I noticed a few themes at last night’s Fight To Win 32:
- Takedowns are hard unless you’re Darren Branch. I am pretty sure he landed more takedowns in his match (which was like the 20th match) than in all previous fights summed up.
- A few fighters hopped back up to their feet once the fight went to the ground, and it usually led to good things. BJJ exposes how other martial arts don’t train what to do when the fight hits the floor. Last night exposes how few fighters can keep the fight on the floor, except when both sides agree to play along.
- A good part of the crowd (the casual fans) stop watching when the match begins with one fighter pulling half guard. If the goal is selling tickets, I can understand discouraging this stuff.
- Fundamental whitebelt stuff like guard recovery / retention, mount escapes, and surviving in bad positions define the game at all skill levels. This sport really is a lot like chess. You learn the basics quickly and then spend a lifetime mastering them.
- Classic submisssions like triangles, cross chokes, and kimura attacks were just as effective and popular as heel hooks at finishing fights.
- The crowd was great! I brought my 12-year-old kid there and he had a wonderful time. I never saw any drunk meathead behavior. In fact, the crowd was absolutely quiet during a lot of matches.