4 Reasons That Wrestling Is Killing the Sport of MMA
As of recently, fighters have realized that a good way to win fights is to lay on their opponents and kill time, scoring a 10-must round for barely "fighting at all." Some people call this tactic "lay and pray," some call it a more appropriate name, "wrestling", but I call it "boring." Wrestlers in the limelight are killing the sport of MMA, by winning fights doing the bare minimum they need to win the fight. Some may disagree with what is being said, but not many people find Jon Fitch to be an exciting fighter, albeit his last fight wasn't awful.
It's Brutally Boring
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More times than not, crowds boo fights and fighters when they start their wrestling agenda. That's because people pay good money at live events and for pay-per views at home and they don't want to watch two guys lay on the mat for 15 minutes, especially when the fight ends up on the main card and people pay to watch the "fight of the night." Personally I actually fell asleep during the Georges St-Pierre vs Dan Hardy fight because I just couldn't take the same thing happening over and over again.
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Winning fights by lay and pray will actually earn fighters the right to a title shot, the dream that every fighter has. So if something is boring, but works, fighters will do it, despite the amount of snoozing that it creates. Jon Fitch has made his career on lay and pray, but has yet to get another title shot, luckily. But GSP has been able to lay and pray his way to the pound-for-pound best list with his boring tactics, and the worst part, people love him.
People Defend the Tactic, Hypocritically
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UFC 130 is the perfect example for wrestling being defended, but not in a fair way. Dana White criticized both Frank Mir and Rampage Jackson for their performances, while Rick Story was praised for his boring tactic of wrestling. In my opinion both Rampage and Mir fought much harder than Rick Story and created much more enjoyable fights, but they were criticized while Story was praised.
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Fighters have started to follow Georges St-Pierre's tactic ever since his successful title-bearing, most of them out of Greg Jackson's camp. (i.e., Rashad Evans and Clay Guida in his last performance). Other fighters have taken notice that wrestling your way to victory works, and GSP is the poster boy for this tactic, creating a legacy through fights that I believe to be the most boring.