LEAD JAB – Wrestlers Point Fight Too

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Posted by Mika Frankl

Many times strikers that use a lot of movement and so not to stay in the pocket are looked at as point fighters. This, at the basis of there strategy is correct, but lets not hold only the strikers accountable lets take a look at how wrestlers, grapplers, and jiu jitsu guys use there own version of point fighting.

I know everyone has watched an MMA match where the commentator gets overly excited from a late minute take down. I get, that in a effort factor, that yes that take down scored a point and won a close round. The bothering thing is we have even seen on judges score cards that a not even round on the feet can be swayed in the judges eyes with a take down. I see take downs all the time and the value of a take down, just the take down, has never been actually said, but the judges do value it as equal it would seem to twenty strikes. A take down is a positional change. The biggest factor of scoring points on the ground should be how much damage and how close where you to ending the fight once you got it to the ground. If the fight goes to the ground and one fighter is “CONTROLLING” the other we are missing a big part of the MMA experience the fight. When you look at Mixed Martial Artists like Chad Mendes, Jon Fitch, and Ben Askren who are all great wrestlers that score many take downs but frequently are not able to end fights meaning they grind out decisions. So you got guys that feel their most comfortable in top position when on the ground and get that position but do nothing with it. If you’re just staying busy to stay on the ground, you’re not doing enough to win the fight. So how in MMA is it acceptable to get hit, dive for a take down, and lay on your opponent  until you recover or the ref stands you up? But outrunning or dodging is looked upon as a act of a coward. In the match up between Mike Pierce and Carlos Eduardo Rocha, Mike Pierce continually forced the action to the cage or got the fight to the ground but was reluctant to engage. For what I saw in that bout at some point the ref need to stand them up and tell Pierce if you don’t want to engage on the ground why do you keep taking the fight there. If you have ever seen Ben Askren in an MMA contest then you have never been treated to a fight. Ben Askren is the Bellator Welterweight champion and has a tremendous collegiate wrestling background. His style is to get take downs and continuously move position and use top control. The lack of damage Askren inflicts proves that you don’t have to be a fighter to be good point fighter in MMA. Lets be real how many take down knockouts or actual submission come from just being taken down. A take down is a tool used by Wrestler to score points. Real fighters use take downs to end fights. The next time you see a take down at the end of a round just think to yourself in terms of a fight what did that do to win a fight. If you use effective grappling to take a fight down and then just use control, I would say you just effectively avoiding the fight. I believe wrestlers use point fighting too.

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