It’s no secret that wrestling is one of the most dominant fighting styles in MMA. Within the UFC, wrestling has the most titles by any main fighting style. That leaves us to wonder why? Wrestling is the only fighting style that isn’t actually from a combat sport. While styles like Jiu Jitsu and boxing have obvious applications in MMA, wrestling is much less clear. There is no striking and no submissions. Yet clearly it works. Watching the fighters gives a few ideas.
Most wrestlers have superior cardio. All sports focus on technique, but wrestlers have a unique obsession with conditioning. This can be seen as most wrestlers tend to improve in later rounds. It can also be seen in the pressure applied. Wrestlers tend to walk forward during fights, and can control the octagon. This has a large advantage as it allows you to have more space and take space away from your opponent.
Wrestlers are also able to control where a match takes place. Most wrestlers have no problems fending off takedown attempts against fighters from other styles, and most of the time can get takedowns against others. This means that a wrestler can force the fight into whatever position they think they have an advantage in. They also have a control advantage in grappling exchanges. Because they can control how they enter into grappling exchanges, they often control the positions too. This means they are able to only be in positions they like.
Lastly, Wrestling takes much longer to learn than striking. Most wrestlers start very young. I started when I was 3, and I have spent countless hours on a mat. Most people from sports such as boxing have never grappled at all. This means that the level of grappling is going to be