The Debate – Is Wrestling Bad for MMA?

The news wire has bee on fire recently with MMA fighter’s going crazy over the new hot topic – is wrestling bad for MMA? Fighter such as Dan Hardy and Paul Daley have spoken out against the use of “lay and pray” fighters, whilst other fighters such as Nate Marquardt and Jon Fitch feel that there is nothing wrong with the use of wrestling in MMA. MMA UK look at the “For” and “Against” for the arguement.


If an MMA fighter uses wrestling as a means to win a fight than so what. Nobody complains when Demian Maia uses his BJJ to win a fight. As long as the figher is trying to finish his opponent then it shouldn’t be a problem and even if isn’t able to finish him off in the alotted time, then what isn’t anyone going to do. At the end of the day this is a sport, and a dangerous sport at that. If out-wrestling your opponent can extend your career, then who are we as fans to complain. We’re not the ones going into the cage, risking our health and damaging our bodies.

People talk about Gray Maynard and his “boring” style of fighting. Anybody that can sit there and call Gray Maynard’s style of fighting obviously doesn’t understand how good of a fighter he is and his mind frame. For example, Maynard’s last fight was against a proven striker in Kenny Florian. Florian has arguably the best Muay Thai striking in his division and is known for his razor sharp elbows. Now if Gray could take him down and pound his face in for three rounds, then why shouldn’t he. People that complain about wrestlers are not Mixed Martial Arts fans. If fighters are going to complain about wrestlers then it’s solution is simple. If you want them to stop using takedowns, then stuff them or neutralize it. Until then, there’s nothing to say.


Anybody that saw the fight between Nik Lentz and Andre Winner will tell you that it was one of the most frustrating and boring fights  in recent memory.Why? Nik Lentz practically hugged Andre Winner for 15 minutes. How do you train for a fight when your opponent only intends to hold you against the cage for three rounds. I agree that you should be able to use all your strengths to your advantage, but if you’re only going to hold your opponent then what’s the point. This is MMA and not wrestling and fighters should be fighting. Fighters like Chael Sonnen use wrestling, but are always active whilst controlling their opponent. However, if you’re like Antonio Mckee who simply holds on to his opponent, then I think I’ll stick to watching football.

A fighter like Nik Lentz should either a) watch Jake Ellenberger’s fight against John Howad where he used his boxing to set up his takedowns, to then use his ground and pound to finish John Howard, that is how you wrestle in MMA. Or he can b) Try fighting in Japan where if he does that sort of fighting will be charged a portion of purse. His striking will definitely improve then.



  1. The people that are going on and on about the Lentz Winner fight need to eventually get over it. Winner had every opportunity in that fight, every round started in the center of the cage on the feet. Winner did absolutely nothing. Boring or not Lentz controlled the entire fight and DID get multiple takedowns look at the stats from the fight. Winner and everyone at Roughhouse with the exception of Pearson who is already working on bettering his game, should try and improve rather than bitch and whine. You are only making yourself look stupid. This was one fight, and I am sure at some point there will be another boring fight. If stand up guys fight wrestlers they are going to have to learn some solutions.

  2. Great article! Here’s what I think. Wrestling isn’t boring–boring fighters are boring. Maynard not only out-wrestled Florian, he also out-struck him. Sonnen used his wrestling to dominate Silva–not boring. Lesnar is never boring to me because of the carnage he inflicts on his opponents’ faces. Lentz/Winner was a snoozefest because of how inactive Lentz was in his offense.

    The sport evolves very quickly, so if someone’s wrestling is sub-par, he’s gonna get left behind. Learn to wrestle, or at least defend the takedown. It’s surprising to me to hear fighters say grappling is boring. Most of them also credit Royce Gracie and the very early UFC events as their inspiration to enter MMA. Honestly, how exciting were those fights to today’s standards? If Hardy and Daley fought in the mid-90’s and refused to learn BJJ, they would be having the same problems. Evolve along with the sport.

  3. The Lentz vs Winner fight was one fight and I am sure in the future there will be other boring fights it happens. As far as that fight went Winner had every opportunity to do something but did nothing at all. Every round started in the center on the feet. All of this whining I would not think is helping him any. He is now 2-3-1 in his last 6 and needs to learn some wrestling if he is going to be able to compete with top level guys. Hardy the one writing all this was just dominated for 25 minutes and his fight with Swick was very boring.

  4. If you don’t like wrestling then don’t watch MMA. SIMPLE!!!! I love the wrestling. It’s a true state of ultimate control over the opponent. To be able to dictate the location of the fight aswell as restrict your opponent. Admittedly I think wrestlers should attempt to do more on the ground to finish the fight but if you don’t like it then become Damien Maia cos no wrestler is gonna lay on top of you then without thinking twice

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