There are a lot of terms being thrown around the MMA community as of late when describing the “new breed” of competitors in MMA as a result of the sports rapid evolution. In the humble beginnings of MMA we saw a large number of fighters that would favor one particular style over another. As time progressed the athletes began to pick up on all of the variables that are contained within MMA and just being really good at one thing was no longer an option and as always, with evolution comes change.
Now that MMA has hit its stride as one of the fastest growing sports in the world we as fans are starting to see that MMA in actuality “has” become a style within itself. With such incredible fighters being released into the ever-growing talent pool, which is obviously being spearheaded by UFC Light Heavyweight champion and MMA wunderkind Jon “Bones” Jones along with Featherweight king Jose Aldo, it seems that now may be the most exciting time to become a fan of MMA if you haven’t become one already.
At UFC Live 6 on Versus on Saturday night we saw what could be another promising talent in the UFC Bantamweight division in Walel “The Gazelle” Watson. Walel is a California native and relative newcomer to professional MMA competition with only eleven fights on his still very young record. We are starting to see a turning point in MMA in that with each new combatant that makes a debut now has very, very large shoes to fill in a sport that still hasn’t possibly reached its highest level as to what’s possible in combat sports competition.
It’s not uncommon anymore for us to see what would be referred to as unorthodox or unconventional attacking strategies not but ten years ago. Like the previously mentioned Jon Jones who throws a myriad of varied striking techniques including spinning elbows and flashy kicks, it’s just this kind of progression that makes these types of attacking principles more of the rule, and not the exception anymore. Walel Watson struck me as one of these new style fighters that we may want to keep an eye on. Watson showcased wonderful striking skills in his TKO stoppage of Joseph Sandoval at UFC Live 6 which shows that he’s working on a complete skill-set seeing as that seven out of his now nine wins have come via submission.
Now that Dominick Cruz has defended his title twice in the UFC, the Bantamweight division is going to be looking for the next challengers to his title. Watson should be fun to watch in the immediate future and I was thoroughly impressed by his victory over Sandoval. I’ll be very interested in who they match him up against next.
James Begley is also the owner of JB Staredown MMA, to see more of his work please check out http://jbstaredownmma.com/
Picture courtesy of MMAsportscenter.com
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