was allowed. Therefore they did not train to fight in matches that allowed both striking and grappling like the Gracies did and so that is why they turned down the challenges, they knew they would lose against the Gracies because they didn't train to fight in matches where their opponent was allowed to tie them up and neutralize their striking ability. On the other hand, the Gracies did not train to fight in matches where that wasn't allowed and so they would no doubt lose if they fought under those rules. So while the rules that the Gracies were proposing didn't particularly favor their style, they were rules that the Gracies were at least used to fighting under.
     
  2. jezr74

    jezr74 Master of Arts

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  3. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    What?
     
  4. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    I guess you know a guy who knows one of them then. So the Gracies favoured their rules on fighting style. And? Who wouldn't in that position
     
  5. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    Pretty much. Despite what some detractors might claim, the rules did not favor grapplers over strikers or BJJ practitioners in general over other martial artists. The biggest advantage the Gracies had in the beginning was that they actually had significant experience in full-contact matches which allowed both striking and grappling. Once other stylists acquired that experience, much of the advantage dissipated.

    (Another, related, advantage was that they had much more experience fighting against practitioners of other styles than representatives of other styles had in fighting against BJJ exponents. This advantage also went away after a while.)
     
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  6. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    There were several top judo, sambo, shoot fighting and wrestling guys in the early ufcs. Truthfully, the guy who had the most experience in an Mma like environment was frank shamrock. His background was about as well suited for Mma as could be at that time.
     
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  7. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    I think you mean Ken Shamrock. Frank came later.
     
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  8. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Yeah. Thanks. The elder shamrock. :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    That's exactly what I was saying. The Gracies were experienced in matches with both striking and grappling. Clearly they would have an advantage if they were to fight under those rules against somebody who only had experience in matches where just striking was allowed.
     
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  10. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    The Gracies - most opinions are probably based on what's read online.

    Then there are opinions of those who have trained with them.
     
  11. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Which was kind of the point they were trying to make.
     
  12. Hanzou

    Hanzou Senior Master

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    It's important to remember the culture of martial arts at the time. It's really telling when you look at Black Belt magazine c.1992 vs Black Belt magazine c.1994 for example. It went from comsidering the street applicability of Chinese water boxing to grappling 24/7. The entire culture around martial arts changed practically overnight. Most martial artists didn't even consider ground fighting an important part of fighting, and that included arts like Judo where ground fighting was present. Most figured that if you just punch and kick enough, a grappler would eventually stop grabbing you.

    The Gracies changed MA forever. And frankly, they changed it for the better. They gave it a standard to be tested against, something that was sorely needed.
     
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  13. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    It wasn't so much the rule set that favored grapplers, but the environment of the octagon in general. One of the biggest complaints that I heard from early strikers was the floor was very padded and was difficult to move around effectively.

    Also, the fact that Rorion hand picked everyone who fought in the first couple UFC's has always been suspect. It has been discussed before that he only picked fighters he knew they could beat to showcase GJJ. I can't remember his name, but there was supposedly someone very well versed in both striking and grappling that attempted to enter the first UFC and was not considered due to the fact that he might have been able to beat Royce.

    Not saying this is "the truth", but perception by both grapplers and strikers alike in the early days.
     
  14. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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  15. Drose427

    Drose427 3rd Black Belt

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    I heard this somewhere and i believe i heard they had doubts about letting Ken shamrock fight because of his extensive wrestling
     
  16. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah but I think George dilman also was suggesting he was not allowed in. Cos of the no touch ko being unfair.
     
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  17. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Yes at one time grappling was viewed with heavy skepticism and the Gracies did change MA forever and I would agree it was for the better.
     
  18. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    I don't think somebody would've been turned down because of a wrestling background that they had as the Gracies were able to quite easily beat wrestlers. The reason why the Gracies were able to beat wrestlers is because wrestlers win by pinning and thus they train to defend against a pin. While such training is really helpful to avoid being pinned its useless, even detrimental, at defending against how the Gracies would win, by submission holds. One thing a wrestler would do when their opponent is on top of them is turn on their front and give their back to their opponent and while that might stop a pin, its just asking to be choked out if you're up against a Gracie.
     
  19. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    That has turned around though.
     
  20. Hanzou

    Hanzou Senior Master

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    Yeah, I don't buy any of that.

    Even in modern MMA, guys who lack takedown and grappling skills get rolled over. Fighters with superior grappling skills still tend to do better. Look at Coture vs Toomey. Toomey, a former heavyweight boxer, was probably the last "pure" style competitor in the UFC, and his fight lasted like 10 seconds. Couture simply took him down and subbed him, just like Royce did in early UFC.

    Rousey is another example. Her grappling skills are on a completely different level than her competition, so just like it was with the Gracies in early MMA, once she has you on the ground you're pretty much finished. What's funny about that is women's MMA was moving towards mostly kickboxing thanks to Csrano and Cyborg. Rousey came along and forced everyone to go back and re-evaluate grappling again.

    I would doubt any story that says that the Gracie's stacked the UFC in their favor. It isn't like there was a fighter out there complaining that the Gracie's wouldn't let him fight in their tournament. It wasn't like there was some Kung fu guy sitting outside a Gjj school waiting for Royce or Rickson to fight him.
     

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