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?It is no secret, the elite of the cage fighting community tends to be riddled with world beating folkstyle and greco-roman wrestlers converted into fighters. As of February 2014, five out of the seven male UFC titles are held by former NCAA D-1 wrestlers. So what is it that makes this martial sport so effective among UFC fighters.
Before MMA hopped onto the scene, people feared the largest man in the room. Perhaps they felt the sheer size of the man warranted the assumption that the largest was therefore the most lethal. Today’s astute fight fan has changed this mentality, and no longer should you fear the largest man, but rather, you should fear the man with the most messed up ears. What is still consider grotesque in most circles, is often worn as a badge of pride by many wrestlers, mixed martial artists, jiu jitsu practitioners and boxers. It is often assumed a fighter with ruined ears has shown longevity in their given sport. And while some fighters seem more vulnerable than others (similar to how some people are riddle with cavities, while others have never had one) the method by which we fall victim to cauliflower ear is always the same.
It’s said that an Olympic Wrestler doesn’t use a single move in the Olympics unless they have drilled that move at least 10,000 times. Nothing is different in any of the martial arts. If you want to throw a Oomapolatta against a black belt you better have drilled that move a few thousand times, otherwise he’s just going to pass your guard for all your trouble. While there is no replacement for sparring and live grappling, drilling is twice as useful. For every hour spent grappling, you should be spending 2 hours honing your technique, speed, conditioning, smoothness and power in every movement.
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