why wrestling is important in mma

why wrestling is important in mma

Why Wrestling is Important in MMA

Wrestling is a crucial aspect of mixed martial arts (MMA) and plays a significant role in the success of a fighter. It provides a strong foundation for various techniques and strategies used in the sport. In this article, we will explore the importance of wrestling in MMA from several different perspectives.

1. Takedowns and Control

One of the primary advantages of wrestling in MMA is the ability to execute takedowns and gain control over opponents. Wrestlers are trained to effectively take their opponents down to the ground and control them in various positions. This allows them to dictate the pace of the fight and potentially neutralize the striking abilities of their opponents.

why wrestling is important in mma

Furthermore, wrestlers are skilled in maintaining control on the ground, preventing opponents from escaping or mounting an effective offense. This control is crucial in scoring points, avoiding submissions, and setting up ground-and-pound techniques.

2. Ground Game Dominance

Wrestling provides a solid foundation for the ground game in MMA. Wrestlers are accustomed to the physical demands of grappling and have a strong understanding of body positioning and leverage. This knowledge allows them to excel in ground-and-pound techniques, submission defense, and transitioning between positions.

Moreover, wrestlers often possess superior takedown defense, making it difficult for opponents to take them down. This forces the fight to remain standing, where wrestlers can utilize their striking skills or look for opportunities to execute takedowns of their own.

3. Conditioning and Strength

Wrestling is known for its rigorous training routines that focus on building strength, endurance, and mental toughness. Wrestlers develop exceptional cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, and explosive power, which are crucial attributes in MMA.

These physical attributes allow wrestlers to maintain a high pace throughout the fight, overpower opponents, and withstand the physical demands of the sport. Additionally, the mental toughness developed through wrestling helps fighters endure the challenges and adversity they may face inside the cage.

4. Versatility and Adaptability

Wrestling provides fighters with a versatile skill set that can be adapted to various situations in MMA. Wrestlers are proficient in both offensive and defensive techniques, allowing them to seamlessly transition between striking and grappling exchanges.

Additionally, wrestlers have a strong understanding of body mechanics, balance, and leverage, which can be applied to different aspects of the sport. This versatility enables them to effectively mix different styles of fighting and exploit weaknesses in their opponents.

5. Mental and Strategic Advantage

Wrestling instills discipline, determination, and mental fortitude in fighters. The intense training and competitive nature of the sport prepare wrestlers to handle the physical and mental challenges of MMA.

Furthermore, wrestling teaches athletes to think strategically and adapt their game plans based on their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. Wrestlers often have a well-developed sense of timing, distance, and control, allowing them to execute game plans effectively and exploit openings in their opponents’ defenses.

6. Injury Prevention

Wrestling provides a solid foundation for injury prevention in MMA. The techniques and training methods used in wrestling focus on body awareness, proper body mechanics, and injury prevention strategies.

Wrestlers are trained to land safely, absorb impact, and avoid unnecessary risks. This knowledge and experience significantly reduce the likelihood of sustaining injuries during takedowns, throws, or ground exchanges.

7. Transferable Skills

Wrestling skills are highly transferable to other aspects of MMA. The physical attributes, mental toughness, and technical knowledge gained through wrestling can be applied to striking, clinching, and grappling techniques.

Many successful MMA fighters have a wrestling background and have seamlessly integrated their wrestling skills into their overall game plan. This ability to effectively combine different styles gives wrestlers a considerable advantage in the cage.

8. High-Level Competition

Wrestling provides fighters with a strong foundation in high-level competition. Wrestlers are accustomed to the pressure, intensity, and physical demands of competing at a high level.

Having experienced the competitive environment of wrestling tournaments, fighters with a wrestling background are often better equipped to handle the stress and nerves associated with MMA fights. This experience can give them a mental edge over opponents who may not have similar competition backgrounds.


Wrestling is an essential component of MMA and offers numerous advantages to fighters. From takedowns and control to ground game dominance and mental toughness, wrestling provides a strong foundation for success in the sport. Its versatility, transferable skills, and conditioning benefits make it a crucial aspect of any fighter’s training regimen.

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