I was digging through and found a blog I wrote back in in 2011 about the controversial topic of stalling in MMA. Keep in my I was an active Muay Thai and MMA fighter when I wrote this. I am a coach now, but my views have not changed dramatically. I hope you enjoy…
Is MMA still a fighting spirt , sometimes I wonder..,
Now, I have attended and watched a number of Amateur and Professional MMA events throughout the years. Some of these fights, I must say, have disappointed me as a fighter and a paying customer. If I am paying at least $$$ to see some fights, then I want to see the fighters do one thing: FIGHT!
I am fairly certain that other spectators want to see the same thing as well. Who would want to see two punches thrown in the ring in order to one combatant pressing the other against the cage for the majority . Or even worse- a fighter takes the other guy down and does nothing while in the dominant position. He lays on the other guy for 3 rounds and pulls out a decision win.
Typically after a less than stellar performance, you would hear the crowd ‘booing’ and obnoxious chanting to express their thoughts about that fight.. I cannot blame them for acting this way. They paid good money to see fighters put their skills that they have worked on to the test. I have to say seeing this, which I call “stall tactics” pisses me off as a fighter and I am sure it pisses off the fighter that loses.
As a Muay Thai practitioner, I appreciate and love watching a great stand-up match where the two guys slug it out. It may appear as if I am downplaying other sports or martial arts such as wrestling or even BJJ (a discipline I have grown to love). A fighter will stick to his strengths. A wrestler will do what he knows best in a fight, that is he will wrestle.
I am not knocking that at all. I just hate seeing fighters work so hard in their training just be taken down or press the guy into the cage and be complacent with just staying there. Or a Jiu-jitsu practitioner, who may fight well off his back, be complacent with pulling guard and controlling the other fighter. As a fighter, I always want to advance to the dominant position and from there look to finish the fight! There is too much at stake if you do not finish a fight that presented many opporuntiies to win.
The fault does not always lie with the fighter. The referees have a hand in this too. It appears at times that some of these referees are inexperienced because they do not know when to stand fighters up or break them apart. This is done in the boxing or kickboxing world. So how come it is not done in these local MMA events?
Stalemates happen in a fight. However, a fighter shouldn’t work towards a stalemate. The fighter should work to advance. Even though a fighter may have a phenomonel record, they may not progress because promoters lose money on boring fights. Sometimes a stalemate occurs because of their training style. If the fighter is not versatilewith their training, then they will use only one method to win. That fighter will continue to use that method, regardless of its effectiveness, because it’s all that they know.
But then again, stall tactics are often used in the UFC by high level fighters. So, how can we not expect to see it occur so often in the MMA scene?
What are your thoughts on the subject?