I was thinking about the differences between just grappling and MMA, and I found this bout for everyone’s enjoyment. It is two of the best, and one was able to cross over to MMA with his grappling skills, and the other failed in his MMA career.
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This is Shinya Aoki, who is considered one of the top submission artists in MMA today, taking on Marcelo Garcia, who is perhaps the best grappler on the planet in a match under grappling rules. The foot sweep and technique Garcia displays in this video are second to none as is to be expected from a true genius on the mats.
So if Garcia so easily dominated Aoki, why have their MMA careers been so different? Is MMA so far removed from submission and grappling that success in one medium does not assure you of success in another? Let’ take a look.
Marcelo Garcia is 0-1 in MMA rules, and despite being the most decorated grappler of the 21st century, that is unlikely to change.
In October of 2007, Garcia was signed for his MMA debut by K-1 Hero’s for their event in Korea, and he was scheduled to face Dae Won Kim, a rugged Korean who had a 10-4 record and a reputation as a tough guy. He was able to make the fight a grind and he took Garcia out early in the second round. Garcia had real holes in his stand up game, and the grappling was not enough to get him a win against an average guy with experience.
Garcia lacked for a manager and a plan as he embarked on an MMA career. More than likely his teaching will keep him from ever doing MMA again, due to the income from seminars and maintaining a NYC academy. Garcia can never really dedicate the time to prepare in the stand up and other techniques he will need to truly do MMA, so it is likely we will never see him again in MMA.
Aoki spent the time honing his skills for MMA, and his record now stands at an impressive 29-5. He dedicated himself to just MMA, and he is generally named in the top 5 lightweights in the world by most observers.
So what does this prove? Nothing, other than that MMA takes a dedication and concentration equal to other sports, and that being the best wrestler or BJJ guy is not enough – you have to spend time honing MMA related skills.
Shinya Aoki is rumored to be on the upcoming DREAM card on New Year’s Eve in Japan. Marcelo Garcia will likely be at NYC’s Time Square.