The Next Step

The technique and level of well-roundedness present in MMA has grown exponentially from the early days of style matchups (karate guy versus BJJ guy, etc.) Different fighters have added different aspects to the sport over time- Royce showed the necessity of BJJ, Coleman / Kerr / Hughes demonstrated the power of wrestling and ground control, Ruas made leg kicks a vital part of the game, and so on.

There are already so many aspects to MMA that very few guys can be considered top level at the techniques already existing. Really, how many fighters can you find who are simultaneously excellent strikers, high level wrestlers, and are great at BJJ? 4, maybe 5? The learning curve and time needed to be good at all these things is so steep, I somewhat wonder about how much new can be added to the sport.

My question is, do you think the trend MMA will follow is

(a) Sticking to the trinity of Boxing / Muay Thai standup, wrestling takedowns and ground control, and BJJ submissions, and focusing on getting really good at this set of skills

(b) adapting new styles for MMA (Machida and karate, Karo and judo, etc.)

From my opinion as more and more people who enter MMA from specific / fringe combat sports like Judo, Karate, Sambo, Boxing and Kung Fu, some of them will become threats to their respective division. If at anytime a dominant champion comes by using one of those specific disciplines as his edge, then you will start seeing people training in that specific discipline more often. Just like Royce, Kerr and Rua, there will be other trendsetters coming from different disciplines.

Personally, I think Machida will be the next trendsetter. If the guy can continue fighting top-level competition while taking no damage and winning every fight, you can bet that his form of Karate will impact the way people train in the future.

All each discipline needs is a vessel to carry it into the limelight, and as fighters get better at the Holy Trinity of MMA (BJJ, Muay Thai and Wrestling) people will be looking at other disciplines to overcome a stalemate.

good 1st post meng

what have you been lurking for 10 years or something?

inf0 - The new breed will have telekenetic abilities to throw opponents or choke them with their minds.

Some will have other powers, like the ability to freeze or to ignite their opponent. Depending on how strong their abilities are, they may need an quick ride on the Liger of Light to replenish their mana between rounds. Said Liger will dwell in the moat around the cage during the fight.

MMA 2012, I can't fucking hardly wait.

 Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

Great insight BITM. Nice first post

 Ready to see what mma will be like 5 years from now for sure.  Cool post too bro.

sibusa19 - I think we'll continue to see the evolution of a hybrid MMA style. Anderson Silva and Fedor are the greatest living examples of this mix of pugilism, grappling and submissions of modern day hybrid MMA.

I think that hybrid will not be best demonstarted by the next generation. I do not mean the current young guns we so on TUF, more the kids in gyms, going to MMA class, getting an all in one learning experience. They will be good, I'd say better then what we see now but, will they offer anything unique? Untill Karo's Judo throws and Machida's karate are taught as high level standards unique individuals with a base in a fringe martial art will continue to use if to their advantage.

sibusa19 - That said, this evolving, hybrid system will certainly assimilate elements from other combative systems as time goes on. Just as we saw the flowering of submission and wrestling based dominance in MMA during the 90's, we are seeing the start of a renaissance in striking arts today. Machida's unorthodox Kyokushinkai is a great example of this. The level of striking has yet to reach the level of refinement that the ground game has in MMA.

I have to agree with you there - eventually they all will assimilate, time dependant. You are very, very right that striking has a long way to go. It has years ahead before it catches up with the evolotion of the ground game.

sibusa19 -Who knows what cool shit we'll eventually see in the cage

I think things relaly end with this.