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Aoki Also Having Trouble Understanding the ‘Mixed’ Part of Mixed Martial Arts


(Here’s a quarter pal, call Michael Schiavello. PicProps: All Elbows)

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.

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GroundFighterMMA- September 11, 2010 at 9:01 pm
If you want to combat the "Wrestling Problem" in MMA. I believe the solution would be to once again allow soccer kicks and knees to the head of a downed opponent.

Randy Couture was much less effective with Pride rules, and wrestlers would be more hesitant to shoot in if people were able to throw a knee up as they were coming in.

However, until the rules are amended: Take some wrestling classes. GSP did it.
X- September 11, 2010 at 1:08 pm
The fighters I would watch...Rampage, Aldo, etc...fighters who fight......The fighters I wouldn't watch....Rashad evans, maynard...fitch...etc....fighters who look 2 win not fight....Randy Couture is a wrestler, however he fights....take a guy down and submit or break his will...just controlling him so he doesn't get up...is boring shit....
fatbellyfrank- September 11, 2010 at 3:14 am
but what about quarter past seven to about ten thirty elbows, they should be legal
Shifty-Eyed Dog- September 11, 2010 at 1:29 am
but wouldn't 9 to 12 be from the left to up? so it's some kind of diagonal, grazing elbow??

and if you're thinking because you're on your back that it would start out from the side, well then it would be 9 to 3 (or 3 to 9)
sp00ki kabuki- September 11, 2010 at 12:15 am
9 to 12 elbows are from your back on the bottom. They wouldn't be 6 to 12. They are from 9 to 12 or 3 to 12. Think about the way it would move before u say somthing that you know nothing about
fatbellyfrank- September 10, 2010 at 9:29 pm
@ daltonswayze, hmmmm, not a bad idea when you give it a bit of thought
the glza- September 10, 2010 at 6:09 pm
i don't know what insufferable means... but i'm guessing it means being and arrogant, opinionated prick who claims to represent much more than he does.
slummy- September 10, 2010 at 4:59 pm
They've all got a case of the Josh Neer disease.
fullmojo- September 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm
Its funny so many fans complain of wrestlers' style when I find it appalling that BJJ fighters lay on their back (cockroach style) and expect a striker to climb/jump on them. Or if a BJJ fighter has no offense off his back and simply tries for wrist control or control of the top guy's posture without attempting offensive moves. That to me is boring as hell. There are times when some wrestlers "lay and pray" but that should fall on the judges' to call stalling and a restart. The Lay and Pray of striking is failure to engage your opponent which we see all to often. Most fights the first several minutes is spent bobbing and weaving with no punches or kicks (or so few attempts its not worth scoring).
nunya_79- September 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm
I remember being knee high to a grasshopper back in the days when a quarter would be enough to make a call on a pay phone... go to get back to my room before the nurses beat me again... bitches slip out too easily from triangle chokes, i got to get my meds...
PortlandMMA- September 10, 2010 at 1:26 pm
Nah, I'm good
Young Vagabond87- September 10, 2010 at 1:10 pm
you are saying some dumb shit. why don't really read what he said.
PortlandMMA- September 10, 2010 at 1:08 pm
LOL @ RwilsonR
PortlandMMA- September 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm
I agree with Ground Fighter, Randy was totally ineffective in Pride...I'm guessing because he never fought in Pride.

I do totally agree with Jugger on this one though, its more of a scoring issue. Nothing is more frustrating then watching a good BJJ practitioner throw the whole kitchen sink at someone sub wise and then lose the round because a decent wrestler had top control and does nothing with it...However in the case of Aoki, he straight got his ass beat by Gilbert so he can't say shit.
RwilsonR- September 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm
knucksamitch, what are you talking about? The lack of 9 to 12 elbows has been holding this sport back for years!
knucklesamitch- September 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm
@ShaneDarwin,

Do you mean 12 to 6 elbows? If so, yes, they should be legal, it's a stupid rule. Knees to the head of a grounded opponent should also be legal...Hits to the back of the hard are not something that should be legal, and I'm on the fence about soccer kicks.
Shane Darwin- September 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm
Oh, and I agree with KidDinomite.
Shane Darwin- September 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm
The "Unified Rules" and the scoring both need changing.

Hits to the back of the head should be legal, so should 9 to 12 elbows, and knees to the face of a grounded opponent. That would stop a lot of lay n pray, oil-checking, leg humping snuggling fruitcakes like it did in Pride.

Funny, CP writers seems to agree that leg humpers like JAke Shields, John Fitch, and Gray Maynard are boring, but they don't seem to put two and two together....
jimbonics- September 10, 2010 at 12:23 pm
@Burrito

I could barely contain my mirth at your comment.
gargolito- September 10, 2010 at 12:16 pm
Criticizing the "wrestling-haters" misses the point. Wrestling is boring in an MMA context and sadly, the unified rules favor it. Taking an opponent down repeatedly and should not be the basis for winning a round. A good example of that was the Sherk/Florian fight. Kenny won that fight on his back, all Sherk did was take him down repeatedly. The unified rules, to my knowledge, do not give enough value to offense from your back. Raining ineffective gorilla punches on an opponent that gets up without a scratch or bruise and looking as though he just came out of a sauna should not count as "effective control". I'm completely fine with wrestlers that know how to finish fights, that take you down, effectively punch the opponent or use a submission -- which is rare and oh-so-nice.
The problem with Edgar, Maynard and, unfortunately now, GSP is that they exploit the value of a take down and do nothing else to finish a fight.

This is the Tim Sylvia crap all over again, except, even more boring.
RwilsonR- September 10, 2010 at 12:11 pm
I definitely agree with the guys saying we need to differentiate between the real LnP guys, like Fitch and Shields, and the guys who try to advance and finish. Al lthe GSP haters give him shit, but why was he fighting the last few rounds against Thiago Alves with a torn groin muscle? Because he went for a submission that put him in a lot more danger than if he rode it out on top. Same against Hardy. And he punished BJ on the ground, and destroyed Fitch on the feet.
RwilsonR- September 10, 2010 at 12:08 pm
Bitching about fighting styles is getting old. It is an evolution in the sport, and it will continue to evolve once people find a way to deal with the wrestlers. The reason wrestlers are becoming so effective again is because they have actually become LESS one-dimensional. They have learned enough jiu-jitsu to defend and render most BJJ ineffective against their stifling top control. So a jiu-jitsu guy like Aoki bitches because he style doesn't matter much against a competent opponent, and is especially ineffective without his gay tights.

I would be in favor of a rule change, though. Knees to the head on the ground would both help people defend against wrestlers, and give wrestlers a tremendous tool to actually finish fights.

Still, if wrestlers had to learn to defend BJJ, these others should learn to defend wrestling. And if you can't totally stop the takedowns, learn to immediately clear your legs as you are taken down, and then stand the fuck up. Sure, you'll probably eat a few punches on the way, but you won't be stuck on the bottom bitching about it. Chuck Liddell was fantastic at this. He would immediately clear his legs, then plant a foot or two, and pop back up. Also watch Rich Franklin do this against Dan Henderson. Both guys would eat punches (pretty badly to) on the way up, but they got back to where they wanted. Everyone complaining about wrestlers not putting themselves in danger - how about the fucker on bottom putting themselves in a bit of danger to escape, instead of laying on the bottom complaining?
mtnthc- September 10, 2010 at 12:08 pm
Juggers got it, take-downs are nice, but you have got to follow through with something for it to have any real meaning.
KidDinomite- September 10, 2010 at 12:06 pm
The one guaranteed key move to stop all wrestlers from getting takedowns - The Sprawl. Yes, it does work like 95% of the time.

As far as wrestlers using the unified rules as a crutch to win fights, I totally agree. They use it as a crutch and win based on laying on their opponents. I think they should initiate a new rule that if the man on top doesn't try to improve his position within 30-45 seconds, a stand up will be imposed.

Also, I don't think points should be given for takedowns. It's what you do after a takedown that would score points such as elbows or GnP. Improved positions such as side control or full mount could be given points because it's improving one's position and actively trying to finish the opponent as a result.
El Guapo- September 10, 2010 at 12:06 pm
Let's ask Semtex what he thinks of lay and pr... Ahhh, nevermind.
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