Last Saturday night Matt Hughes decisively defeated Royce Gracie in a much promoted UFC matchup. One of the most interesting things about this fight was that mixed martial arts have come full circle, with Matt defeating Royce using a strategy first popularized by Royce himself.
Matt Hughes used a positional strategy straight from the jiu-jitsu playbook: takedown to sidecontrol to rearmount, and then finishing with strikes from rearmount. This approach to fighting comes directly from Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Rearmount is not a pin in wrestling and it doesn’t win a match in Judo: the dominance of this position is emphasized by jiu-jitsu to an extent not found in other martial arts.
This fight goes to show the HUGE influence the Gracie family has had on mixed martial arts (and martial arts in general). Their techniques and strategies are now out in the open, and have revolutionized our approach to fighting.
Kudos to Royce for igniting the grappling explosion by dominating the early UFCs. Huge respect to Matt Hughes for his continuing dominance in an incredibly tough sport.