If anyone can complain that wrestling is starting to take over the sport of MMA, it’s UFC middleweight Nate Marqurdt. Once considered a ground guru, he was thoroughly out-wrestled by Chael Sonnen to lose his top contender spot. Instead of pouting about the less-than-spectacular style, Marquardt has opted to meet the challenge head-on. Did you hear that, Dan Hardy?
After getting trounced by Nate’s buddy and Octagon welterweight king Georges St-Pierre at UFC 111, Hardy has gone out of his way to emphasize the difference between getting beaten and out-wrestled.
“I think the problem is there’s beginning to be too much wrestling in UFC Octagon, not too little of it in the gym,” Hardy said in an article for the Nottingham Post. “There are a lot of people out there calling themselves ‘UFC fighters’ who are nothing of the kind. In the UFC, you should go for finishes.
“You should work for 15 minutes to knock your opponent out, submit him, or improve your position to give yourself the best chance of doing either. But there’s guys out there who just want to use wrestling to hold a stalemate for 15 minutes, without ever risking going for ground and pounds or attempting submissions.”
What are your thoughts on that, Nate “The Great?”
“I think that’s just something from someone who isn’t a good wrestler,” Marquardt said during Thursday’s media call. “I think wrestling is a big part of MMA and you shouldn’t complain about it, you should learn it and learn how to defend against it.
“I was unable to defend the takedowns in my last fight, and that’s why I lost the fight. Now I’m going to be more prepared to defend the takedown no matter who I’m fighting, and I worked hard on my wrestling and I continue to work hard on my wrestling.”
Plenty of high profile scraps this year have failed to provide the fireworks everyone was expecting, much to the dismay of fan boys worldwide. While the conservative ground game style appears to be catching momentum, Marquardt believes it’s all part of the evolution of the sport.
“With mixed martial arts we see waves of changes, trends in the sport where one minute it’s strikers that are dominating the sport, then all of a sudden it’s the wrestlers, then it kind of goes back and forth, and I think it’s just something you have to pay attention to and be prepared for,” he matter-of-factly stated.