In the first couple of UFC’s, most fighters were completely one-dimensional, or with limited experience in more then one art, and MMA strength and conditioning wasn’t even really recognized. You had karate fighters against wrestlers, boxers against Brazilian jujitsu black belts, kickboxers against judo masters, and so on.
Eventually the sport of MMA inevitably evolved into creating fighters who had truly began applying the real meaning of mixed martial arts, where fighters began incorporated several arts into their overall fighting style.
Some of the most dominant fighters today have all developed to some degree the following styles into their mixed martial arts arsenal: boxing, Muy Thai kickboxing, wrestling (both Greco and freestyle), Brazilian jujitsu, and judo.
Today, I would like to introduce a relatively new “style” that is just as mandatory as the previous list of styles above. This style alone won’t win you many fights, but it works in harmony with all the others styles just the same in that without a certain level of mastery in this style, it could mean your downfall. This “style” is MMA strength and conditioning.
Any MMA fighter or fan alike has experienced or seen the difference in what a poorly conditioned fighter can make in a fight. I believe MMA strength and conditioning is just as similar and important to a fighter’s arsenal as his skill in stand up as well as his skill on the ground. It not only supplements a fighter’s ability, but can even go as far as to make him the overall superior fighter.
MMA strength and conditioning, like any particular fighting style, can make the difference in any fight. If two grapplers are fighting, the less skilled grappler with much better strength and conditioning can have a much bigger advantage over his opponent if he executes this superior skill properly in the fight.
A perfect example of a MMA fighter who mixes MMA strength and conditioning into his style to improve his overall skill as a fighter is Randy Couture. Couture, often the much smaller fighter in most of his fights, has taken many of his wins by literally tiring out his bigger opponents. His level of MMA strength and conditioning has on many occasions won him victories over not only bigger opponents but fighters who have superior skill in several other fighting styles, such as jujitsu or a style of striking.
The days of one-dimensional fighters are gone and have been for a relatively long time; and now, just being a superior skilled fighter is not enough if you plan on becoming a complete mixed martial artist that’s worthy of competing with the best of them. It has been proven on dozens of occasions that becoming a “black belt” in MMA strength and conditioning can make all the difference in becoming a complete MMA fighter.