Does strategy make for boring fights?

 This is an excerpt from an editorial I just put on my site at this link,www.thefightnerd.com/strategyboring-fights/ (if you don't want to be taken off this page, right click and open in new windor or new tab)



Let’s just be blunt about it. Shogun should be the UFC Light Heavyweight champion. The CSAC disagrees with us since leg kicks are worthless according to them, despite being a proven method to end fights. Despite all of that, the bigger picture is that the fans were robbed of seeing what we expected to be an explosive match-up between two distinctive striking styles. Instead, we got 30 minutes of standing that, according to fightmetric.com, tallied up to a grand sum of 265 standing strikes, 124 of those landed. That averages to 53 strikes thrown each round between the two of them. If you were a judge in that fight, how do you even begin to score that?



Let’s throw numbers out of the equation, since I am The Fight Nerd and not The Mathemagician. As much as we enjoy the occasional sloppy school yard brawl from our cage fights, we also enjoy watching the living chess match that is MMA unfold with technique and grace. The dilemma is sometimes a tactical match can be as fun as watching grass grow. This is where Machida VS Rua comes in the debate.



One could argue that their recent match at UFC 104 was as dull as watching paint dry, while others will retort that it was great because it was pure strategy and that we do not appreciate their abilities. So does that mean that any fight that involves tactics and strategy is going to be automatically boring? For that matter, does strategy make for boring fights or is it just the fighters who make the fight hard to watch?




If you want to read more and see some of the video evidence i provide too you can go to www.thefightnerd.com/strategyboring-fights/ What are your thoughts on the topic, especially after the Couture/ Vera fight this weekend?

I am all for stratagy... fights/fight plans is their jobs... they have to win to stay in the business...Just like any other business you kind of have to do your job well to stay employed.

The beauty about MMA is that its up to the opponent to figure out how to beat your startagy...

Strategy only makes for the type of fights that the scoring system most rewards.



If more points are rewarded for attempts to finish a fight (e.g., Pride), then you get outcomes like Nog-Ricco. They may seem a little whack because the more dominant fighter loses. The unified rules are skewed more toward position than risk-taking, giving us more hugfests.

its not automatically boring

you can have a strategy to finish the fight over the course of 3 or 5 rounds

but if your strategy is to win a decision, then yeah you suck, go home, no one wants to watch..

Loved Pride, but never liked the idea of Yellow cards. Joe Rogan said it best..."The sport shouldn't cater to retards"

Kinda depends on whether you can implement it fully or not. If Couture had actually been able to take Vera down, the fight wouldn't have been boring. If Shields had been able to submit Mayhem, the fight wouldn't have been boring, or if Mayhem had been able to get up or land strikes on his feet for that matter. None of these guys could give up their strategies or they'd lose, but they couldn't fully implement them either. So the fights were boring.

FieryErmine - Kinda depends on whether you can implement it fully or not. If Couture had actually been able to take Vera down, the fight wouldn't have been boring. If Shields had been able to submit Mayhem, the fight wouldn't have been boring, or if Mayhem had been able to get up or land strikes on his feet for that matter. None of these guys could give up their strategies or they'd lose, but they couldn't fully implement them either. So the fights were boring.


 thats my point in the piece, if you can not force your will correctly, what happens next? mayhem vs shields is a good example of having a set game plan that lacked flexibility. sometimes that makes for not very exciting fights unfortunately.

You don't take the human equation into it.t. I am critical of the judging all the time. I'm just a fan so it's not like I have any credentials, but I've been watching fights long enough to be able to tell who wins a fight 99% of the time without needing compubox or kick counts to tell me who won the fight.

Of course strategy works, isn't Fedor the one that says fighting is 90% mental. It's easy to lose sight of how good all these guys are at the UFC level.

Just seems to me that the talent level cancels each other out a lot of the time. Neither guy wants to get caught, especially when it only takes a split second mistake. It's always been like a chess game in the really good fights.

It's easy to say fights like Shields/Miller were boring, and yeah, it was pretty boring to watch. But it was a good fight. And fights like Machida/Shogun, I figured if that fight had continued on and on Shogun was going to eventually chop him down and win that fight. But that's not how it works, and people still give the champ the benefit of the doubt in any decision.

A lot goes into it, and yeah does lead to some not so exciting fights. But a lot of the time it's just that the guys are good enough at everything the fight would probably have to go 10 or 15 rounds to really see someone finish it.