MMA’s pathetic collective bitch session about the current trend of wrestlers kicking everybody’s asses reached its shrill and whiny fever pitch this week. With the UFC considering pulling Jon Fitch’s title shot off the table, Dan Hardy’s hilariously bad anti-wrestling column appearing in the Nottingham World Observer (or whatever it’s called) and people publicly worrying themselves sick about the marketability of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard, the wrestling store must be all sold out of Haterade.
Add to the list of the aggrieved the already insufferable Shinya Aoki, who tells MMA Fighting.com that – in the wake of his own soul-crushing defeat by Gilbert Melendez and idol BJ Penn’s second straight loss to Edgar – he’s not too down with all this wrestling stuff.
"The American wrestling style — punching a little bit, getting a takedown and moving to side control to win the round has no risk,” Aoki says. “It’s an easier fight. It’s just using the judges. They don’t even have to worry about injuries or anything like that. There is no risk.”
Man, people who suck at wrestling really don’t like wrestling, huh? I wonder if Walter Camp and Pop Warner bitched this much after Bradbury Robinson threw the first forward pass …
Give props to MMA Fighting’s Daniel Herbertson for pointing out the following irony in Aoki’s sudden distaste for fighters who play it safe: “The fact that Aoki uses the lack of risk as a criticism is interesting considering that he also recently claimed that his own goal is ‘to win against my opponent without being in any dangerous situations’ and that fighting with risk ‘makes the quality of MMA lower.’”
In a larger sense: Dudes, seriously. Cut it out. All this bellyaching is not becoming of a bunch of supposed “tough guys.” The cold, hard fact is that as it stands right now wrestling is one of the more effective ways to win fights, as governed by the unified rules. This will be true until something comes along to replace it – just as Mark Coleman’s ground and pound briefly replaced Royce Gracie’s jiu-jitsu and GnP was then briefly replaced by Chuck Liddell’s sprawl-and-brawl as the dominant fighting style of the moment. These things are cyclical, people.
True to form, only Kenny Florian appears not to have lost his damn mind by opting to, you know, try to get better at wrestling instead of moaning about it in the press. As for the Shinya Aokis and Dan Hardys of the world, here’s a novel idea: If you don’t like wrestling, learn to stop the takedown.