Ultimate Fighting Championship: How Fighters Dominate in Innovative Ways

May 2, 2016

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Ultimate Fighting Championship: How Fighters Dominate in Innovative Ways



When UFC first hit the scene, it was fighting for relevance in a crowded mainstream sports arena. While football was the undisputed king of the global sports realm, with hockey, cricket, basketball, American football, tennis, and other sports at various levels of popularity, it looked like a rocky road to introduce another sport. Boxing itself has struggled for relevancy outside of major pay per view title fight events. How would a new mixed martial arts contender fare?

The result has been, in large part thanks to the marketing efforts of founder and president Dana White, a resounding success. UFC has penetrated the crowded sports market by posing the question, which style in a mixed martial arts setting has the potential to dominate a fighter of another discipline. At least, that is how the sport initially started out with stars like Royce Gracie, Dan Severn, and Mark Coleman. In each case, they mixed in a little of this and that while relying heavily on one martial art to carry them through and dominate their opponents. A bit one dimensional? Perhaps, but it got the job done and made for interesting matchups in terms of a rock-paper-scissors type strategizing on the part of the coaches and fighters.

A Shift in Styles and Tactics

Nowadays, UFC fighting is less about which style can have the upper hand in any given matchup, and more about which fighter is better versed as a mixed martial arts sportsman or sportswoman and can leverage their specific training in the ring more effectively. This kind of evolution of the sport represents a reinvention, not unlike Bingo sites are constantly trying to reinvent themselves. For example, every year there are different bonuses for registration the site. In MMA, every year there are still the oddball contestants that still rely on a particular skillset – the type of fighter the earlier, hardcore UFC fans love to see as they are intrigued by the matchup of styles – but the earlier Gracie grappling days and Coleman-esque wrestling moves are less and less common as a prime focal point.

Modern Day Fighters

Ben Aksren stands among the pack of newcomers as a throwback, someone who excels in wrestling and grappling moves to nullify the advantage the more common mixed martial arts prototype might normally have. More typical is someone who started from a particular discipline, only to learn that they would have to diversify their skill base in order to overcome the competition and move up the rankings. One example of this can be seen in Demin Maia, who saw moderate success with grappling opponents for some time, but had to root out to get over the hump. Another example would be in Josh Koscheck, who took his fighting as far as the title match against George St. Pierre once he cultivated a style that incorporated more striking.

While there is no doubt that UFC has transformed itself into a mainstream event in popular culture, what is perhaps even more striking is how the fighters themselves have reinvented themselves in exciting new ways, opening up the possibility for even more diversified strategies to try to get the upper hand.

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