As the sport of MMA continues to grow, the fighters coming into the sport may have trained in multiple types of martial arts from a young age, but there are still those high level athletes that come over to the sport and start wrecking house. Some bases for MMA are better than others, and here is a list of the top five most effective bases for MMA.
#5 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
It is weird to see this at the bottom of the list since when MMA started it is how people dominated, but time changes everything. It is good to know your submissions, but there are other martial arts out there that incorporate submissions and teach other facets of the sport. A BJJ practitioner will always be at a disadvantage since it is dangerous to pull guard and their takedown game is not that strong.
With what Ronda Rousey has been able to do with a Judo base it is opening up people’s eyes. Most see the clinch as a sport to work dirty boxing or to throw a few knees, but Rousey is able to use those positions to take the fight to the ground. Not only is she ending up on top, but she is ending up in an advantageous position like side-control. It remains to be seen how effective it is since there is only one example so far.
The old reliant wrestling is still ranking high on the most effective bases. Even if wrestlers do not have proper knowledge of submissions, they still have great cardio, amazing pressure, and the ability to take the fight where they want it. Like Chuck Liddell, a great wrestler does not have to take the fight to the ground. They can keep the fight on the feet preventing their opponent from getting the fight where they want.
#2 Muay Thai
Most bases seem to be ground oriented, but the most effective base for fighters in the standup is Muay Thai. All standup games are stymied by great wrestling, but effective and unique punches, kicks, and knees can best any fighter. Anderson Silva is not the greatest wrestler but what made him so effective in MMA was his ability to punish a fighter. It is hard to hit a takedown when your legs are beaten and bruised. Plus, Muay Thai gives standup fighters pinpoint accuracy which is one dangerous tool.
People may think I am jumping on a bandwagon, but what people forget is one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of all time had a Sambo background. Before Nurmagomedov and Bagautinov, there was Emelianenko. Fedor was one of the most dangerous fighters because of his ability to blend power punches, takedowns, and submissions, and all of those skills are taught to people in Sambo. It was MMA before MMA was a sport. It is not as widely used in other countries, but in the next decade it could have an explosion similar to BJJ in the 90’s with the way Sambo fighters are racking up wins in the Octagon.