There are many rising stars in the world of MMA, many of whom aspire to become something great. Recently MMA Freak got the opportunity to talk with Micah Taylor, one of these stars. Here’s what he had to say about his view on MMA in general:

MMA, Mixed Martial Arts, Fighting, UFC or whatever people call it, is Mixing the many different martial arts known to man and using those techniques to defeat your opponent. Some become Champions because they know what to do and how to do it, while others can only wish they would become a champion.

In this article, I give my take on MMA and you’ll get to go into my mind when it comes to MMA. I’ve come up with a quote, “The key to winning any MMA fight, is to mix it up.”

Many people fail to mix up their techniques when it comes to MMA. They’ll rely too much on one certain aspect when it comes to MMA.

Anything I say is entirely my opinion and just my thoughts and with all due respect to anybody else.

Bruce Lee said, “I fear not a man who has practiced 10,000 kicks, but I fear a man who has practiced 1 kick, 10,000 times.” So basically if you’re so well trained and skilled in a certain area or at a certain technique, you’ll know the different ways to pull off the technique.

For example, UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey. She has a sick armbar and knows how to hit it in certain positions. She’s hit it from weird angles like against Cat Zingano, she’s hit it off her back like against Sarah Kaufman, and of course in the common top position like against Miesha Tate twice, Liz Carmouche, and many others. But even though she may have won the championship with an armbar, that’s not the only thing that’s keeping her champion now. She’s recently added striking to her game, which has led to KO/TKO victories over Sara McMann and Alexis Davis. She’s not a professional armbarer or whatever, she is a professional mixed martial artist. Mixing up and using different techniques in her game is what keeps her champion, not just an armbar. Compare Ronda Rousey to other fighters whose game primarily focuses on grappling.

Like Jake Shields and Demain Maia for example. They’ve barely been getting by because they focus and rely mainly on their jiu jitsu.

But, when you look at fighters whose background has been mainly grappling, for example Thales Leites and Jacare Souza, they’re the best of the best now. You can even add in Chad Mendes in the category. Chad primarily relied on his wrestling, but has since added striking into his game. Because, they didn’t only have grappling, but they’ve also acquired striking into their games. For Thales, it has led to five straight UFC victories, including knockouts over Trevor Smith and Francis Carmount. Jacare has had recent knockout victories Derek Brunson and Yushin
Okami. For Chad, look how far his striking has gone since his first fight with Jose Aldo, to his second fight with Aldo. Theres big improvements and plus Chad has won 5 of Chad’s last 6 wins, has been knockouts. Now that I’m done with grapplers, let’s talk about strikers.

Robbie Lawler, used to rely mainly on his power and striking back in the day. But as of recently, he’s used everything in his game, which has led to him becoming the UFC Welterweight Champion.

Rampage Jackson, one of the biggest power punchers in MMA, has recently added more strikes back into his game. For many years, he’s relied on only his hands, but in his latest win against Fabio Maldonado, he used kicks, elbows, and knees. Mixing up techniques in an MMA fight, wins fights.

Going back to Bruce Lee’s quote, But what if the opponent was to cancel that technique out. For example look at some of Jon Jones’s list of challengers to his used to be light heavyweight title. Rampage relied only on his striking and when it was out the window, he got manhandled into a submission. Chael Sonnen relied only on his wrestling and when it went out the window, he had nothing and got pumbled into a TKO loss. Glover Teixeira got destroyed by Jones because he only relied on his striking and nothing else. When that didn’t work, nothing did. If you look at guys who mixed it up against Jones, like Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson, you’ll see they got alot further against
Jon.

One cannot simply rely on one aspect of their game in Mixed Martial Arts and expect to beat the best. You need everything. Mixing up techniques in your MMA game, will make you the best as opposed to only relying on one aspect that you’re good at.

Another thing I dismiss in MMA is the ego in the cage. Some fighters are often described to have “Never been Knocked Out.” When a fighter goes into a fight with that person, their goal becomes not to win, but to just knock them out, and most likely they’ll be swinging leather at their chin. You can finish fights with body kicks, elbows, knees, leg kicks, etc.

When many fighters hear statements like “A guy has never been knocked out,” they’ll go head hunting and that’s it. In my mind, I see finishing a guy with strikes, not just punches to the head.

Stephan Bonnar for many years has never been knocked out. Anderson Silva didn’t think that way going into his fight with Bonnar. Instead of going in and only throwing strikes to his head, he mixed it up beautifully and stopped
Bonnar with a knee to the solar plexus. In my mind, you have to be good at everything, using all your techniques from different martial arts to make your game better. This best fighters in the world aren’t good at one thing, they’re good at every thing when it comes to MMA.

Follow Micah at @MayhamTaylor and track the progress of this rising MMA star. Thanks for reading MMA Freak wishes Micah well in his quest to become a MMA champion.