There have been umpteen posts and positions on the history of the sport, you know, since no one heard of MMA before the UFC.
Let us just forget that Pancrase held their series before the Gracie’s did.
Ahead of the UFC, the Gracies were a combined 7,819,952-0 in no holds barred combat, in the years before the UFC was created.
Let us also not forget, while the UFC is the large dog sitting on the porch, there were times when they were being outdrawn by numerous promotions, the only reason they became the big dog is the Fertitta Brothers had many Million to burn before having to worry about profit. I wonder if Pride had not been run like the California State Government if the UFC would be as big as it was. Goodness knows MMA has ever been able to pull out money marks outside the woodwork.
That being said, I think we can return and break down how MMA has evolved.
So let us take a look at what I will call Generational MMA. As the sport has evolved, you can classify nearly all fighters to 4 eras. I’ve also got a Side A- who’d be the first of this generation to breakthrough, and side B, who would be regarded as the last of that generation.
Alexander the Great to Royce Gracie.
A 1st generation fighter is one that comes to the struggle with one of 2 backgrounds- either he’s a backyard fighter with a chin of iron who is just going to out hard and out pain you- or is super proficient at one aspect of MMA, and his skill is better than your skill.
Side A are those such as Tank Abbott- and the hundreds of men of his ilk.
Side B would be the Gracie Family,
Gracie is just a master at Ju-Ju, and he could beat almost anyone with that.
Look at those two men’s striking in the morning- that is the definition of a G1 fighter. My Karate will KO you, if you don’t take me down and then I am done for. But if I catch you…
Hughes Might be the greatest of the G1 fighters. Why do I think about him a G1? If he went out and fought now, he is searching for a takedown or getting sprawled. He’s a submission wrestler, who just outworked everyone. Would he work now? Not really. He spent the bulk of his post-GSP career trying to have a knockout and got blitzed. I’m saying that as a Matt Hughes Fan.
Frank Shamrock to TUF 1
Generation 2 is the fighter that started in 1 discipline, and Moved to be an expert at another, or merely mixing the two styles.
You watch Belfort, he’s not just a striker, he’s almost complete. You look at Randy, and he develops into more than just a wrestler. I think you can even place Tito into this category. He’s a wrestler, who works on great hands. This generation is much more the training. In G1 you train primarily at one thing, then see if your skill can beat their skill. G2, we’ve improved marginally, you spend MWF at the wrestling gym, then Tuesday and Saturday you went across town and boxed.
G2 Dinosaur: Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, Fedor
2006 to 2012
This is where the line gets a bit more difficult to draw, these are the fighters where they have always fought under the Unified rules, just about all of their fights will be on Sherdog’s fight finder, The major distinction is the fighters are trained in MMA, not only wrestling, or Karate or Ju-Ju. . When you ride from the school, it’s not Joe’s Wag-Fu School with a banner out front that says we instruct UFC.
It’s Jackson’s MMA or Xtreme Coutire or something to that effect, you don’t do one discipline only, or be worried about Gi Training, its fighting, all day every day. You experience an explosion of money, of promotions, or caliber of fighters, you’ve got men that could be in the NFL or NBA trying MMA, and a few even going into fighting. You leave the wrestling as a draw and the fighter is a draw. The gimmicks went away mostly, and matters became standardized. Mostly. We also have Women’s MMA, and people getting title fights and headline struggles because of drawing power.
Generation 3 fighters are similar to Jon Jones, or Rory McDonald.
This is the current day, we’ve got one top dog, so we have the NBA of MMA, the UFC- and we have the top Euro Leagues where their top men could compete in Bellator and WSOF. There could be some guys that could beat the UFC title holder, but there is not a marketing out there in which their top 5 could win a series from the UFC top 5.
We also have a time where there’s money in the company. Not only for the UFC, but you can not fight in the UFC and earn a living in Bellator, or perhaps in certain smaller promotions, perhaps not a great living, but you’ve got trainers that don’t have to deliver pizzas to make ends meet.
The sport is also in papers, every sports station, every state, and everybody pretty much agrees on the rules. You don’t need to learn one set of principles in Vegas and another in Sweden.
Well, I can not see a Union forming, just not likely to happen. I can see a true challenger to the UFC forming, possibly after Dana retires and WME-IMG puts a lawsuit at the office. I’m not sure what gravitational shift will occur that could form a G5. Maybe if someone dies and they swing the safety line in another way. Perhaps if the UFC has to mandate Head Gear and prohibit low licks that will make a G5 happen.