People who know me naturally realize that I'm more interested in striking than submissions. I admit that my grappling knowledge is limited, but I understand the different views. It's easy to recognize and make MMA's submission game fun to watch.
What's the difference between Caol Uno and Satoru Kitaoka?
It's how they adapt their submission game to MMA.
The first aims for submissions continuously. Tries a sub attempt, probably can't finish, retains the position, tries for another submission or strikes on the ground.
The latter aims for one lethal finish, like a guillotine or leg lock.
This is not to say that those fighters only have the styles I mentioned, but you can understand what I'm saying about these fighters' tendencies.
Demian Maia and Shinya Aoki's styles are high-level fusions of the two strategies. That's what makes both special.
Of course, continuous submission attempts isn't the only method. Sub to striking, striking to takedown, sub to standing -- there are many methods. You can easily recognize them and enjoy those skills.
Michihiro Omigawa recently made a storm in Sengoku's featherweight grand prix. How did he improve so much? The main reason is that his ability to chain moves together has matured.
Watch every move and isolate that one move. Then, imagining how the fighter chooses their next move is the viewer's privilege. It's unlimited fun, because each move can be subdivided so many ways.
For reference, watch Michihiro Omigawa vs. L.C. Davis at Sengoku 7. At 3:40 of round two, Omigawa tries a takedown. Omigawa destabilizes Davis' posture with a trip on the left leg, then grabs at Davis' right leg.
This was the most fun move of the fight for me.
Big thanks to Jordan Breen (from Sherdog) for advice.
Big thanks to Chris Nelson (from Bloody Elbow) for English and editing.