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Why does Judo have such a solid foundation in the UFC?

22 Jan 2021 15:40

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UFC incorporates a huge range of different fighting styles and martial arts; its unpredictability is part of what makes it so thrilling to watch. UFC is made exciting by the vast range of fighting techniques it incorporates, over the year’s judo has proven to be a martial art favoured by some of the best fighters in the competition.

Fans of the Judo take part in UFC betting online on a regular basis, for precisely this reason. Judo is believed to be one of the most useful arts in the UFC by many. One of the most important aspects of any fight is having the ability to use leverage to get your opponent onto the ground and get into a strong position once there. Moves used in Judo such as hip tosses help to achieve just that.

There are many great MMA fighters in the UFC that utilise Judo as part of their fighting style. Just a few examples are Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, Light Heavyweight Champion Christian M’pumbu and Strikeforce Champion Ronda Rousey.

Judo is an extremely popular sport. It has been estimated that around 40 million people practice judo in some form around the world. Organisations such as UFC help to bring even more attention to judo, which in turn encourages more young people to show an interest in it and take up the art.

However, not every judo organisation is happy at the involvement of this martial art in the UFC. This is mainly the case in European organisations and not so much of an issue in the United States. The European Championships in 2014 were originally scheduled in Great Britain and supported by the UFC, but were moved by the European Judo Union due to this involvement and awarded to Montpellier in France.

There are a number of reasons for this, with one possibly being that Judo organisations feel threatened by the financial opportunities available in MMA. It is much easier for someone to make money from and earn a living from MMA compared to Judo.

Another reason is that certain moves within the UFC due to actions such as punching your opponent on the ground being seen as obsessive. For some, achieving a gold in Olympic judo far outweighs winning in the UFC as a judoka. Different judo organisations around the world have different standards regarding what is acceptable.

Despite these attitudes that some have towards judo in the UFC, it is a favourite martial art for many fighters in the UFC industry and is beginning to have more and more of an influence.

Here is why some of the top UFC fighters swear by judo in their competitions:

Ex-champion Ronda Rousey is a brilliant example of this. She has used her judo knowledge to submit her opponents in various ways, including her famous armbar.

Ronda Rousey was the first American woman to earn an Olympic medal in judo in 2008. She is also still the only woman to win a championship in both the UFC and WWE.

Rousey is said to have one of the best armbar techniques in the whole of UFC history.

The fighter knows how to adapt the armbar to match the direction in which her opponent moves and be aware of the leverage she has over them.

At UFC 184, Cat Zingano charged at Rousey with a flying knee but Rousey quickly adjusted her position into a grappling battle and was then able to tap out her opponent with a straight armbar. Similarly, see was able to get Liz Carmouche and Miesha Tate to submit using this traditional technique. Without all of her previous judo training, Rousey may not be the MMA fighter that she is today.

Another MMA fighter fond of judo is Russian Khabib Abdulmanapovich Nurmagomedov. Many believe him to be one of the best MMA fighters in UFC history, having secured the title of the longest-reigning UFC Lightweight Champion. Nurmagomedov most often incorporates judo moves as well as sambo and wrestling into his fighting style. The fighter has said that while he loves wrestling, he thinks that judo is class. He began training in judo during his childhood and had plenty to live up to considering that his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, held the coveted judo Master of Sport title. One judo move that the fighter is known for using is the simple leg trip takedowns, which is also a popular move in wrestling takedowns.

Another MMA fighter who has secured great successes using judo is Jimmy Hettes. Who’s record sheet shows 11 wins and just three losses. At UFC 141 in 2011, Hettes used his judo skills to take down opponent Nam Phan and maintain impressive control while on the ground.

Rick Hawn is also a judoka with an impressive record, he came 9th in the 2004 Olympics. After failing to make the cut for the 2008 Olympics judo competition, Hawn moved into MMA fighting. Rick has demonstrated how throws such as Kouchi Gari can be simple yet effective MMA fights.

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