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Tag: MMA evolution

Going the Way of the Dodo: 5 Things in MMA on the Brink of Extinction


(“I spoke with Human Resources and they reassured me that showing up to work punch-drunk wouldn’t be an issue.” Pic Props: MMATKO.com)

By Jason Moles

Time has a unique way of changing how we live. From communicating with friends to conducting business, from diagnosing illness to differentiating gender — almost every facet of life has changed in the past 50 years. But you don’t need to wait half a century to see change. Eight years ago we didn’t have Twitter, the Harlem Shake, or weight divisions under 155lbs. (including women) in the UFC. With each new staple of life, we’re forced to replace things formerly deemed “must-have.” (Beeper, anyone?) Other things outlive their usefulness only to die a cold, miserable death in the desolate wastelands of obsolescence.

Mixed martial arts is no different. The sport isn’t immune to the ravages of time, nor is it capable of escaping the inevitability of certain aspects becoming passé. For example…

UFC Fighters with Part-Time/Full-Time Jobs

A quick glance in the rear-view mirror and you’ll see just how far we’ve come in the short life of MMA as we know it. Rules, regulation, fighter pay, and health benefits have all improved since the birth of “Ultimate Fighting” in 1993. In the age of DVR and skipped commercials, sports offer advertisers what no one else can — a holy grail overflowing with viewers in real time. Sooner rather than later, companies like Zuffa will be an even more attractive destination for blue chip sponsors and marketing agencies to plug their products.

This influx of cash, combined with political pressure from the outside and dissension from within, will pave the way for a much needed hike in the UFC fighter pay scale, and the death of paltry fight purses. From there on out, all fighters will be able to pay their bills and provide for their families doing what they love and that alone. There is one caveat, though: UFC hopefuls will need to spend every free second fighting or training for fights if they ever hope to be competitive in the Octagon.

UFC Fighters with Less Than 10 Professional Fights

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Enter the McDojo: My Experience With the Bullshit Culture of ‘Traditional’ Martial Arts


(If you’ve never had the pleasure of belonging to a McDojo yourself, this is recommended viewing. Props: EnterTheDojoShow)

By Brian J. D’Souza

A revolution is something that changes the system in a radical way. It’s an advancement that brings new ideas to the forefront. In many ways, this was what UFC 1 was. Organized by Rorian Gracie, Art Davie, and Bob Meyrowitz of Semaphore Entertainment Group, martial artists from a variety of styles were called upon to prove the superiority of their art by entering an eight-man elimination tournament at a November 12, 1993, event hosted in Denver, Colorado.

Many MMA fans know about the legend of Royce Gracie defeating professional boxer Art Jimmerson, Pancrase fighter Ken Shamrock and Savate champion Gerard Gordeau in one night to be crowned the first ever UFC tournament champion. But now, nearly 20 years after that historic event occurred, how much “truth” about how to effectively train and prepare for fights has trickled down to martial artists across the globe?

Sure, there are growing numbers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools and a resurgence of interest in Muay Thai or other stand-up styles suited for MMA across North America. But the same old “McDojo” styles consisting of impractical or untested methods are just as prevalent today as they were decades ago before the inception of the UFC.

I learned this for myself a couple of years ago when I was working part-time at a downtown gym. Because it was free, I checked out the “kickboxing” class that was offered. I knew the basics of boxing, and had done some Muay Thai before, so I figured I’d at least get a good workout. I didn’t bank on discovering that the McDojo mentality was still alive, even well into the heyday of the UFC’s dominance in Canada.

The class itself was basic Taekwondo repackaged as kickboxing. Some unorthodox TKD kicks can be effective, as various MMA fighters have demonstrated over the years. That still doesn’t compensate for a lack of footwork, defensive drills, or other deficiencies inherent in this variation of kickboxing.

The stone in my shoe that started with irritation and eventually became unbearable over time wasn’t the lack of useful techniques taught, but the tall tales that the instructor told. In one of his stories, a disrespectful jiu-jitsu practitioner (identified by his T-shirt) stepped to him at a bar; he responded by thumbing the BJJ guy in the eye, bragging to his students “Sometimes you have to fight dirty.” In another story, one of the instructor’s students — who knew nothing whatsoever about wrestling or grappling — had gone to a BJJ school, and “did well.” The student had also “almost KO’ed” another student.

Right.

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“Ask Dan” #1: Dan Severn Still Wants Coleman and Shamrock, Will Likely Retire Next Year

dan severn photos mma ufc ken shamrock
(Severn and Shamrock: They were like the Michael Jackson and Prince of big, white grapplers who competed in early ’90s no-holds-barred matches.)

Happy Movember, everybody! In honor of the hairiest month of the year, we convinced UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn to write a weekly column for CagePotato.com. For the first installment, he plucked some topics from our Facebook page, but he’s up for answering anything about his life, career, and moustache, so drop your own suggestions in the comments section. Visit DanSevern.com and Dan’s Facebook page for more Beast-related updates, and join the CagePotato Movember team if you want to help support a good cause!

Matthew Poulin asks: How many fights do you still want?

Dan Severn: It’s not so much how many fights I want to have. I want specific fights right now. I’ve had some verbal offers but haven’t had the opportunity to bring some of these matches to life. Two particular matches I’m still interested are ones with Mark Coleman and Ken Shamrock. Realistically, I think that 2012 will be my final year as an MMA competitor. So whatever gets done gets done; whatever doesn’t, I’ll have to learn to live with I guess.

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