Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Overtraining Hurting MMA; GSP Mystery
By Joshua Molina
The recent injuries of Shane Carwin and Gray Maynard are painful – and costly – reminders of one of the major problems in Mixed Martial Arts.
Fighters are overtraining. Young and old fighters are trying to gain every competitive edge possible in a sport where you are only valuable if you win all or most of the time.
Gone are the days of fighters needing to be good in one or two fighting styles. Now, your wrestling must be as good as your stand-up, and your Jiu-Jitsu must be as good as your Muay Thai.
It’s a daring, desperate race to be No. 1 in a sport that is experiencing a flattening in popularity.
If the sport evolves it will be important for the UFC and other major MMA companies to create industrywide training guidelines that allow fighters to train at the highest level but allow their bodies to recover.
It might help if Dana White would stop threatening to fire fighters who lose three or four fights in a row.
With his threat looming, it’s easier for fighters to pull out of fights rather than fight injured, even if it’s an injury that they could fight through.
Cung Le, for example, was practically on one foot when he entered the cage agains Rich Franklin last week. The only reason he stepped into the cage on one leg was because he knew he may have never gotten the opportunity to headline a show again, particularly an historic one like the UFC’s China event.
But Le is the exception. From Dan Henderson and Gilbert Melendez to now Carwin and Maynard, and dozens of other fighters alomg the way, fighters are falling by the wayside
Injuries and the cancellation of fights, at a time when the sport is declining in mainstream popularity, is further hurting the sport.
MMA promoters need to step in and make it a safer, healthier environment, so fighters don’t feel forced to overtrain to survive in the sport’s bright lights, and stop the death-by-a-thousand cuts injury curse that is hurting the sport.
Saturday features the big Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit title unification bout.
A lot of questions surround the fight, the biggest of which is whether GSP can return to his previous form after blowing out his knee and missing 19 months.
Condit has an opening here to pull off an upset because GSP will undoubtedly be looking to impress and will probably take chances he wouldn’t normally take.
Condit is a good finisher, and his best chance here is to win the fight standing up. On the ground GSP should win a decision.
But the timing could be right for a Condit upset, if GSP feels the need to deviate from his game plan and show the world he’s still got it.