[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
** BOXING **
Boxing’s rebirth is going to be in MMA. Most MMA fighters are realizing the importance of good technical boxing and the subtle adjustments you should make for mma (and the strategies that work regardless). There’s going to be a lot of guys that have great hands and demonstrate high level boxing skills… eventually naysayers are going to have to admit that MMA is the future of fighting sports. Soon more MMA guys will want to try their hand at boxing (Silva, Arlovski, Noons) and eventually they’ll actually be good enough to compete. This is going to cause a revival of interest in watching boxing becaus they want to see how the MMA guys hang. The MMA audience will start watching boxing and when they can appreciate the intricacies again boxers will start having an even bigger fan base. I think the future lies in a lot of cross over between these sports.
** TMA **
I think as MMA fighters seek more methods to defeat opponents the usual go-to’s… BJJ, Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, etc… Aren’t going to be enough and they will begin exploring TMA’s for techniques that can be used within an MMA framework to defeat their opponents. Just like the Gracie Brothers changed Japanese Jiujitsu into BJJ through the crucible of Vale tudo, the Machida lineage has rewritten the rules on using Shotokan Karate for combat sport…Arguably the 10th Planet system is another step forward in the BJJ evolution… A revolution will occur where TMA’s will have their techniques put to the test and under a crucible of fire… Guys with skills in the other arts will use a creative eye to see what they can take from other martial arts and MAKE work. Hell I’m getting into Savate and have been using a lot of Kali traps lately (small gloves make a lot of things possible). Very few people admit their TMA history. Hell josh barnett knows a LOT of Wing Chun. Chuck Liddell is Kempo. GSP & Machida are Karate. Anderson Silva started in TKD. TMA’s are still going to be a viable way to introduce kids to martial arts no matter what. If anything a slight resurgence will begin as the mcdojo’s are no longer able to compete. You’ll have purer TMA schools, which is going to start the cycle I initially started this section with. TMA schools will start to be more like the Kyokushin Karate schools of Japan… Extremely functional and involved in realistic forms of combat training and testing their skills.
** CROSSOVER **
I started to get into this a little bit earlier…I think a lot of guys are going to be more skilled than before, and Dana White will have to open his competition clause in order to keep the guys interested and active. They’ll compete across the board in boxing, sub grappling tournaments, k-1, etc. Just like they’ve been doing in Japan for years (Sudo, Kid, Gergard, Overeem, etc). We’re usually behind the Japanese quite a bit so you can really just follow a lot of the trends over there.
** MMA AS A FIGHTSPORT **
The downside is that the MMA McDojo is going to occur. You can already see it starting. But on the other side of the coin MMA itself is going to eventually become a viable career option as far as sports. It’ll be something akin to hockey which is unfortunate considering it’s roots in the streets and battlefields. Unlike boxing that you see kids from impoverished neighborhoods use as a mechanism to lift themselves out of the ghetto/barrio… MMA will be more along the lines of hockey where if you can afford the equipment and instruction then you can get in on the action. You’re not going to see any high schools supporting MMA per say but there are a ton of kids I know that have been training MMA. Think about kids that are freshman in high school NOW, but have been training MMA since they were 8ish, boxing, jiujitsu, now they’re in high school they wrestle and simultaneously do grappling competitions AND muay thai smokers… I know 16 year olds that have more experience than most active MMA fighters… Than some guys on the UFC roster! Which leads to…
** FUTURE OF MMA FIGHTERS **
Man the skillsets are going to be ridiculous. Everything I’ve estimated before leads you to this obvious conclusion. IMO there’s a large watering down of talent for various reasons that I will decline to elaborate on. It’ll just result in a dick measuring contest. I think it should be sufficient to say that for MMA to really develop into the high level combat sport and move really far away from a toughman sport (farther than it has come already) there needs to be a designated amateur league. Just like football players are developed through pop warner, to jr high, then high school, then college… Having fighters just bounce around from dinky fight league, and having amateurs exploited by asshole promoters isn’t good for the sport. The UFC if it had deep enough pockets would do itself an amazing service if it set up an amateur or entry level UFC league akin to how Shooto had.
Shooto fighters are categorized into four Classes.
* Class-D: Amateur (2x2min, Headgear, Special point system)
* Class-C: Amateur (2x3min, Headgear, Special point system)
* Class-B: Pro (2x5min)
* Class-A: Pro (3x5min)
Fighters start out as Class-D or Class-C fighters and enter amateur competitions that Shooto hosts together with the help of local gyms all over Japan. Class-D Shooto does not allow knee strikes to the face or striking on the ground. Class-C Shooto does not allow striking on the ground, but knee strikes to the head are allowed. There are regional championship and once a year the All-Japan amateur championships. Then a fighter can get a Class-B pro license, these fights are 2x5 minute long and use the same rules as Class-A fights. For new pros Shooto each year hold a rookie tournament in each weightclass.
When a fighter has gathered enough wins and experience in Class-B he will get awarded with a Class-A license, as a sign that he’s part of the elite professional fighters.
This kind of setup leaves NO doubt as to whether or not you deserve to be in the UFC. It puts guys right away in the UFC, and actually gives them more $ as guys won’t seek to even fight in smaller leagues anymore they just want to get to the UFC-DCBA levels so they can make it to the big show. If they have a dedicated pay scale, everyone (including amateurs) could make a little coin and make MMA a viable career option because you can actually plot our your career or likelihood of having a career. The UFC would become THE league, akin to the NBA. Anything else would be like european leagues, sure you get experience, but the skill level is just different. Similar to how some high school players have gone to straight european leagues instead of college, anything outside the UFC will still be class-B and not the A level competitors. Champions wouldn’t have any reason to get bored (like Anderson Silva) as the talent pool would be endless as you’re constantly training new challengers to the throne. There will always be a question of “if you can still hang” with the new young lion…
** MMA GYMS AS THE NEW “STYLES” **
I think gyms also are going to eventually have their own “style” as we see guys gravitate towards where can help them better. It won’t just be fighters with personal styles but the gym will have a large influence as well. Sort of how like Hammer House was mostly wrestlers, and Chute Boxe had it’s own distinct style. [/quote]
Great post. The only thing I would say is that we are already further down a couple of the paths than you indicate.
Styles from gyms are already about, McDojos are already about and MMA fighters going back to TMAs for ideas are already there.