T Nation



It seems BJJ doesn't rule the MMA sport as much as it previously did. In the early days the gracies would take the fight to the ground and the fight was over. Why doesn't this technique simple rule the sport?

I see professional MMA fighters who basically only strike, and some ground pounding. How do they survive against a good BJJ fighter?

What are the weaknesses of BJJ in MMA, and how come it's not the primary technique of all MMA fighters today?


I would say there are several reason but the main one would be that BJJ was unfamiliar in the early days of MMA. I think it dominated so easily because no one knew how to counter yet it or had even seen it. Now that the element of surprise is over its just another style. Not even the Gracie's train strictly in BJJ anymore. Even they had to realize that if they were going to continue being competitive they would have to cross train and learn to strike. I think a really big mistake many people made was assuming that BJJ was superior because of its innitial success.


What Peeott said. I do a little BJJ, and it is amazing how easy it is to submit someone who knows nothing about it. Even wrestlers at the state level aren't very hard to beat until they learn about the submissions and how to defend against them. As soon as they learn what they're up against though, it gets a whole lot more complicated...


BJJ is still the best style under submission wrestling rules, wouldn't you think?


however fedor doesnt do bjj.......but judo and sambo :wink:


BJJ is still a major part of MMA. Simply because Gracie is not the best at it anymore doesn't mean that other people do not use it as a major part of their game.

Lets not forget that in UFC 60, Dean Lister applied a beautiful, very technical triangle on Sakara--textbook BJJ. Of the 9 fights in UFC 60, half were decided by submission (1 triangle, 1 armbar, 2 guillotines). Hughes dominated Gracie using BJJ techniques--what he was doing on the ground (before he started bashing in Royce's face) was BJJ, not wrestling. So it is a total misconception that BJJ is not a major part of the sport still.

Sure, you don't need BJJ, but you need some form of submission grappling (judo, sambo, etc.). But, no, pure BJJ guys can't compete anymore--just like pure strikers can't compete. You need a well rounded game, and that will only come by having knowledge of both stand up and ground.


Brazillians don't necessarily rule MMA in every weight division in every event anymore. However, everyone trains bjj or something just like it called something else. Before all these strikers and wrestlers knew subs they would get beat. Look at Matt Hughes. Subbed 3x early in his career. Now he knows better. Watch the most recent UFC. Triangles, gullotines taking the back and pounding... I trained boxing, wrestling a ton of bs martial arts and i didn't learn any of that until i learned bjj.


Nice to hear. I'm starting BJJ after the summer, and maybe move to MMA if I have any talent. I'm 19 and I hope it's not to late for me, if I want to be a competitive fighter in the future.


Definitely not too late. Half of the guys on TUF are in their 30s. Chuck Liddell is almost 40, Randy Cotoure(sp?) was dominiant in his early 40s. As long as your dedicated you can do it. It'll be easier if you come from a wrestling or martial arts background though.


THat's because there really isn't any bjj yet in Russia. I heard someone opened a bjj studio in St Petersburgh however I doubt their instructor would be of world-class leve.

Besides, in regards to submission sambo is pretty good too, plus it has better takedowns than bjj, and combat sambo includes some striking and striking defense.


check out www.straightblastgym.com.. great instructionals.. you can see if they have a gym in your area.. even if they don't, they'll give you much more of an idea of what you are looking for in a gym by reading their materials..

highly recommended.


Remember when Dan Severn a world class wrestler, pounded that Russian Sambo expert Oleg Taktarov into oblivion in UFC 5.?

And do you also remember when that same world class wrestler Dan Severn got tapped out by Royce Gracie (the BJJ expert) in UFC 4?

Okay...well that's the differnece between Jiu-Jitsu and Sambo.


One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is the 'policy' of standing fighers back up. In the old days the bjj man just had to score a takedown then could size his opponents up, slowly work for a sub etc. Now however, if the ground game slows down the fighters get stood up. I am all for this but it did weaken the submission fighter somewhat, especially when coupled with the shorter rounds.

P.s. SAMBO is basically a jui-jitsu/judo hybrid and the ground rules allow for most of the stuff bjj does.


Let us not forget the simpe fact that all groundfighting is NOT bjj.. :wink: Sambo is not bjj, Judo is not bjj, "old-school"-jj is not bjj.. and the list is quite long, from anicent pankration, trough filipino groundfighting and everything between..


One word. GLOVES. Gloves gloves gloves gloves gloves. Gloves have changed the sport of fighting almost as much as bjj changed the sport of fighting in itself. Bottom line - take the gloves away and it would change EVERYTHING. It would be a groundfest DOMINATED by the brazilians. I could see someone like Ryron Gracie dominating the scene, and BJ Penn and Eddie Bravo dominating the lower weight classes. In fact, without gloves, there wouldn't even need to be various weight classes because size would be less of an issue. I would say an over and under 200 pound class would be sufficient.

Unless you train MMA and have used gloves, you probably won't fully understand what Im talking about. Gloves are a HUGE advantage for the striker.


Dude, are you serious? Have you watched Pride? Have you heard of Fedor? As for your logic: A beats B, than loses to C than C's style is better than B's? Actually if you have watched UFC a little more you would use the Renzo Gracie against Taktarov as BJJ vs Sambo, buy you don't know that fight happened judging by how you had to use Severn...

As for Sambo vs BJJ in more recent history, how about Fedor destroying Big Nog three times in Pride when Nogueira was thought to be unbeatable prior to that subbing everyone with his excellent BJJ ground game?

Oh wait, you probably don't even know who Nog is...


I agree completely on this. MMA is now a sport. This is not a No Rules fighting as it had once been advertised. BJJ worked very effectively when the rules were few, tradition dominated fighters style, and non-athletic bar fighters would slug it out. Fighters are now considered professional athletes.

BJJ is designed for smaller individuals using effective and efficient technique to neutrilize larger/stronger opponents. Since the domination of Royce Gracie in the early part of the UFC, fighters have studied these techniques and thus effectively neutilizing any advantage in knowledge.

As in any sport, athletes will look for ways to get an advantage. The BJJ advantage lasted until well conditioned wrestlers learned more about BJJ and used their wrestling ability and conditioning to ground and pound opponents. Today, fighters counter this by not allowing it to get to the ground by sprawling and more lateral movements (aka Cro Cop). This has given stand-up fighters a chance.

Eventually I see the sport become more and more game plan based as fighters improve their technique and conditioning.

A great example would be Liddell's game plan against Couture in matches 2 & 3 are prime examples where game plan against a fighter is an advantage. Circling to avoid the take down and create angles to strike was the perfect plan against Coutures style.

Another great example is any of Fedor's fights. He always comes up with a great game plan. More specifically, in Fedor's fight against CroCop. Fedor's plan was to stay away from CroCop's greatest weapon; Left High Kick (quite possible the greatest K.O. limb ever). Fedor did so by circling away from it and used everything he could to block CroCop kick (raised right knee to the pt where it touched right elbow, all while keeping his chin in and covering his head w/ this right arm). Fedor knew CroCop is a stand up fighter and wouldn't go for the take down. This game plan mimized CroCops abilities to win the fight and allowed Fedor to push the action allowing him to win via decision.

In the beginning of MMA, styles ruled the outcome of the fights. Tommorow they will be ruled by game plans.


Thanks for the advice. Theres no straight blast gym around where I live unfortunately. However there is a gym very close to me, which has a black belt from Brazil, and a Purple belt instructor who is currently very successful in BJJ competition. So I'm hoping they're qualified.


Isn't bjj derived from Judo? I heard it orginated from a style (dojo) that specialized in ground fighting.


I see that many people live in the mythworld of "bjj would work if there were no rules".. ok, how hard is it to gouge the eye of a guy trying to set you in a triangle? how hard is it to fish hook the same guy? elbow-strike the one armbarring you.. The "no rules" you are talking about was "gracie rules" that favored the grappler.. :wink: