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More Superior In The Ring, Pro. Fighters or Pro. Athletes?

Updated on June 10, 2014

Battling for supremacy in the ring between Professional Mixed Martial Artists and NBA athletes

Conventional wisdom goes to the guys training in what they do best 24/7 and with years of experience under their belt. Although, there are NBA fans who spew absolute nonsense; that physical specimens in the mold of Lebron James and Dwight Howard epitomize what it is to be an ultimate fighter (to where they reign supreme), if given few years of MMA training. Supposedly, because they are the 'A-level' athletes.

Athleticism of any kind can only take you so far in the ring

Elite Professional ball players boast tremendous physical attributes, thus, toppling over the marginal opposition in MMA is certainly the likely-hood, whereas no Professional fighter will ever land a roster spot, let alone compete in a sport so drastically out of his realm. Granted, fighting requires a more straight forward approach than ball sports that are entirely involved in precise skill set.

Don't get too carried away MMA haters, the disparity between the relevant Professional heavyweight fighters and those elite Professional athletes testing different kind of knocks is monumental. The logic is plain and simple, each sport produces top-tier talent, but the skills don't translate well in the other. I'd say fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt is an A-level athlete, yet he would be like a deer in the headlights in the NBA, obviously. I would also point out that Chinese multiple gold medal winning gymnast, Yang Wei was an A-level athlete, yet he would never have solidified his niche in MMA.

Current fighters and former Collegian and Professional Football trio, Matt Mitrione, Brendan Schaub and Shawn Jordan, all exhibiting terrific footwork alongside explosive movements, sadly came to no avail; evidently, since subsiding a level or two below mediocrity in their respective division. Brendan Schaub is not just another former football player turned Mixed Martial Artist. His acclaims (former Golden Gloves Boxing champion and a BJJ black belt graduate under Renzo Gracie) are no laughing matter and still had their shortcomings against the UFC's finest.

Too one dimensional proves costly in MMA

World's strongest man turned MMA fighter, Marius Pudzianowski, possesses herculean strength to wreck any athlete from the NBA to the NFL; despite the fact that his losses tallied up in a (less than stellar) competition featuring the Sean MCcorkles, the James Thompsons and the Tim Sylvias of the world.

No surprise there, as this one case best exemplifies the sure ineptitude in us brewing once we engage in an anomalous and unaccustomed territory. You see, the lower-tier fighters are still a handful to deal with. Take Kimbo Slice, for instance. Building a reputation as the king of street fighting, initially earned his brawling prowess a birth at an MMA promotion in 2007. The results were mixed, the wins were registered over fillers, the pure scrubs and washed-up has-beens he's meant to pulverize and yet one was a shady decision going in his favour. Now the losses, Seth Petruzeli, a career underachiever knocked out Kimbo in 14 seconds, Roy Nelson absolutely steamrolled Kimbo from pillar to post and Matt Mitrione, barely hanging onto the UFC H.W. roster literally crippled Kimbo into retirement.

There was a pretty clear blue-print at how to overcome Kimbo Slice. Slice got going in the game of Freestyle fighting too late in life and with too limited a skill-set. The holes in his grappling game were excessively deep and eventually the not so underwhelming challengers exploited his apparent weakness.

My assessment on this content does hold water, so I find it incomprehensible how anyone in the right mind presumes sheer athleticism and a slick jab picked up along the way, transcends into super-stardom inside the octagon, without life long devotion in combat sports.

The Outcome

Hypothetically speaking, the consequences for the NBAers partaking in the premier MMA promotion (ufc) indelibly entails an ultimate humiliation.

Here's how it'll unfold for Lebron James, the so called 'greatest athletic physical specimen' by some, under different scenarios.

Scenario 1

If a striking battle looms -

Lebron James, a pampered athlete since Junior High School, would not under any condition absorb too well to the launching cinder blocks slamming his head off.

Scenario 2

Facing pressure -

Of course not every blow is a sledgehammer from hell. But does it matter?

NBA athletes, particularly the superstars, notoriously known for their prima donna antics, certainly aren't equipped to withstand the variables; very much needed, in order to prosper as your quintessential 'gladiators' in MMA.

In contrast to NBA's officiating, the UFC brand as we know it, prohibits the superstar/preferential treatment. Serving a harsh lesson for the NBAers, which culminates in their nerves to wilt each time pressure triggers forcefully. Leaving their physical bodies eroding away momentarily in defeat.

That's an indicative of some A-level athletes not presenting A-level toughness.

Scenario 3

If it turns out a grapple-fest -

Freak athleticism alone falls short, impeding Lebron's quest towards negating (stuffing) the sturdy take-downs; for the reason that technique and leverage are so insufficient. And once he's in fatal position, lying on his backside, all it takes is a swipe on the forehead and he would fold up like an accordion.

Wrestling (a mix of strength and skill) provides the ultimate base in MMA, which demands years of dedication to perfect. Essentially, no one is beating the world beaters of grappling in their own game. WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar flourished in the UFC, his off the charts athleticism was a component, but it was the NCAA wrestling credentials that mainly implemented his meteoric rise to the top, at one time.

Scenario 4

If submission holds are on the hunt -

Submissions, particularly defensive, usually aren't grasped within overnight. BJJ is one practice surely will never garner respect through Lebron's attitude. If prioritizing the other vital facets such as free throw shooting, passing, rebounding the ball and playing defense a distant second behind the love affair with padding the offensive stats, then looks like Lebron James will track down serious inadequacies in MMA and wind up costing him immensely. Also, ridiculously long limbs might be more susceptible for tap-outs during submission encounters. Inevitably, within the first few minutes, Lebron James or any other basketball player will be stripped down and submitted by the submission artists.


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