Two of the top Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners in mixed martial arts will square off at this Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night.
Former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields will take on former middleweight title contender Demian Maia in what will surely be a great grappling contest on the ground.
Take note of the last part of the sentence: grappling on the ground. The grappling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu may not be the most exciting part to come out of the fight, but we should still take time to respect it while it’s happening.
It’s been known that most fans who attend the UFC live events are not fans of the grappling displays on the mat. They are not whispering to each other “man he’s got great hand control” or “I bet he will get the reverse and score some extra points.”
No, most of the time a chorus of boos will rain down from the audience if fighters are on the mat for more than 10 seconds. In many cases, the referee will stand up both fighters, which is understandable if both guys are not doing anything. However this has happened when the fighter is on top and is on the verge of locking in a rear naked choke. Because the referee has stood up both fighters, this prevented the man in control from slapping on his rear naked choke, which would have been on the receiving end of cheers from fans, who were waiting for the submission finish.
I will admit, I am a fan of the stand up wars and I do get a little frustrated when two guys are sitting there, but I have seen some exciting ground battles in the past. Guys like Benson Henderson and B.J. Penn can make a fight exciting, even when they are on the mat with their opponents.
This scenario will probably be no different than when Shields and Maia step into the octagon on Wednesday’s main event. The fight may start out on the feet, but at any moment it could be on the ground. So instead of booing and calling these guys boring, we should cheer them on, compliment them on the hand control and wait for the exciting outcome.
Who do you think will win this fight? Answer with a comment below, send a tweet to @alstover or email [email protected]