Why are wrestlers so good at mma? 4 main reasons analyzed in the article will help you answer this question.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a discipline known to combine many fighting styles from many parts of the world. However, wrestling is the most dominant factor when it comes to strength and success in the ring.
Anyone who is seriously considering the sport knows that they need to include wrestling in their training routine. So why are wrestlers so good at MMA? Here are the main reasons for this question.
Why Are Wrestlers So Good At Mma?
A famous black MMA commentator, Joe Rogan, pointed out that one of the keys to making wrestlers dominate MMA lies in their fighting style. Wrestlers can quickly put their opponents at a disadvantage and then hold the opponent tight to prevent them from having a chance to fight back.
This is not the only reason to explain the brilliant success of many wrestlers in professional MMA. Many other factors in wrestling give wrestlers a massive advantage in mixed martial arts over different popular fighting styles. Here are the reasons why wrestlers are often so successful in MMA tournaments.
4 Main Reasons Why Wrestlers Have an Advantage in MMA
1. The Wrestlers Have Good Control of the Fight
Wrestlers will have more advantages in MMA competition than BJJs because the rules of this sport are the same as those designed for a wrestler.
The scoring applied to mixed martial arts matches will be based on the fighters’ effective grappling/attacking, aggression, and cage control in the arena. This is exactly what is often seen in wrestling.
When wrestlers transition to MMA, they won’t need to change their practice habits too much. Their most natural things will help them score in the cage. As long as they control and hold the opponents to the canvas for the whole round, victory will come to them.
If you compare these things to a BJJ player, pulling guard won’t help them score in MMA. Moreover, self-defensive dodging techniques will only help you to protect yourself from the opponent’s attack but will not make you win the match.
Keep in mind that referees will not appreciate pulling guard in MMA. The loser is the one at the bottom; unless you have an elite guard, you will lose the match.
The main characteristic of the wrestlers is the ability to control the opponent well and keep them on the mat. But, more importantly, they could withstand constant pressure and keep their opponents unresponsive. In contrast, BJJ fighters will only focus on pulling the trigger and finishing the fight.
Some BJJ players have enjoyed a lot of success in the cage, like Demian Maia and Charles Oliveira, because they can lock in a submission before the match comes to an end. However, when it comes to the highest level of success in MMA fights, BJJ players will not be able to surpass elite wrestlers like Kamaru Usman, and Frankie Edgar have done.
2. Wrestlers often have the Advantage of Toughness and Endurance
Wrestling has never been a leisurely sport, and you will understand this when you visit wrestling academies. Before stepping on the mat, each wrestler has undergone rigorous training and tried their best. They are incredibly hard-working people, and commentators often refer to them as “grinders.”
Wrestling is always highly competitive; it teaches you to continuously boost your fighting ability by working on your endurance and flexibility. This ability is very relevant when transitioning to MMA.
When they are wrestlers, it will be easier for them to learn new things like BJJ and Muay Thai because they are so used to pushing themselves to the limit and are always mentally focused.
3. Wrestlers Usually have Knockout Power
Wrestlers often have innate strength, notable arms with incredible force. Teaching a wrestler how to box is more accessible than teaching a boxer to wrestle. You can turn a wrestler into a heavy hitter with simple boxing training.
The wrestler will decide where the fight takes place. If he wants to stand, he can stand. But if he starts to lose his stance, he still can knock opponents down or shove them into a cage. Proof that Dan Henderson’s killer’s right hand is the terror in the MMA arena and knockout artist in Shane Carwin.
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4. Wrestlers have Lots of Experience Competing
Most wrestlers start their careers at a very young age. In schools, students can choose to study wrestling as an extracurricular subject and can compete at the collegiate and Olympic levels. So, before becoming a real wrestler standing in the ring, they have gone through hundreds of matches before.
An excellent example to prove the above is Henry Cejudo – One of the greatest fighter athletes of all time, thanks to his achievements in MMA. He won an Olympic gold medal in wrestling when he was only 21 years old. At that time, Henry Cejudo’s experience was more than the average MMA fighter had when they debuted.
A BJJ player may also have previous experience competing in some local tournament, but it certainly won’t be compared to competing in a major tournament like the Olympics. Because of his rich experience from a very young age, Cejudo has been more successful than other martial artists.
You can watch this youtube video to know more about the advantages of wrestlers in MMA:
The Bottom Line
The above reasons have explained, “why are wrestlers so good at MMA?” It can be seen that wrestling is an excellent basis for development in mixed martial arts. Experts also assert that a fighter will not be able to compete in modern MMA without defensive wrestling skills.
In fact, any martial art contributes to MMA, and if you practice it correctly, your road to success will be shorter. While many of today’s best MMA fighters are former wrestlers, there’s no denying that their success in the MMA arena also comes from being able to master all other martial arts.