[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
One thing I have noticed that sets apart the “average” or “decent” fighters from the “elite” of the UFC is striking. Almost everyone who is of the UFC elite has excellent striking; GSP, Silva, BJ Penn, Evans, Rampage etc etc.
What is it that continues this trend of slews of fighters entering the octagon that have good or great wrestling/BJJ but have crappy striking?[/quote]
Interesting that you say that, because I don’t think that’s true.
It’s obvious that elite MMA fighter should have good striking, one, because it’s one of the big components of the game, two, because the fight starts on the feet, and if you are a good striker, you can do your thing right away.
But when talking about the wrestling-dominated UFC, I don’t think the champions are excellent in the striking department. Silva is a beast standing, that’s a no brainer. But about the other guys, I have some comments.
GSP is Kyokushin black belt, but his striking, while good is not as big factor in his ability to fuck you up as his takedown ability and ground-and-pound. He’s very dominant in his division and can put the fight where he wants it, so he doesn’t take much damage standing, but this doesn’t mean that he’s top WW striker. He doesn’t finish his fights on the feet, rewatch his TKO wins and you’ll agree. He has very good reach, though.
BJ is great boxer, very efficient and has pretty amazing power and chin, but he doesn’t need to be excellent striker to be the best in his division. He won’t win a K-1 tournament against some other MMA LWs, but that’s pretty irrelevant When you don’t bother about takedown attempts (first, because you have the best TD defense in the division, and second, because on the ground it’s your game, again), you can put a lot more power in your punches. Kicking is for guys who can’t do it BJ Penn or Nick Diaz style - box you or choke you - you choose.
Evans is the worst striker from the bunch, I think. He’s very athletic, and has the wrestling, the ground-and-pound and the power, but in his division, there are many equally good or better strikers (on the top of my head - Machida, Rampage, Shogun, Franklin, Lil Nog, Cane, etc.). Still, I must admit that Machida can make everyone look like a whitebelt opponent in a Shotokan tournament.
Just to clarify, I’m in no way trying to badmouth these fighters, I just don’t think their striking is more outstanding than their wrestling, for example.