Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is without a doubt one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Its fanbase counts millions worldwide, and experts say it has the potential to become a leader in the industry in the years to come.
Online sportsbooks are reporting massive surges in bets related to MMA. Punters are more than happy to use bonuses and promotions to their advantage. Offers like a FastPay no deposit bonus allow them to compete for real money payouts without wagering their own money.
Back in the day, MMA was a brutal sport. Fighters have no gloves, and there are no weight categories. Over time, the sport evolved; now, we see the beautiful craft of mixing various styles to become the best.
This article will investigate how much MMA has progressed by breaking down the various fighting styles. Without any further ado, let’s dive into the details.
First up, we have arguably the most entertaining style – strikers. These fighters have a background in kickboxing, karate and muay thai. We can go into more detail here by bringing up three subcategories:
Offensive strikers are always moving forward and do not fear being in the pocket. A few good examples of these fighters are Anderson Silva, Valentina Shevchenko, Justin Gaethje, Dan Hooker, Rafael Fiziev, Steven Wonderboy Thompson, Leon Edwards and Jose Aldo.
Counter-strikers are the opposite. They are always waiting for opponents to make the first move. They get a read of their kicks and punches and are sharp enough to throw a counter whenever the opportunity lands. Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya and Petr Yan are the perfect examples of these fighters.
As for point fighters, these do not rely on damage but instead on volume. They can be either offensive strikers or counter-strikers. Michael Venom Page is by far the best example, as he’s a kicklight kickboxer who transitioned into MMA. We could also put Wonderboy in this section.
Next up, we have the most dominant MMA force – wrestlers. Many experts state that wrestling is the best base if you are looking to transition into MMA. This category also has two subsections. We like to address them as Russian and American.
The American style is freestyle wrestling. Daniel Cormier is arguably the best fighter to represent this subcategory. He could always pick guys up and throw them on the ground, then finish with ground-and-pound. Henry Cejudo is also a decent mention.
As for the Russian base, there are quite a lot of names that we can add. These fighters have combat sambo as their base, and they are a real problem if they can get a hold of you. Islam Makhachev is the current most dominant force, as well as his friend, coach and mentor, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Next, we have fighters who are pretty good at wrestling and grappling, but their most significant advantage is boxing. They are elusive, have fast hands and can knock opponents out in a flash. Max Holloway, Petr Yan, Dustin Poirier, Alexa Grasso, Sergei Pavlovich and Stipe Miocic are the best fighters here.
Some are known for their vicious power; some are better known for their volume. For example, Max Holloway is currently the best volume fighter. His resume speaks for itself, as he’s leading the leaderboard of most significant strikes by a fighter. The first thing that also comes to mind is his fight against Calvin Kattar, where he landed over 700 over five rounds.
If the fight is taken to the ground, graffiti is the biggest problem for opponents. Usually, these guys are black belts in jiu-jitsu and can submit you in countless ways – neck cranks, arm bars, RNCs, kneebars, triangle chokes, banana splits, etc.
Charles Oliviera, Deiveson Figueiredo, Nate Diaz, Dustin Poirier, Demian Maia, BJ Penn, Nick Diaz, McKenzie Dern, Gilbert Burns and Amanda Nunes are a few of the fighters who are legit jiu-jitsu black belts. In most cases, grapplers are also good boxers. They use boxing to close the distance between them and their opponent, and once they get close, they shoot for a takedown and finish the fight on the ground.
Some fighters are good wrestlers; some are good grapplers. Others are in the striking section. Some are masters of none but are very good at mixing it up. Usually, these guys end up being the best. After all, the name of the sport is Mixed Martial Arts. They are required to mix things up.
Jon Jones, Alexander Volkanovski, Demetrious Johnson, Khamzat Chimaev and Brandon Moreno are decent fighters to represent this category. These guys have a decent base in wrestling and striking and have a sixth sense, which tells them which style they should use at a specific time.
The final category that we are going to speak of is power punchers. These are fighters that opponents want to avoid at close range. They can deliver one-shot KOs and are always included in the giant knockout highlight reels.
Derrick Lewis, Francis Ngannou, Sergei Pavlovich, Justin Gaethje, Chuck Liddell, Quinton Jackson, Anthony Johnson, Robbie Lawler and Vitor Belfort are a few that deserve a mention.
While speaking about power-punchers, it is worth sharing one interesting subcategory here – wrestlers turned power-punchers. As we all know, every fighter has a particular base. They use that base when they transition to MMA, and along the way, they get pretty good in another martial art.
Over the years, we saw quite a lot of wrestlers who fell in love with boxing and even developed vicious KO power. Kamaru Usman is one of those fighters. Although an NCAA champion, he became one of the best boxers in the welterweight division.
Justin Gaethje also falls in the same category, and what’s more fascinating about these two is that the same person coaches them.
MMA has come a long way to become a global phenomenon, drawing millions of fans. The sport’s appeal lies in its diverse mix of fighting styles, from strikers to wrestlers and everything in between. This dynamic nature, coupled with a growing fanbase and increased betting interest, positions MMA as a leading force in the sports industry. The athletes’ ability to blend different martial arts techniques keeps the sport exciting and ensures its continued growth and popularity.
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