MMA Champions: A Review of Common Characteristics Held By All Who Wear the Belt

Guerrilla FightContributor IIJanuary 31, 2011


It's often intriguing and fascinating to break down a signature main event and dissect the strengths, weaknesses, and strategies of opposing fighters in a momentous title battle for the coveted belt.

Quite often there are particular nuances of each individual that merit consideration, yet there are benchmarks to victory that are applicable to almost every bout.

The first key seems intuitively obvious yet is often underestimated. Frank Shamrock once quipped, "My best submission is cardio."

It is easy to underestimate how quickly punishment and pure adrenaline can drain even the most well-trained athlete.

Fatigue makes cowards of us all, and the most dangerous situation a fighter can face is lactic acid late in a tight battle. Champions are never over-prepared.

Another crucial component of every successful fighter is consistent evolution and improvement in skills. This game has evolved immeasurably since Royce Gracie slapped his first armbar on an unsuspecting victim.

Champions need to rotate training partners and strive to stay ahead by improving all facets of the sport.

My first two keys were pre-fight preparation phase keys. My next mention is Octagon control. Dictate the pace and impose your will by commanding the battle ground.

Those who move forward and force the opponent on his heels most often earn victory. Georges St. Pierre is the master of this notion.

Mental fortitude and versatility are also paramount in the arsenal of a champion. Check out Round 5 of Anderson "The Spider" Silva's defense against Chael Sonnen for an example of both of these qualities.

Finally, I must mention pace. The toughest obstacle for a fighter to overcome is a slow start and early damage. Frankie Edgar may have escaped the early fury of Gray Maynard just recently, but most often that is not the case.

Plus, the worst scenario for the fans is a lackluster, uninspiring main event effort.

Clay Guida may not have the most impressive record in the UFC, but put him on the card and it becomes a must-see event. Clay is a recognized fan favorite for good reason. While he has yet to wear a belt, it has become mandatory for Champions to approach the game the way that Guida does... prepare for a fight with the fans in mind. - J.Seijas / GuerrillaFight