America has made the art of finding the athlete a science, and that science, in my prediction, will manifest itself in the MMA through the form of a draft. What am I talking about? Remember now, this is only my gut feeling, but do understand how the draft of a college athlete works, and understand how we connect MMA to collegiate sports. Colleges do not compete in MMA competitions so there is no pool to pull from right? Wrong. We do have athletes that are perfect for the transition, and these athletes will come from our top ranked college wrestling programs. You might find yourself asking how this could be, when there are no strikes allowed in traditional wrestling collegiate platforms? How do the skills transfer over, and who is best utilizing them. I think the simplest thing to do here is give you an example in order to understand how this phenomenon is manifesting you have to understand where it already exists.
Although muay thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, and striking overall are considered the most commonly utilized art forms, in the octagon WRESTLING has still managed to remain the numero uno weapon. Visionaries, like Brandon Vera, premier owner of Alliance Gyms in Chula Vista and El Cajon (California) locations know this, and has procured high ranking wrestlers such as Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis, a Penn State wrestler with an overall record of (116-15) to add to their team arsenal. Phil Davis (9-1-0) MMA went on to fight for a title shot against Rashad Evans (17-1-1) in a battle where two wrestlers with high collegiate pedigrees grappled for order of control of the octagon in a struggle of brute strength. I advise anybody to dig into the UFC archives for this incredible headliner, because it showcases the potent effect of a wrestling infused game plan. The pure essence of wrestling is overpowering your opponent to control his motion and ability to effectively be able to defend himself i.e. controlling the pace of the fight and where it happens. Look at UFC Light-Heavy Weight Champ Jon Jones (15-1-0) whose wrestling ability is off the charts. Any given bout his opponent is a takedown away from being grounded and neutralized in the position his choosing. Fighters like Chael Sonnen have utilized their wrestling so masterfully, that one could say that to go in against him without any wrestling background would be foolish. During the Bisping Vs Sonnen exchange, Bisping (23-4-0) known as a devastating striker ended the fight and the night flat on his back where his striking skills were useless. Once again, that night, wrestling skills prevailed.
The daily regimen of a serious college wrestling collegiate can transition perfectly into the MMA world. Add a well versed wrestler WITH proficient trainers IN diverse disciplines, and you’ve got the recipe for a winner.With additional striking, BJJ, and setting the training on overdrive and you got an instant cage fighter. Don’t sleep on this prediction by thinking this scenario will be far far into the future, remember not so long ago no could fathom the UFC being broadcast on a broadcast platform like Fox network.