MMA looks differ when weight class isn't same.But how?
MMA always looks different when the smaller weight classes are involved. But why?
Speed? Yes, but it's not only that.
This past New Year's Eve, there was an upset on the local Japanese scene. Pancrase bantamweight champion Manabu Inoue, one of the SRC Asia tournament favorites, lost to ZST's Shunichi Shimizu.
Manabu Inoue is known for his takedowns and immobilizing opponents, but Shimizu succeeded in sweeping, changing position and continuously attacking Inoue.
ZST, as an organization, has strongly and silently recommended and preached an aggressive style of chain-grappling to its fighters. Because it has rules that mostly prohibit ground-and-pound, ZST has developed a different type of fighters from other Japanese organizations. It doesn't work well for the upper weight classes, but think about Masanori Kanehara's run in Sengoku, or some of Masakazu Imanari's big wins; it's beneficial for lighter-weight fighters.
I'm not saying diversity of rules is always a good thing, but I can say that I enjoy fighters who developed under different rulesets.
In heavier-weight fights, position changes and sweeps are rare, because opponents are heavier, but also because there is less space to move arms, legs and bodies, which are more thickly muscles.
In this way, weight classes and body frames greatly impact fights. Sadly, there's less talk about these difference. People always talk about reach advantages, but how about the benefit of muscularity? We need to consider this kind of thing, too.
Recently, the smaller weights like featherweight and bantamweight have had two strong teams: one is Nova Uniao, the other is Team Alpha Male. The latter is known for scrambling and positional changes. Whether east or west, weight classes and rulesets continue to impact fights, and in many ways we often don't consider.
Big thanks to Jordan Breen (write for Sherdog) for English and editing.