Sport MMA

Conor vs Khabib MMA these days usually refers to a cage-based, near-full-contact (rule-bound) combat sport. It’s not simply a mix of martial arts as the name would suggest. It’s not even much of an art. This is not what MMA originally meant, but it is the most popular definition these days, mainly thanks to fame of the UFC competition.

Sport MMA is a grotesque combat sport contested by people whose main attributes are brute force and ignorance, and a sociopathic lack of compassion for the people who they physically beat into a bloody mess for a living or for fun. For this reason – for this lack of sensitivity and common sense – the sport of MMA will never represent the highest level of martial arts – it will never be entertained by the very best martial artists in the world. Nevertheless, similar sports have existed for thousands of years, for example, Pankration was an MMA-like sport in the Ancient Greek Olympic Games.

True martial art

There are plenty of martial arts masters operating on a higher level than what occurs in Sport MMA who simply refuse to participate in this sport. They only practice martial art to be able to best avoid fighting, not because they love fighting. They simply practise to be able overcome people who love fighting (ie, thugs and bullies) should the need arise and they hope it never does.

True martial art is about gaining control of your life, and increasing your confidence, so that you can be a more secure, less hostile, more tolerant, nicer, more valued person around other people. It’s certainly not about inflicting significant pain or injury on someone unnecessarily.

Case Study: Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov

This ‘fight’ was an excellent example of everything that’s wrong with modern MMA. Two great fighters, with totally messed up attitudes, fighting for all the wrong reasons, and they know it, and their weak performances showed it. It’s all about attitude – their attitudes were so poor, as you’d expect in such a grotesque combat sport.

Round 1 and 2 saw Khabib dominating, because Conor’s attitude wasn’t present. He wasn’t in the moment, he wasn’t taking it seriously, he wasn’t feeling any real need to fight, he was just messing around. He got battered in Round 2 which forced him to sharpen up in Round 3.

Round 3 saw Conor dominating, countering every grappling attempt that Khabib made, because they are near enough equal in general fighting ability, and Khabib’s mindset was undermined probably out of guilt for what he’d done in Round 2. So Conor took Round 3.

Then Round 4 saw Conor being heartless again, while Khabib came back with a serious attitude that was absent the round before. Not because Conor had no heart, but because he was sensible enough to know that there was no legitimate reason to try his very best to inflict significant injury on Khabib, a fellow human being. Common sense prevailed, and Conor lost the round – he allowed Khabib to get into a position where a choke-out could occur. He simply didn’t want to stop him seriously enough.

This lack of proper attitude is what lost Conor the fight. It’s not about technical aptitude – they’re both good fighters and the difference there pales in comparison to the impact of their mindsets.

Similarity with Boxing and other ‘full contact’ combat sports

This lack of proper attitude plagues the sport of MMA, and always will. It also plagues other sports – this is the reason David Price doesn’t win more boxing matches, even though he has all the physical attributes and technical skills to do so – he’s just too much of a nice guy to punch people hard & often so he plays the point-scoring game instead and gets knocked out. When someone with a severely sociopathic mindset enters the scene, for example Mike Tyson, nobody can stop him because they simply aren’t as determined to win as he is, no matter how much bigger they are than him! Mike Tyson’s attitude alone won him his fights – he didn’t have significantly greater punching power or speed or technical skills or endurance than any of his top opponents. Of course, when he was old enough for his attitude to dwindle, his winning streak soon ended.

MMA vs street self defence

MMA’s typical rules make it somewhat impractical for street-based self-defence. For example:

  • On the streets, or as a martial artist in general, a kick to the balls is one of your most important moves, but it’s against the rules in the UFC and similar MMA cage fighting setups.
  • Small-circle joint locks (on fingers or wrists for example) are also important in the streets and as a martial artist in general, but are forbidden in the cage.

For this reason, people do a lot of things in the cage that they often wouldn’t be able to get away with in a no-rules fight against an accomplished martial artist, and people neglect a lot of key moves that they would want to use in a self defence scenario because they’re used to finding less efficient ways to deal with a situation in the cage.

Bruce Lee’s influence on MMA

People often credit Bruce Lee’s art – Jeet Kune Do – as a precursor to modern MMA because of his inclination to learn multiple martial arts, taking the best from each of them to improve himself as much as possible into a fully well-rounded martial artist. This is all fine. But Bruce Lee also noted how martial artists are generally either physically bound (eg, the ‘brutes’ of modern sport ‘MMA’ who lack finesse), or intellectually bound (ie, the ‘geeks’ of classical, traditional, performance oriented styles that are rich in solo kata/forms but void of realistic sparring or hands-on pairwork exercises), as opposed to being really well-rounded as a martial artist. Bruce Lee made multiple references to this concept in the collection of his personal notes that were found in his study and compiled after his death by his wife and friends to form the book that was published as ‘Tao Of Jeet Kune Do’ (well worth a read).

True MMA

True MMA is about exploring various styles of martial art, taking influences from all sources, bringing together the best of all styles. A broad range and deep fusions of the various popular and lesser-known styles of martial arts practised around the world today. This was the spirit of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) prior to its commercialisation and evolution/sidetracking into a physically-bound brutalistic sport.